Sunday, March 21, 2010

Racing through Thailand

8 - 13 February 2010
I've been in Thailand now already for a few weeks, to save money I haven't been up to much, which suits me fine, but nevertheless, here's a little summary of what I've been upto...

Chiang Mai
I met up with Phil, Ian and Jim in the minivan from the bordercrossing from Laos. This was the cleanest mini-van I've been in for months. I felt kind of bad that I was wearing my dirtiest clothes to travel, which I always did while traveling through the rest of SE Asia. In Chiang Mai we stayed a Julies Guesthouse for next to nothing (1,50 euro).

Phil and Ian had met Rob and Linda in Vang Vieng (TUUUUBING!!!) a few weeks ago, and planned to do a one night trek in Chiang Mai. Me being a pro after so many treks, and liking the company of my new found friends, I decided to join in.

The trek brought us to a Burmese minority village where the women where rings around their necks, they're called longnecks. We also did an elephant-trek, a walk through the jungle and stayed at a Thai village where the kids danced and sung for us around the fire at night. The best thing was sleeping next to the fireplace under the stars and watching the satellites, shooting stars and the milkyway slide by until the sun came up. It was an ok trek, but compared to Laos and Cambodia, pretty touristy. The Burmese minority village was one big souvenirshop, and the village where we slept wasn't as remote as the steep and challenging hike made it out to be, we found out the next day that there was a road just on the otherside.

From Chiang Mai, for old times sake, I took the train down to Bangkok. I wasn't really prepared for the heat in such a big city, so although there was loads I wanted to see, I didn't get around to doing much of it. Tip: all the shopping malls in Bangkok (of which there are many, and they are HUGE) have airconditioned cinema's on the top floor! I-max, 3-D, pop-corn, you name it, they have it... That's where I spent my 2 days in Bangkok I'm afraid, I'll have to go back sometime and do some more proper sightseeing.

Ko Phi Phi
From Bangkok I took the bus to Krabi, where I would take the boat to Ko Phi Phi. But getting to the harbour, all the 18-year-old-boozing-it-up-at-10-am-party-kids, were the last thing I was looking for, and all the places to stay turned out to be pretty expensive. So on the spot I changed my ticket to go to Ko Lanta, a much quieter island I had heard. That's where I spent the last 5 weeks...

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