Tag Archive | Phrae

Drift Triking in Thailand


Guest post- Andrew Batten.

Well we were once again back in the land of smiles in our old town of Phrae. Here we met up with many old friends and had some great reunions. After dinner and a few drinks my good friend Lee suggested we go drift triking. He had mentioned that he and his friends in the Phrae Drift Club were one of the first in Thailand to try this new extreme sport. He said it was fun and exciting but also FAST! We were intrigued and it was organized for a few days later.

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We got the call to be ready, put on our sturdiest clothes and thickest socks and jumped in the pickups. First stop was the club house which also doubled as a friend’s workshop for welding, bike building and engineering. Here we met the 10 strong crew and loaded up 8 trikes, a cooler full of drinks and some cameras.

Andy at the bottom of the hill

Andy at the bottom of the hill

We took off to a remote part of the hills nearby the city. Here only the occasional farmer on a scooter could be found using the roads. I think in the 5 hours we were there we only saw 10 scooters and 2 cars on the road, so it was pretty much our own personal race track. The road consisted of one medium sized twisty hill which leveled out to a small crest and then followed on to the main bigger twisty hill flattening out to the valley below. 2 kilometers in total.

We when reached the top everyone climbed out of the pickups, unloaded the gear and got ready. Due to the language barrier and the casualness of the group the safety briefing was done in less than 10 words, a few questions and lots of miming with laughs. E.g. Miming over turning the handle bars “Good!” followed by miming over turning the wheels and using the front brake “No good”  “Dead haha”. Followed by lots of smiles, laughs and worried looks by myself. Lee had mentioned before that these tarted up bicycles and the boys got up to 110km per hour! No pressure!

Before I tell you of my first ride let me first explain what the premise of drift triking is. Basically it

drifting in car vs trike

Drifting in a car vs a trike

involves the crossing of two sports. One being Japanese car drifting. Which is the art of a driver intentionally oversteers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels while maintaining control from entry to exit of a corner. Basically a controlled skid around corners. This is then crossed with a modified bicycle where the front half of a bicycle is grafted onto a tricycle rear end. The wheels then have hard plastic PVC pipe sections put over them to  give them less grip, make them more slippery and stronger. Then you find a big hill and slip and slide your way down going crazy.

Simple in practice but you need balls of steel to pull it of in the real world because it goes against every driving skill you have every learnt. Basically you are trying to spin out on every corner but then control the spin smoothly around the corner. Every corner feels like you are coming in too hot and that when you go sideways you will flip and the roll the trike. The smooth hard plastic covers are there to stop this however.

triks

Trikes

Thailand isn’t a rich country and occupational health and safety hasn’t ruined fun yet here so my safety equipment consisted of a motocross helmet, soccer shin pads and boots with car tires graphed on to the bottom to be used as brakes again the road. Seriously. The pickup drives in front of the pack as they descend down the hills to film and check for traffic, while Jennie clung onto the back taking pictures. Most of the trikes didn’t have any breaking system at all apart from the shoes. Some boys didn’t even have these special shoes and just used ordinary sneakers. Crazy!

Drifting round a corner

Drifting round a corner

I think I was given the nicest bike because not only did it have a front brake but it also had a bike speedometer on it. That Speedo just scared me more to be honest. Now, I have experienced skidding cars, driving motorbikes and go-carts but this…. it’s a whole different thing. After the initial twists the hill straightened up to a main straight. Here you lift up your feet and bike really picks up speed! My first run the bike got up to 70km per hour! Scary stuff. Then you hit the next hill and do it all again. As I said over turning the handle bars into a corner and shoving your bum out to extent the drift is fun at 20km per hour but at 50 km it is downright scary.  One other new guy like me did crash into a gutter on the side of the road where he rolled but luckily he was totally unhurt apart from the hundreds of tiny thorn hairs in his skin.

At the start

At the start

Overall it was a challenging but amazing day. I defiantly worked up a sweat from exertion and fear but it was totally worth it. It was amazing and I would have defiantly paid money for this experience.  We had a great day and got some amazing photos.

The crew told me that they had just been featured on a Thai variety show showcasing their skills and that they had also won the Thai drift championship in 2014. So lastly a big thank you and shout out to Lee Suparsiri and the Phrae drift Club.

