Went to the night market after on Friday I think it was. It's hard to keep track of the days. I went trekking the following morning for 3 days in the mountains outside Chiang Mai. On the first day we were in a group with 3 South Koreans and a Scottish guy Lee (an Aberdeen fan by the way).We went on elephant rides on the way to the mountains which was good but I got a hungry hoor who kept eating bananas and sugar cane to beat the band. There's a Thai guy on the front that directs the elephants and then 2 people on the back. The elephant puts his trunk over his shoulder to look for the grub and you feed it. Then onto themountains where we saw a lovely waterfall. I'll have to get my act togeher and upload the photos. Then we had a trek onto a village. I think it was the Karen hill tribe. We stayed in a local house in one of their villages. It was actually their New Years eve so the locals were boozing to beat the band drinking what they call moonshine. It tastes very like Sake. It's pitch dark at 6 in the mountains so it makes a very long evening of it especially when you're sitting in a yoga type of position with your feet underneath your arse. We were all in bed at 9.
It was absolutely freezing in the mountains so I was up at 6 the following morning. For the New Years dinner they slaughter a pig which I saw. The slaughtering is handy enough. They give it 4 or 5 slaps with a piece of wood and then put wood over it's neck to finish the job but the pig is almost unconscious at this stage. Then they move to the gutting stage. They use every bit bof the pig including stomach, intestines, head. It turns out we had been eating a side order of fried intestines the previous night. I got a bit of the head before we departed before lunch.
The houses are all built on stilts. One of the houses in the village had a television and the previous night about 60 locals had been in this one house and the floor of the roof had collapsed with the weight.
The South Koreans all went home the next morning and we joined with another group (Tom and Carol from Longford, a Canadian, A Lebanese, 2 Australians) We then trekked to a waterfall with these and went for a swim.
I'm on the internet now for an hour and a half and Caroline has been for her massage and is back now so a couple of 50 bat bottles are awaiting so I'll have to finish up. Today I went bamboo rafting with a Thai lad on the front and me on the back. And as any of you know from my white-water rafting days in Australia of course I fell in twice but I was standing this time. Very good fun.
We'll probably do a half day Thai cooking course tomorrow and either fly to Phuket tomorrow or the following day. Ko Phi Phi will probably be our first port of call there.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
As I was saying Thailand aren't exactly living up to their Kyoto protocol agreements. Day 2 & 3 we went to a heap of all the temples and the grand palace. The lying buddha was particularly impressive. I'll post photos when I get a chance. Also took a cruise on the Sky train out to Siam square which is all shopping but there was light at the end of the tunnel as in the BKM shopping centre they have an entire floor dedicated to food. The real Thai green curry out here would kill an army. It's cooked to John Tobin strength. Also took a cruise on the Mae Nam Chao Phraya (Chao Phraya river). Other than that nothing much to report about Bangkok other than it was fairly filthy and while an experience to see was glad to get out of it.
Then last night we got the bus to Chiang Mai which was a nightmare we broke down about an hour from the city and had to wait an hour for a truck to call out. It took nearly 14 hours to get here but when we got here a much nicer city awaited us. Not much to the city but just a much nicer atmosphere. Only 300 temples to see here. Probably go to a night market tonight and maybe a couple of Buideals later. The going rate in the internet cafe is 30 bat for Chang. About 60 cents. Maybe I'll come back here for a couple later on. In Bangkok the dearest we were paying was 90 bat for a litre which is about 1.80. Enjoy the night and don't be shy with sending me the football results.
Friday, January 26, 2007
I arrived in Bangkok 3 days ago. It's a fairly chaotic city with a lovely aroma off it. The fumes off the tuk-tuks and the cars are mostly to blame for this as well the cooking on the street. We just arrived on Tuesday and we were wrecked when we got in so Khao San was as far as we got. Just waiting on a bus to Chiang Mai so must dash. I'll tell you the rest when I get there.