1st - 6th June 2009
At about 7am we arrived at our hostel, 'Nice Place 2', in Chang Mai. We'd pre arranged the accommodation in Bangkok as a part of a deal with the bus tickets and a three day trek. We had one day wandering around Chiang Mai and arranged to go to see a Muay Thai match for only 350 Baht (It can often cost over 1000 Baht). The Muay Thai event was great even though most of the matches were between kids. There was a female match though which was great to watch too. After many beers and a game of pool or two we headed back to our hostel to get ready for our three day trek in the Pai region the next day.
We ended up on the trek with two other couples - a Korean couple who were on their honeymoon (and couldn't speak much English) and an English couple on a two week holiday. Dom, the English guy, had been on the trek before and thought it was fantastic so brought his girlfriend, Chloe, back to do it; she didn't like it very much at all. The guides we had weren't the greatest and weren't very informative for the duration of the trip. The only good thing about them was that Sammy got to Muay Thai box with one of them, Beckham after many beers, which he enjoyed but was so sore he could hardly walk in the morning. Most of the time they were really annoying and not very professional at all even when we tried to ask them some questions they were very vague or lied. We visited three hill tribes including Karen and spent the two nights in the hill tribes playing soccer and throwing Frisbee with the locals. All up we walked about 20km and got to do some elephant riding and bamboo rafting which was okay but definitely not an experience we'd like to relive in a hurry as elephant riding is not as comfortable as we thought, they rock around constantly and walk under trees following the lead of a rouge baby elephant. The poos they do are incredible, like a huge rock. We also saw one do an enormous fart that was like a wind against the Korean honeymooners as they went past.
After the trek we were absolutely wrecked and Nikki ended up needing to go to the hospital because she was really unwell. It turned out to be a bacterial infection (possibly picked up from the bamboo rafting in the river) which caused severe stomach cramping. She was fine a few days later and we managed to do the 'Flight of the Gibbon' which is a very highly rated attraction in Thailand. It was a lot of fun and involved swinging along flying foxes for 2kms at a height of 40metres up in the jungle.A bit of bamboo in a V shape was to be used as a brake against the cable but Sam found this ineffective and slammed into the man shouting at him to slow down every time the brake was required. One of the girls didn't stop at the platform and went backwards 30 metres to the middle of the line (which was really high) and the guide had to go out and attach a rope onto her just like in "Cliffhanger" the movie. Some of the lines also involved abseiling. It was such a well organized tour with great food and even a 'free' T-shirt.
After that, we decided to head to Pai which we heard great things about from several people back home which turned out to all be true!