Phrae Drift Club

Phrae Drift Club

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Regional Guide Thailand- Phrae


Regional Guide Thailand- Phrae <- click here for the guide!

Phrae, North of Thailand

Phrae, North of Thailand

Andy came across this today, a regional guide I wrote for my home city, Phrae, when I was living in Thailand on Ajarn.com which I thought would help other teachers in my position who also were getting cold feet about moving to this amazing place! Hard to believe it has been 3 years!

When I moved abroad for the first time to Thailand I could find nothing about the city I was being placed in other than it was famous for making blue shirts, teak houses and had rice fields! It made for a nervous journey especially as I was the only person on my course being placed int the North. I even tried to change city at one point a few weeks before I left the UK which would have changed how everything has worked out right down to meeting Andy, moving to Korea, Vietnam and Australia!

Some times you just have to go with the flow… if not research, and if you find no research then make some to help others!!

One of my smaller classes in Thailand

One of my smaller classes in Thailand

Never a dull moment!


The last few weeks have been rather mental over here. Between winter festivals, extra classes after school and on weekends, Chiang Mai Trips, elephant trekking, white water rafting, mountain biking and not forgetting the arrival of our new puppy….. It’s been hectic to say the least! Decisions have also been made… BIG decisions so now my nearest and dearest know I can share all!

Me and our puppy! 🙂

I’ll start with the winter festival. Winter has reached us here in Thailand…. I thought this would not be any different from the Thai summer i.e. hot hot hot… I couldn’t have been more wrong!!!! It is still very hot during the day however in the morning and at night time it is bitterly cold!!! So cold I have had to get two pairs of jeans sent over from home and now have a nice selection of jumpers, and a nice hat and scarf set. However this is not necessarily a bad thing as going to bed is finally something to look forward to, gone are the days of waking up feeling like you have fallen into a swimming pool of sweat and I can finally cosy up in a nice quilt. (Which I have found out is the BEST thing EVER when it comes to sleep!!) The winter festival also came to town; I wasn’t expecting much…. however it was quite something!

A huge field that is usually just a waste ground was transformed into a hive of

Too funny for words!!!

activity. Hundreds of stalls selling everything from kitchen utensils to shoes, from clothes to candyfloss! The festival also included many shows. Some of these were HILARIOUS! We started of with the cowboy show which consisted of a dozen Thai men dressed head to toe in cowboy gear and taking turns to spin a gun on their finger… that was about it! There was also a snake show, a Katoy or lady boy show… not like the ones I have told you before but more like a beauty pageant where they were insanely beautiful and are the types of lady boys that catches out men here sometimes!

There was also a ‘freak show’ consisting of a floating head, a girl in a shell and Siamese twins connected at the belly button so neither had legs (really it was a girl sitting beside a mirror! Ha!) There were loads of kid’s rides and even the good old carnival games you would get at home (I won a ruler…woo!)

Home made firework! Look bottom right to see the people walking away to help judge the size!

Then for my favourite part of the festival…. the home-made fireworks competition. Locals brought along fireworks they had made from bamboo shoots stuffed with ingredients such as magnesium and set them alight. The first night was judged on the length of time the firework went off for; the second was all about size! It was like nothing I have ever seen!!!! For starters you would NEVER be allowed a home-made fireworks competition at home, secondly the health and safety side was even shocking for Thai standards. The fireworks would shoot up 30/40 meters into the sky and go off like a jet engine, yet they were lit with the tiniest of fuses and the people who set them off would just wander slowly away as sparks went flying everywhere. Thirdly the spectators were only about 25/30 meters away from the show, might sound a lot but if you could see these fireworks you would understand why this was not far enough! A couple of times we were even hit from the sparks the firework shot out.

