Now the marathon was out of the way we’re free to travel where we want! We flew up to Northern Thailand to see what Chiang Mai had to offer and we loved it! We’re even coming back for a few more days after a motorbike road trip!
The hostel that we stayed in was run by the most hilarious Thai guy called Boyd, he pretty much planned our whole trip out for us. We met Kelly the kiwi on the first night and went out to see the final day of the Inthakin festival at one of the temples in the city. Religion is a huge part of culture over here so it was nice to be a part of. It was absolutely buzzing as well, loads of people offering flowers and throwing water at Buddha’s, I didn’t understand what was going on but enjoyed it nonetheless!
We did a little exploring the next day, visited some cool temples but couldn’t go in them because I forgot to wear long pants! Never mind, they’re always more impressive on the outside anyway! After we were templed out (it doesn’t take long) we found a cool 3D art museum so escaped the heat for a while whilst we looked around.
Elephants are big business in Chiang Mai and whilst there’s a lot of places that do exploit them for tourism, there’s some genuine rescue places that look after them and save them from a hard life. We wanted to go to the latter and thankfully Boyd knew a guy who had an elephant park. The place we went to only had 3 elephants and would only let 6 people visit at a time, they were rescued elephants from the trekking businesses so it didn’t feel like a totally tourist set up. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip, they’re the most amazing creatures, so gentle but so big! We got to feed them, have a little walk round the park whilst they ate everything in site and then we got to bathe them in the river. Awesome day.
I’ve left it too long before writing this blog post so I’ve forgot half the cool stuff we did! But things to mention.. Our host Boyd knew a man for everything! Rob’s phone broke so he chucked him on the back of his bike and took it to be repaired. We wanted to go see elephants, his mate has 3. We wanted to go on a day trip up the mountain so he got his friend to drive us and half the hostel up there! It was a nice little trip, with some cool temples at the top and a remote village that we stopped by.
We also spent a lot of time at this funky outdoor night market, probably a bit too much time considering it didn’t have very much authentic Thai food and we’re in Thailand. It did have the most amazing burgers though!
And of course we went to see a cabaret show! Rob didn’t look impressed with our seats on front row but lucky for him they chose to snog some other blokes face off. The show was hilarious though, lots of singing, dancing, Adams apples and suspicious bulges!
Chiang Mai has been great so far, we’ve just hired a motorbike, left half our bags with Boyd and are about to embark on the 700km Mae Hong Son Loop, in rainy season…wish us luck.
Also can we all just take a moment to congratulate Rob, he’s only 10 years behind everyone else and it’s only taken 3 months and 5 countries BUT he has finally finished the Harry Potter series! Round of applause please.