Our first long weekend has come and gone (a little bit too quickly for me!!) and it was brilliant!!!
A group of us decided that it was time we hit up Chang Mai, Thailand’s second biggest city, known for its huge temples, Tiger Kingdom, Flight of the Gibbons and Elephant sanctuaries. Would also be the first time in over 2 months that we
would be back to a more Western way of life… a good thing right??
We left on the Thursday night after our huge bike ride to renew my visa in Nan and it was safe to say I was slightly tired!! We got to Chang Mai around 10.30pm and decided dinner was badly needed…. so first meal we had was a Mexican- enchiladas… aweeeeeesome!!!!!!!! Was a nice welcomed break from Thai food!
The next morning (Friday) I had the full day to myself, spent walking around taking in the sites and visiting shopping centres (Oh how I had missed these!!) -Not that I bought anything!! Was slightly put off by Chang Mai for the sole reason that it was SOOOOOOOO farang!! Everywhere you looked there were white people, everything was in English and there were McDonalds, Burger King’s and Starbucks everywhere. Things that I thought I would miss being in a small village, and I was actually put off by them!!
After my wee adventure, Sam, Mal, Johan and myself went out for some dinner soon joined by Andy (An Australian teacher from Phrae/ Muay Thai boxer) and Eion (Irish teacher from Phrae who also lives in our apartment block)
Due to it being Buddhist Lent Day there was an alcohol ban on the Friday and Saturday, so we went to the Night Bizarre, then to a wee pub that would sell beer to farangs, although at a
hefty price. As Eion knew the city well we went onto a tiny pub on a back
street and with the shutters down and no music playing we were able to sit and chat with a beer in hand. (Was either that or sit in a hotel room!!)
On the Saturday the real adventure began!!!!! Flight of the Gibbons!!! Usually 3000bhat…. I managed to get the lady to put it down to 1800bhat after some nice smiles, a few Thai phrases and the all important ‘Ben Crew!!!!’ (Teacher!!) Goes to show just how much commission is on these trips!!
We were picked up at lunchtime and took a trip into the jungle on a minivan… All was fine until we started going up the mountain…. and as many of you have found out on travels with me…. I don’t do twisty roads!!!!!!! Luckily it wasn’t too far and after getting kited up in our harnesses we were ready to go!!!
The guides were quite funny and I should have known from the start they were going to be mischievous and pick on easy targets (like me!!)
Our first zip line was scary!!!!! You looked out onto a sheer drop and hitting trees was another added scare factor!! Not to mention that when the instructor told me to go he started shouting ‘No no no!!!!!’ So I would be terrified until I heard him kill himself laughing at his joke!!
After a while you got into it; however it still was nerve-wracking jumping of HUGE platforms in the middle of the jungle!!!
We stopped for a water break and was taken down a wee path and got shown the ‘gibbons’ we were warned that we might not see any as their population has been hugely affected due to their habitat being knocked down…. so to see them was a real treat!
After the Gibbons it was on with the adventure and onto the longest zip line in the world!!!! This really was terrifying!! Especially the screams coming from the people who went first in our group!! Once in the air however it was amazing!! Flying right over the top of the jungle seeing everything below you and way into the distance while going at some speed!! The rest of the day we were zip lining through the trees and abseiling as well as going over jungle bridges and up rope ladders. It is without a doubt the best thing I have done since coming to Thailand, the whole experience was amazing!!!!
After we had crossed the last bridge we had one final big decent via abseiling which was so much fun!We got our pictures with the tour guide who the whole way through would push me off platforms, push me sideways so I would swing all over the place or do his ‘Go…. No no no!!” joke. He was a good laugh and made the day even more entertaining! unfortunately my camera packed in half way through so will only get the rest of the pictures when Cat gets them up!!
We got taken to a beautiful waterfall in the middle of the Jungle and then onto an amazing 5 course meal…. was actually awesome!!!!!
That night I went out with the boys and despite the drinking ban, again some pubs ‘opened’. The one we settled on was a wee pub off the main road, shutters down and iron gate closed over- except when they saw someone walk past when the gate would fly open and be dragged inside .
Was actually hilarious as I was filling in the boys on the day’s events in a
pub that was pitch black with only the faint noise of Rod Stewart in the background!
The next day was more adventures. Everyone had things planned so Andy and I took a trip 20km out of town to a nature park where there were 10 waterfalls!! I got picked up on a motorbike…. an actual motorbike not a scooter!!!!! Was terrifying especially going round corners as I was not used to the bike learning as far over as it did, although Andy did drive slow and gave me his leather biking jacket. Between that and my borrowed helmet that looked like something that came straight out of WW2 I was a right picture!!
Luckily my camera wasn’t fixed yet so no photo evidence!!
Was quite a hike…. or so I thought until I saw this (Below). So not amused!!! I
thought I was going to die before I reached the top!!!!! Just as I thought my
heart was about to come out my chest, Andy kindly pointed out this BEAST just off the path (above) couldn’t decide if I was more terrified of the motorbike or the spider!!!!!! We went for a swim to cool off underneath the 5th waterfall which was awesome then headed back into town.
Our last night we went out… and by that I mean OUT!!!!!!
Was so exciting as I have not been dancing properly with non Thai music for around 3 months!! We had a great night and only cost me 150bhat…. around 3pound to you guys back home! Was such a funny funny night especially when we got to Spicy’s the worlds worst club!
Was the perfect way to round of an excellent trip!!! Would defiantly go back and do the elephant sanctuary and maybe some other adventures…. but as for Chang Mai city…. needs to lose some of the farangs before I fall in love with it!!
Was quite happy to come back home to Phrae, where everyone knows your name and you actually feel like you are in Thailand!! 🙂
Next adventure….. Saturday 23rd- Judge at regional finals of Thailand’s English competition!