Then just as we thought the health and safety couldn’t get any worse, one of the fireworks was lit and exploded (whilst the man was only a few meters away) and sent a fire ball shooting off to the side causing a fire in the grass. There were shouts for the fireman (as they at least had a fire engine at the competition) Andy, Tracy, Owen, Joey and myself were all sitting on the back of the engine so quickly got off…. just as the driver locked the wheel and spun round at full speed not looking behind him and almost taking us and a couple other Thai’s right out!!! He drove up to the fire and could not get the water to hit the fire. (They use fire engines that Britain used in the 20/30’s) the driver decided to manoeuvre the fire engine to hit the fire from another direction… only to come within centimetres from knocking down Joey!! After 5 minutes of trying to put out a fire which could have been put out with a couple buckets of water, the fire engine swung back to its starting position…. and then everything became very clear. The driver stumbled out of the vehicle and staggered over to us. Before we heard him we could smell him, he was STINKING of Lao Kow a very VERY strong Thai rice whiskey. He was steaming drunk!!! Everyone cheered and he seemed quite proud of himself so went back to find his drunk. Just as well there were no other big fires in Phrae that night!!!!

Last weekend Andy and I took another trip to Chiang Mai. We wanted to

White water rafting Chiang Mai

do something exciting and found a great deal for an action packed weekend. We were picked up early on the Sunday morning and driven into the mountains where we began two hours of white water rafting. It had rained for the first time in about 3 months the night before so the rapids were brilliant!!!!! We got paired with another couple who were good fun and made for an interesting raft! Was quite hard work towards the end as my arms began to get rather tired! However this was only the beginning of the day! We were then taken to a lunch spot where we had some ‘cowpat Guy’ or in other words chicken fried rice! Was very nice!

High 5 for getting over the huge rapids without falling in! Woo!

Mother and Baby

We were then taken to an elephant camp where we got to play and pat a baby elephant which was only two weeks old! It was tiny and was defiantly showing off for us as it ran about and jumped on the fence even at one point chomping down on my arm. The mother elephant was in the enclosure as well and seemed to be quite content with us playing with her baby as long as we didn’t ignore her and fed her sugar canes!

Playing around with the baby elephant!

We were then moved over to our elephant, a 30 year old (quite young!) that

On our elephant

Ate anything put in front of it including the wooden platform used to get on the elephant! We both got on a went a trek down to the river, through the river to the other side and up and over a big hill stopping so we could feed him some sugar canes and get our picture taken. This was my third time elephant trekking however it is easy to forget just how big these animals are!

After the elephant trekking we were driven to another area where we were given a mountain bike and set of down the road in a 10km cycle. Being back on the road on the bike around crazy drivers brought back some bad flashbacks of Russia and it took me a couple of Km to settle down on the bike and enjoy it. Just as I was getting my biking legs back a scooter pulled out right in front of Andy and almost hit him! Idiot drivers we thought and carried on.

Biking through rice fields outside Chiang Mai

However five minutes down the road we noticed the front of our group had stopped. As we drove closer we were able to see that the same scooter with 3 people on the back had obviously not thought about slowing down to go round a sharp corner and had come right off the road and down a ditch!! Luckily other than scrapes no one was hurt!

The rest of the ride was very nice and quite relaxing as we cycled though the rice fields and villages on the out skirts of Chiang Mai. Once at the finish line we were driven back to Chiang Mai where Andy and I both agreed on an early night!!

This weekend also brought about our new arrival, a 5 week old puppy! Really

Little princess, even sits with her legs crossed!

we are only dog sitting for a friend for a couple of months to allow it to get older before they take it back. However it is so nice having a dog around the place again! And the puppy is SUPER cute!!!!! It’s even almost toilet trained, as it cries when it needs the loo so we have time to get it outside! Such a smart pooch! However we still do not have a name for the little one yet…. it’s a girl so any suggestions are welcome!!

Finally the last piece of news I have for you and possibly the most exciting news…. My time in Thailand is coming to an end. There is only 8 weeks left of term which will signify a year of being in this amazing country! However it is onwards and upwards, and after talking to my parents, my big brother and my nearest and dearest friends… I can share with everyone else….

IM MOVING TO AUSTRALIA!!!!!!!!

On the back of the elephant

We will not leave until the end of April, so Thailand has not seen the last of me just yet!

Welcome to the year 2555!!


As the bells struck midnight on 31st of December we said goodbye to the old year and entered into the year 2555! The Thai Calender works 543 years ahead of the Western calendar. The reason for this is that the year in which the Buddha died is believed to be 543 B.C. Its something that’s taken a bit of getting used to as in my classrooms there is the date written in Thai and then in English, my work permit is valid until 31st of March 2555 and suddenly my birth year is 2530!

