All Thai’d out 24-29/01/11

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Thailand

The final days in Thailand: we seemed to have spent a lot longer here than we had planned, basically because the place is interesting, cheap and (don’t tell Megan) the woman are just so damn hot! I’m joking of course, it’s not that cheap.

We spent our final days in Chiang Mai wondering the little side streets and alley ways that interweave between the main streets and are full of coffee shops, tat shops and bars. We had many a happy hour sitting watching the world pass us by. (Still far too many dreadlocks and tie dye though.)

On one of the days, I forget which one, we went to visit an elephant conservation centre, where we were treated to a show displaying all the talents of the massive beasts. A lot of it demonstrated how elephants used to be used for logging in the northern forests, which was truly fascinating and I was amazed by their skill… but not as amazed as I was when we saw elephants paint! And pictures of themselves no less, a proper jaw dropping moment! The centre clearly looks after the elephants and treats them very well, they even have an elephant hospital on site that gave an elephant a prosthetic leg!


Heading up even closer to the Laos border and our final stop in Thailand was near a place called Chiang Rai. We had booked a ‘hut’ in a resort just on the edge of town but because it was so cheap we were a little skeptical as to the quality of the place, but www.tripadvisor.com didn’t let us down. And can I just say bravo for trip advisor, it’s been bang on so many times and made looking for hotels so damn easy! Actually, we’ve started reviewing the places we have stayed in under the name ‘maple’ if anyone is interested and thinking of coming out this way.

So, the hut: awesome, simply an amazing place. We got a little hut with a mattress on the floor, an outdoor toilet and shower and no AC, but somehow it worked and I can’t rate the Naga Hill Resort enough. The pool was simply massive, so massive that I actually didn’t make it to the other end, as it just seemed too far away and my fitness levels were simply not up to it. We spent three nights here but could have easily spent a week or two.

On our second day there we managed to drag ourselves away from the pool and head for the hills and a village called Mae Salong, which has more in common with China than Thailand. We thought we had driven up some pretty steep roads in the Cameron Highlands but they were mere gentle inclines compared to the near vertical roads that presented themselves in this part of Thailand. First gear all the way up for about 40 minutes, but to give the Land Rover her due the temperature needle never went over half way. Once up at the top it was a little hazy so the views were not the best but it was interesting nonetheless. Coming back down was worse than going up, with the brakes and Megan screaming at every opportunity. Again that’s unfair, the brakes did very well… We did have to stop a couple of times to let them cool down though, as the brake pedal was having to be pressed harder and harder to get a reaction!

Then came the day to head to the border: we had read from other blogs that we needed to get to the border crossing early to catch the first ferry, as the cost of the ferry is spilt between those on it so if you turn up and there is no one else there the whole $120 is down to yourself! So 6am it was then. It all worked out rather well actually: we turned up, sorted out the customs, got our car signed out and our passports stamped! We managed to board the ferry with some trucks so it only cost us £25, bargain! It was then that we noticed the flat tyre……

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Comments
  1. Mum "Maple" says:

    Bit of a cliff hanger this time Simon – keep us wondering how you sorted out the tyre! Good trick.

    Just thought I would say thanks for sending the two boys back to UK ((and me) and to let you know they had a wonderful time. OK so things did not go to plan everytime but the experiences, adventures and seeing you both was the best. I am sorry I missed out on the fun. Dad’s pictures are amazing.

    Enjoy Laos – can’t believe you are nearly at OZ! Speak soon x- Love M

  2. Paul and Cathy says:

    Trip Advisor is the business!!.. we did a round the world trip a couple of years ago around Hong Kong, NZ and back to the USA.

    Every step of the way we had great advice for the 3 weeks we were in New Zealand, and we had found some of the cheapest yet best hotels in the area .. absolutely awesome!!

    If this is the case … next stop mud huts!! 😉

  3. robin welch says:

    Guys

    Great Blog as usual, your tone has changed from frustration to pleasure, it’s amazing a difference a country can make.

    Keep up the great updates, I (and sure we all) enjoy them and are still very envious

    Best Wishes Robin

  4. Meg's mum says:

    Hi guys Don’t keep us waiting too long for the next installment. Sounds like Thailand is definitely worth a visit. Hopefully will catch you on skype this weekend.
    Love to you both other M xxx

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