After a smooth flight from Luang Parabang we arrived safely in Chiang Mai and taxied straight to our basic guest house.Chiang Mai was not the nicest place we had been and after Laos seemed busy (clearly this was before we reached India) but Hannah was happy as it had a huge night market and for a real treat we happened to arrive on a Sunday when the entire town turns into one big street bazar. How lucky were we.
We wandered round some of the more notable temples and city walls and then booked ourselves into a full day cooking school. The school was just out of town and was owned by a Thai celebrity chef,Sompon Nabnian.We were lucky enough to get a demonstration of fish red curry by the man himself.Star struck was the word, "is that him?" "so he's famous then?".Cooking course was great and even better we had to eat everything we cooked.7 dishes and it wasn't even dinner time.
From Chang Mai we headed up to Pai.Another hippy town we only stayed two nights in an excellent bamboo hut accommodation.The highlight was the hill tribe trek with Mr Ting, our local guide.The scenery was fantastic, the villages interesting but Mr Ting making our lunch with bamboo pots and mugs and chopsticks he carved with his huge machete was superb.All that work for a pot noodle!
From Pai we got the night bus back to Bangkok in time for some more markets at the Ko San road, and luckily enough it was again a weekend so we went back to Chandi Chowk market, that place really is hell on earth with the smell and heat, especially after one too many beer chang and some street food the night before.Next stop Tokyo.