This is not the only thing that I have learned in the last year. As papers have been saying 2011 will go down in history as one of the most memorable ever due to global disasters, dictators being killed and some very famous deaths. 2011 will most defiantly be my most memorable year for many reasons the biggest and most obvious being moving away from my home country to take up residence in Thailand.

This time last year my countdown was nearing an end as I prepared to leave behind everything I knew and move across the globe to learn a bit about myself, a different culture and help spread the English language to little Thai children!

There has been major highlights for me…

* Visiting some of the most amazing beaches I have ever been to in the islands of Koh Phi Phi, Koh Tao and Koh NangYuang

*Walking a MASSIVE tiger and even getting to kiss a tiger cub

*Riding and elephant (several times) and even being allowed to swim and bathe them in a river

*Visiting some of the most beautiful and unreal temples I have ever seen

*Being part of a small community communicating in very broken Thai and English

* Learning to drive my scooter!

*Being able to travel all over the north of Thailand right down to the very bottom provinces

*Having my best friend come over and see me for three weeks of fun, relaxation and giggles

*Loving my job so much I decide not to move near beaches to carry on working in the North of Thailand

*Meeting friends that I know will be friends for life.

Along with the highlights there have been some low moments…

*Missing my friends and family especially over the Christmas season

*Missing special moments like my big cousins wedding, my brother moving to Spain and the Hoff coming to Campus!

*Saying goodbye to my best friend after a very brief 3 weeks together

*Being so hot I had to shower 3 times a day (Thankfully that was just the first few weeks of teaching!!)

And most importantly I have learnt so much during my time away from home…

*That your family are always there for you regardless of how many thousands of miles are between you

*Thai people are brutally honest.

*The difference between a good friend and a great friend

*The ridiculous amount of money I spent on materialistic things such as clothes and make up back home

*Many of my dislikes are all in my head and now I will eat things like chilly, fish, tomato.

*Somethings will just never change…. for instance my fear of spiders!!

*Not to swerve to avoid a dog going round a corner on a motorbike which will result in crashing into a wall!

So with 9 months of Thailand now under my belt I am looking forward to a New Year, my last few months in Thailand and the prospect of a new adventure.

I hope everyone had a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2012…. or 2555! 

 

Loi Krathong


Last few days has been some of the most enjoyable I have had whilst here in Thailand as we celebrated Loi Krathong. It is celebrated on the 12th lunar month, which is usually mid-November and is the ‘festival of lights’, it’s one of the oldest Thai traditions… and one of the most enjoyable!

Loi Loi Krathong! Loi Loi Krathong! Loi Krathong!!

Krathong floats are made from basic materials easily found around the village and reflect the simplicity of life, although we bought our’s once we were at the river! These are made with banana leaves, flowers and decorated with a candles and in scent sticks.

Loi Krathong is a ritual in which offerings are made to Mae Khongkha — Mother of Waters, the Thai equivalent of the Hindu goddess of water, as a way of saying thank you for providing life-sustaining water throughout the year. It is said that the offerings are made as a way of saying sorry or to beg her forgiveness for carelessness in polluting the water.

Our Krathongs floating down the river

Setting the Krathong adrift into the river is seen as a symbol of casting away your grief, misery and ill-fortunes and in many cases placing hair or clipped finger-nail into the Krathong is seen as a way of ridding yourself of a spell of bad luck or misfortune. Coins are sometimes also placed in the Krathong as offerings. The festival is also seen as a very romantic time and is a time to make wishes for happiness together and success in love!

For the last week, fireworks have been going off constantly…. and I mean during

Andy and I in the Sungmen parade with moham dress

the day, the night and even one at school! Not quite the same as the fireworks back home these are fireworks that are all about the BANG! On Wednesday I travelled to Sungmen, a town 10km out of Phrae city however still in Phrae province and where Andy lives. There are parades all around the province for the duration of the festival and I got to take part in one, walking with Andy’s school- Thepnaree Bilingual School. Everyone who was taking part was in traditional dress, either the elaborate dresses and suits or ‘Moham’ the traditional Thai blue material which is famous in Phrae. I have my own Moham shirt which I wear on Friday’s at school so I did not look out of place in the Parade!

