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Chiang Mai

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The train was half an hour late arriving and for the last 2-3 hours I was starting to feel a bit ill. When we arrived we took a tuk-tuk to our hotel for 80 baht after first being told 100 baht by another guy. We had no idea how much it should cost but 80 is better than 100 so 80 it was. We arrived at Montrara Happy House next to four bookstores. The place was lovely in the lobby and had free computer internet for once (we don't have wifi access). The room wasn't worth $25 (Agoda) but its' decent. We watched a movie I'd wanted to watch with Robert Pattinson in it then went for dinner. I had noodles in dark soy sauce with vegetables and an awesome banana and pineapple fruit shake. They accidentally did the shake as yassi but since they got the order wrong I paid less (yassi is dearer) . Was a good place. We walked down to Moonmuang through Thapae gate to look for cheaper accommodation for tomorrow and the rest of the time. Then it was back to Montrara to relax and sleep.

Today we did nothing essentially. We had a great breakfast at Montrara (egg, toast, coffee, fresh mandarin juice, croissant and plate of fruit). Used as much free internet as we could before checking out. We checked into a new cheaper hotel (Water Well guesthouse). The place is okay for 400 baht. Everything works and is clean but the fan is a bit loud. We had lunch where we had last night's dinner. I got a veggie burger with fries for 90 baht but the bread tasted like perfume. We walked around and booked Jungle Flight for tomorrow with a 200 baht discount (2290) per person (which isn't actually allowed and even says so on the ticket but it was their company where we booked and she just told us not to say anything about it) and Bundy booked a cooking class (1000) with a 100 baht discount. We went on the internet again then had dinner near out hotel. It was really great and cheap food. Bundy ordered a 35 baht banana milkshake and it was huge and had sprinkles - it was so tasty I wanted one too but I'd been over budget lately. We booked a bus for 1200 because the train is fully booked for next few days so didn't have much choice but it is going to be hell. We then went for a walk to the markets at Night Bazaar. It was a bit of a walk and we weren't sure where we were going but got there eventually. There were lots of street stalls and even more indoors. We 'window' shopped for quite a while. Things were a bit dear. I really love all the wood souvenirs and furniture and the carved elephants. It was hard to get away from an owner once you were seriously looking. They just kept yelling cheaper prices but we either didn't actually want anything or was still too dear. They don't harass so much when just walking past or having a quick look. One stall was practically run by a man's little girl. She was so cute but she's going to grow up to be one of the annoying harassers. Went back to our hotel and watched the Law and Order channel (90% of the time Law & Order is on).

Woke up early and went to 7/11 for breakfast (yoghurt and snickers bar) then got on a nice mini-van and picked up 9 people in total before heading out to Jungle Flight. There was only 7 people including us on Package B tour. The bus was about an hour and was very long and windy and out toward Chiang Rai. I got quite sick. I was relieved to get off when we finally arrived at the office. There was free tea and coffee but I didn't want liquid sloshing around in my tummy. We got our harness gear on and were given our brake (a bamboo stick). I was getting a bit worried and scared - what did I get myself into! Off we went! We had about 22 ziplines, 34 platforms, a 570m canopy walk, a spiral staircase, 3 sky bridges and 4 abseils. At first it was a bit worrying and it was pretty high up. One of the guys messed around with you and yell out 'oh no wait' after you'd gone or would scream for no reason or make the line jump or make you go backwards. He was a lot of fun to watch him on them. There were two guys and they were a lot of fun. He'd sing 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' before an abseil and 'Come Together' when we had double lines which was two people at once holding hands. He also took a great video for us. At the first line it was very clear I wasn't the most scared - a Korean girl was terrified, so much so she wouldn't listen and wouldn't lift her feet or wouldn't brake (bamboo stick over the line and pull down) and would just scream all the time. The first abseil was 10 metres and the guy dropped you down once you'd sit in the harness out over the platform. It wasn't what I was expecting - I thought it would be like where you let yourself down and push off a wall until you're at the bottom, but he literally just dropped you the whole way. It was scary. Korean girl was crapping her pants and I was too. The next abseil was 20m so an even bigger and faster drop, the guy laughing the whole time and saying 'Oh my Buddha' and 'Sorry it's my first day' after dropping everyone. That's probably the closest I'll get to Bungy jumping. The 25m wasn't so bad because you got dropped slower and it bits. The 40m was bad but I felt that 20m was worse but the 40m was so high up. When the guy abseiled down to join us all he'd just jump off the edge and go upside down and very fast - he's crazy! The longest zipline was 300m and the tallest was 50m above the rainforest floor (with the mountain being 1250m). Got used to the ziplines after awhile - became a total pro. I got the braking and landing down smoothly - Bundy not so much. We had a very long walk uphill through the jungle on little swinging wooden bridges without harnesses. I was buggered. We then abseiled down the 40m at the end (before walking back up another hill). It was the only way down so you didn't have a choice. The whole thing was heaps and heaps of fun and well worth it. We also got free t-shirts and a great lunch - fried vegetables, rice, omelet, soup, green curry and fruit and it was all you can eat, you just needed to ask for more. I fell asleep on the bus back trying to not feel sick. We went online once back and booked our scuba course on Koh Tao with Simple Life Diving. I had a great big nap then went out for dinner at the place from last night. I got sweet and sour chicken in soft tacos and a banana and watermelon shake (weird but good combo). We met up with Bundy's friend and his girlfriend and went out for a few drinks at Joe's place. They had Thai dancers there as well. They're staying at an amazing resort for $80 (on expedia) but it's far out of town. Had a great night talking and drinking. His friend ended up paying for all our drinks which was super nice. On the walk home we walked passed some garbage and lots of rats running around.

