Hi There Folks! Quick update to kill some time in the sleepy town of Chiang Kong.
Had a day yesterday just pottering about Chiang Mai, it's such a great city, all the conviences of Bangkok with none of the hassle! (but maybe part of the good mood was down to the great nights sleep in the freeeezing cold air-con!)
After a leisurly breakfast and blog write in the hotel, we head off, no map and no plans in mind (except to find a cable for the camera!) We saw lots of really beautiful wats (temples), some of which were ancient and crumbling ruins (Wat Chedi Luang) so old that the info boards did not even speculate a date, but the guide book recons 13th century and destroyed by earthquake in the 18th century.
We stopped for lunch, following Tom's "Golden Rule #1: Eat where the locals eat", and had a great lunch of another (yummy, but distinctly different) Khow soi and some breaded chicken and rice, with drinks for less than £1.60...WIN! then off to try and shop for cables, which brought lots of lovely strong air con..and a camera cardreader, solving the photo issue!
It was however, a VERY hot day. The sun was blazing and at about 3 we were ready to head back to a quick swim at the hotel pool and a sit down. After dark, at about 6.30 we went back off to the night market to have a wander around, got a fruit shake and Tom got his first taste of haggling...very successfully! (Although the sales woman was barely a teenager...so i didnt think that was fair)...I (Charlie) just couldnt bring myself to do it...but mainly becuase I was genuinely suprised when he told me the price, it was exactly what I had been prepared to pay...so I just said "ok"...of course I probably could have got it for half the price...ooops!
We went back to the hotel to meet Andrew (from the trekking tour) as we'd planned to meet him for dinner and he'd been on a day tour. We all decided on this really cool looking sushi bar (with the conveyor belts and everything!), but it wasnt just sushi it was this other type of japanese food (that i've forgotten the name of) where you have a big bowl of hot soup and you take food from the conveyor belt and cook it in the soup. Well.....all I can say is....WOW! (and YUM!) oh and of course I forgot to mention that it's "All you can eat in 75 mins!"...and we most definitely took that as a challenge, ending up stuffed with 20 mins to spare!
Very full and needing to walk it off we lumbered back to the night market to meet the Dutch family back at the austrailian man's (Bob's) bar for another couple of super cheap Changs. This ended a great time in Chiang Mai we've really enjoyed this city and may consider coming back later on in our trip! Special thanks to our trekking friends who we had a great time with here!
Today we got the mini bus to Chiang Khong, its a very small sleepy town and not at all what we were used too. The hotel was pretty grim and hot so we decided to upgrade to an AC room to try sleep tonight. The room is still grim but hopefully it will be cold! We're right on the banks of the mekong so the view while eating tea should be nice. Just been into town to buy pillows for slow boat tomorrow.
Laos tomorrow! let you know how it goes!
Tom and Charlie
M & D Sounds great guys, very envious. Bound to be a learning process in terms of costs. Certainly fitting in lots of exciting stuff already! Enjoy!!!!