Joining the parade with my own lanterns

We set off with the call of ‘farang farang!’ every so often. (Basically ‘look a white person!!’) Everyone in the parade was having a good time and I was even given my own lantern so I was not left out! There were huge floats with Loi Krathong beauty queens on top, marching bands and loads of people lining the street to watch!
Once we made it to the park we were met by the new American teachers in my school, Joey and Tracy. We decided not to stay at the Sungmen festival, instead travelling another 10km down the road to Den Chai where there was an even bigger festival taking place. It’s hard to describe the scene however as it’s a light festival everywhere is lined with candles, lanterns, and lights… it really is beautiful!!

With our Krathong’s ready for the river

We all bought some fireworks… which couldn’t be further from the UK as in front of us in the queue was boys who could only have been in Primary school getting some of their own fireworks- another show of Thailand’s famous health and safety… or should I say lack of! Coming from a country where we are health and safety MAD, the sights you see here are quite unbelievable!  We then went and bought some Chinese Lanterns and then finally our Krathong

Letting our Krathong’s off to float down the river

We lit our Chinese lanterns and made a wish (Which I am not going to share!) and let it go… simple yes?? Wrong! Andy and I lit ours first… to add to the fire that was inside the lantern there was also fireworks hanging of the bottom of it… not good when we let it go to early and it would not rise and the fireworks start when it is only a few meters of the ground!! DOH! Ours made it up just in nick of time; however the real laugh was with Tracy and Joey.

Light festival in Chang Mai

They had watched our effort- so knew what to do… they lit the fire… waited, ready to go… set the fuse on the fireworks…. it went up… up… down… down… down… AHH! The Thai people round about us were doubled over laughing as Joey ran after this lantern trying to get it away from people/ trees/ the ground before the fireworks started…. up… up… down… down… down! A Thai ran over and pushed it back up just as the firecrackers went off which brought about huge fits of laughter from everyone around!! (Wouldn’t get that reaction in the UK that’s for sure!!!) As it finally left the ground everyone was laughing as it slowly started to rise whilst the fireworks were still going off even though it was still just a wee bit to low!

Chang Mai light decorations

We then began to play with the fireworks, which like I said before are more about the bangs than the flashes! Then it was onto the main part… The Krathong! Andy and I took ours down to the water’s edge and put some of our hair in the middle, lit the in scent sticks, the candle and then said a little prayer before placing them into the river. Was really nice watching them floating down the river together with our prayers and wishes floating down too.

The next day was the actual full moon and when most of the activities were

Andy during his fight!

taking place, after school we were travelling to the next town to another festival however this time we were going to watch Andy fight! We were meeting at Lee’s house and usually a two minute journey on my bike took be 20 as I could not get past the huge parade! After not being able to cross I finally asked a policeman how I could get round the parade, next minute he stopped the parade and let me cross right though it!! Eeek!

Getting ready to fight!!!

It’s the first time I have properly seen Andy fight I don’t know who was more nervous… Me or Andy! It was a great fight and went right down to points as both fighters were still going after the 5 rounds, the Thai’s loved it!!! Usually I really enjoy these fights however when it’s someone you care about in the ring I could hardly watch!! Unfortunately the other boxer won… a once Phrae Champion! Gulp! However Andy did an awesome job!

The Friday night was a pretty low key event, with both of us shattered after the busy week we put on a movie and had an early night as we were up early the next day for Chang Mai!

I have been to Chang Mai several times now, however it is almost definitely one

Night time in chang mai with the Loi Krathong decorations!

of my favourite cities in Thailand and was even prettier with the Loi Krathong decorations still up! We had Japanese for lunch (as when you get to a big city you have to take full advantage of the food!!) and as we both had a few things to get so went our separate ways to do a bit of shopping. That night we had an awesome Italian (with wine!!!) before going to check out the lights that were put up for the festival, was beautiful!! Looking up to the sky you could still see the Chinese Lanterns floating around and there was still that excitement in the air! We walked around and visited the night bazaar where we got a few things for Christmas before going out for a well deserved Mojito! The next day we went to the cinema (an actual cinema!!) and a massage before getting on the bus home.

When you wish upon a star!

Has been an amazing few days and has definitely made Loi Krathong my favourite festival… there is something so magical about the whole thing and I felt like I was in a Disney movie!!

So with the festival over things are back to normal…. will just have to wait to see if my wishes come true!