Woke up late and hungover (Bundy left early for cooking class and organised our insurance finally). I went for breakfast at about 2:00PM at the usual place and had scrambled eggs with onion, tomato and capsicum with pumpkin and potato bread with baked beans (not the best) and a banana and coffee milkshake. All up cost me $5. Once I'd finished eating I still had my whole milkshake to finish. An older American man came in and sat at my table and then his friend joined him. He was creepy and weird and ruined my afternoon. He asked why I was eating alone and when I said my boyfriend was at a cooking class he started bagging him out and being totally inappropriate and offensive. It was awkward and uncomfortable and I couldn't finish my milkshake and pay quick enough. He was an absolute weird asshole. I got out of there and then went on the internet all afternoon (supposed to be organising the rest of our trip but writing this and chatting on facebook instead). Bundy got back just after 4:00PM and had eaten far too much food. After 4 hours on the internet we went back to the hotel to do nothing and relax watching TV. Bundy went to sleep early after he felt sick and was vomiting. I had to wake him up at 2:00AM and again later in the night because he'd pooped the bed. So we had to sleep in a soiled bed. I couldn't help but laugh. Poor thing.

Woke up still in a stinky bed, got up and had a shower and got ready to check out. Bundy still wasn't feeling well and I gave him an anti-diarrhoea so he doesn't poop his pants in public. I spent a few hours on the internet at Mini-Cost again (our second home which gave us cheaper internet on our last few days). I learnt something new and very important about the toilets here (I seem to learn something every week that I'm not using them correctly). Apparently after you go to the toilet you are supposed to use the water hose to wash your 'vital parts' as the sign said and then the paper is used only to dry the water and then go into the bin, which makes a lot more sense since I thought you just put poopy paper right into the bin which would then smell for ages. We went looking around the Sunday Walking Market from about 4:00 - 6:00PM with Bundy's friends. They were good markets and I wish we'd had more time and had of actually bought some stuff (scarves and robes maybe). The problem with trying to get scarves and robes is that they are all silk whereas we just want cheap cotton. I had dinner at our usual place for the last time. I had fried vegetables and tofu in soft tacos with rice. The sweet and sour in tacos was heaps better but it was still good. We waited at our hotel to start the worst journey of our trip: 27 hours by bus with waiting around and a ferry to Koh Tao. Ergh. Whilst waiting I was reading my Thai travel sickness tablets and decided to just check the ingredient on Wikipedia beforehand. Wikiperdia said it was an anti-nausea tablet so that's all good and Google didn't have much except someone asking if you could trip out on them. We got picked up by a tuk-tuk at around 7:00PM. I took the travel sickness tablet and my throat started to feel all dry and then I started to feel out of it and then I couldn't stop laughing for about 10 minutes and then I felt a little bit sick and then my heart started pounding. I think I was tripping out! We got to the bus and then I felt okay. It was actually a decent bus for once! We got front seats up top (double decker) but we couldn't see anything out the front anyway but at least we could rest our feet on the rail. It had a toilet but I hadn't gone yet. We watched Bad Boys II on the TV. It had amazing air-con - it was freezing but luckily we got given blankets. The next movie on was Salt which they played twice but the first time when they put it on the sound was far too loud and we went to ask them to turn it down but they'd put a curtain up over the stairs but we finally leaned over it and asked. It was pretty uncomfortable trying to sleep but it went quickly (both in speed and in time).

We arrived in Bangkok earlier than expected (5:15AM instead of 6:00AM) and it was overall a fairly good ride (except for trying to curl up as small as possible and rest my head on the bottom of the seat's back). We went to a suggested hotel where'd we'd have to go to check in tomorrow for the second bus (we thought it was somewhere else because we were told to check in at Tattoo Travel but the place that said Tattoo Travel on it later pointed us to the guesthouse which didn't say Tattoo travel...) but it was 450 baht for the day (we arrived at 6:00AM and were leaving at 6:00PM) and that was only for a fan room with no TV and no hot water so we went back to Lucky House and got air-con and TV for 450. The room was a bit nicer than last time but the bed was just as hard. No-one would give us a cheaper deal if we checked out that day (only spend 5 hours in the hotel) which was annoying but we slept well passed 12:00PM anyway. We went back to 147 Thai Food for dinner and walked up and down Khaosan Road but it was so very hot so we went back to our air-con room to wait until we had to check in for the bus. No-one was there when we went to check-in and we had to do it within the next half hour but reception said no-one would be there for another hour. Someone showed up about 5 minutes later while we were looking at each other wondering what to do. There weren't any blankets on the new bus but luckily the air-con was at an appropriate level. This time we could see out the front and got front seats. I also only had a bag behind my seat so I could recline as much as I wanted. We spent about an hour after 2 minutes of driving just sitting and waiting on the bus in a creepy alley. One lady near us started saying she'd done this trip before with a different company and had her travelers cheques stolen out of her locked bag and that she'd also heard stories about the bus being gassed and the drivers stealing everyone's stuff, even on their person and then when one woman realised and complained the driver whacked her one and kept going. Far fetched for sure but who knows. She was annoying. Her and the guy next to us then spent the next 2 hours talking about insurance. Boring. We had a bit of an incident driving out of the petrol station and got stuck half way on the gutter with half the bus blocking half the road. About ten minutes later we were off again. This bus was more comfortable than the other but I couldn't sleep. The driving worried me a bit and people kept asking to turn reading lights on and when we were stopping. I went to the toilet at the rest stop and there were a whole bunch of girls waiting in line at one toilet even though there were heaps more available ones behind them (maybe it was the only Western toilet).

Posted by meganjane03 02:06 Archived in Thailand

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