Oh…. Muay… Thai


I might have been here almost 5 months…. however I have only JUST seen some Muay Thai boxing, not in a big city in a stadium…. but in the middle of nowhere, in a field, in the pouring rain!!!!

Muay Thai boxing in the rain

I never really thought it would be something I enjoyed as I find boxing back home SO boring and I had heard that a lot of the fights were for show. So when asked to go to a fight, although I wanted to see it…. it wasn’t something I was hugely excited for.

We were going to go in Chang Mai, however I was talked out of it…. well I say I was ‘talked’ out of it…. it went along the lines of ‘do you want a beer?!”

We set off from Sungmen, a town just along from Phrae city centre and where Andy lives. We were meeting people from his Boxing school as some of them were fighting. We came of the main road and traveled a few kilometers down rural roads right into the middle of nowhere… and I mean the middle of nowhere!!!!!

Girls boxing

We got there and you could hear the music (sounds like snake charmer music) and got in for free…. connections and all that! HA!

As I got in you could tell straight away this was the ‘authentic’ Thai experience. Not a white person in site and we were literally standing in a field with a ring in the middle!

 

They start with the newer, less experienced boxers. Something I am quite glad for as it gave me a chance to get used to the violence of the sport.

For those who don’t know about Muay Thai, it’s a mix between boxing and kickboxing. I.e. you can punch, you can kick, you can use your knees and elbows and punch almost anywhere bar the groin. You are also not allowed to hit/kick any part of the body that is on the ground, for example if someone falls down.

Its brutal!

A few fights in and I have to admit I was really getting into it!!!! Between the atmosphere and the tension it made it VERY entertaining!!

At the start of each match the ‘snake charmer’ sounding music begins, each

Muay Thai

competitor goes to each corner of the ring and does a wee ritual… I don’t know what exactly but looks they are almost praying to each post, they then have the option to do a ritual dance in the middle of the ring. During all this they have on head bands given to them by their trainers as a mark of respect.

The bell rings, the head band comes off and the fight begins. 5 rounds, each lasting  3 minutes. If they make it though all five rounds its down to points, other wise a knock out equals a win.

There were girls fighting Which I think were more violent than the men! Fatties fighting…. one got winded and KO’d, then there was a great fight between two guys and it was suddenly over after an accidental kick down below… and these guys kick hard!!!!!

Girl boxer waiting for opponent

As the night went on, the heavens opened and down poured torrential rain! To be honest it only added to the excitement of it all.

Was so dangerous for the boxers as the ring was full of puddles and many of them slipped and fell as they went to kick their opponents. In true Thai health and safety form they decided to try get some water off the ring….. out came a big bit of cardboard used to push the water along and off the ring!

The last fights were from boxers in Andy’s school. The first guy won on points after a long and grueling fight. However the second….. wow.

The fight was going strong and each of the guys was giving it their best…. however the fighter we were cheering on fell to the ground (not sure if he slipped in the water or got pushed down) however his opponent gave a HUGE kick, the kind you see footballers give when they take a penalty….. right into the guys face!!!! You could actually hear a horrible sound when the foot made contact with the face. Right then there was blood… and a lot of it, the trainers of the boxer had to be held back before they thumped the other guy as it was an illegal move. The guy on the floor was out cold and blood pouring from his nose. To say it looked sore is an understatement!!!!! Was an “oh… my….Thai’ moment (see what I did there?!)

Within 5 minutes the place was cleared…. fighting over and time for everyone to go home…. just like that!

So my experience of Muay Thai was more authentic than most… would I go back and see it again???

HELL YEAH!

Fortune tellers and ladyboys


With only a couple of weekends left now until I say goodbye to the North of Thailand, the weekends have become precious and are all about trying to fit in everything I want to do before the goodbyes start.

Between swimming and getting some exercise, playing in a pool in the middle of a storm, checking out the Tuesday night market then being invited to one of the older farang’s house for dinner, (where we ate spaghetti outside with 2 buffalo, 11 dogs and some interesting stories!) ending up in a Karaoke bar on Thursday as a farewell to one of the girls then our usual trip to Pool bar on Friday night…. its been a VERY quick and eventful week!

me with some of the lady boys

To top it off Andy and I took a trip back to Chang Mai, mostly to get some things from the shops and because I really wanted to see Chang Mai’s hot springs which I had been told a lot about as you could swim and relax in the pools.

Having to get the bus at 8am on the Saturday morning meant an early rise and a nice wee sleep on the 4 hour bus from Phrae. Once in Chang Mai we got picked up by one of Andy’s friends Lee who lives in Phrae as well. We had some Japanese (which was actually much nicer than I though it would be!….. Well apart from when I was forced to eat raw salmon *shivers*)

We hired a bike and then went on our way to pick up all the things we needed (What I bought is confidential at the moment! Ha!)
We went out for dinner to a great Italian (we are in Chang Mai so not having Thai food is allowed) where I had an ACTUAL glass of white wine… was so nice after not having any in the best part of 6 months!

Some of the impressive costumes

We decided to go to the Lady Boy cabaret show and meet up with the 3 girls however as we had an hour or so Andy somehow convinced me to go to the woman doing Tarot card readings. (Something I don’t really believe in and always worried that I was going to be told something horrible!)
She started and told me that I have lots of ‘positive energy’ and this is why good things happen to me. (Personally I think it’s just because I can look on the bright side of most situations!) She then pulled out the ‘death’ card (cue me freaking out a bit- although apparently it just means change! Pheeew!) she told me I was going to be coming into a new job soon (which I suppose is right) and that I would be very happy and it also would give me more money and a new experience.

She then went on to tell me that marriage and children were not that far off

Me and the Half and Half Man

(hmmmmm……) and that I would be very happy (I should think so!) Then came the bit that’s freaked me out slightly… she said “I see accidents, you have had one recently yes?” I was slightly taken by this as all my cuts and bruises are now gone from my motorbike accident bar the scars which were covered by my sandals and the dark…..”Yes you have had one but was not so bad, however you have to be careful as I see another one that will be bigger but you will be ok”
Yup just confirmed why I never want to go to things like this!!! HA!

Although she did say I would live into old age and I would keep my positive energy through life which would bring many good things my way…. so at least she ended on a good note!!!

Some Camp dancing

After that I had a couple (very needed) cocktails before we went to witness the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen….. The Lady Boy Cabaret Show!

Now being in Thailand, you become almost used to lady boys, it’s very accepted here and they are everywhere!! However this is the first  time I have seen a proper show from them…. and it was AMAZING!

Start of "I am what I am"

They came out in their barely there outfits, all sparkles and feathers and about as camp as anything I have ever seen! They danced about on stage and put on one massive performance!!!!!! Think my favorite was from a blonde who came out singing to “I am what I am” and as the song went on he stripped off, took off his make up, wig and fake boobs, put on a suit and ended the song as a man!

I would recommend this to EVERYONE! I literally laughed the whole way through!

Afterwards we went out to a few pubs and then onto a club…. was  a very full on night but was great fun! Quite a change from Phrae!!

The next morning Andy and I took the bike out to find San Kamphaeng Hot Springs…. I had very high hopes for this….. maybe a bit too much. Took us ages to find it on the bike so by the time we got there we didn’t have a great deal of time.

Was actually quite funny as on the way to find them the bike slipped on the mud, (probably a good thing I wasn’t driving!) its hard to explain what it feels like when the bike starts to loose control but it gives you a good fright anyway! After my accident a few weeks ago that feeling is not one I like!!! However what was the first thing that popped into my head?! “ARGH the fortune teller was right!!!” luckily (without wanting to give anyone a big head) Andy managed to straighten up the bike before it crashed… something I really doubt I would have been able to do!

The park was very beautiful all green and lovely gardens and then there were the hot springs with stalls set up with eggs which you could cook yourself in the springs. There were 2 huge fountains blasting from the ground and it was quite pretty!

Andy at the San Kamphaeng hot springs

Along the side there was a big man-made river where you could sit with your feet in the water. It was ROASTING! Took us quite a while to get our feet all the way in and it was rather relaxing however the weather was SO hot, combined with the hot water I was dying for a nice cool pool.
There was mineral pools you could go in but we didn’t have time so there was no point paying the extra money to go in.

Dont get me wrong was pretty but not worth going all the way to Chang Mai to visit them!

So another weekend down only 3 more weekends left in Phrae!!