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We’ve been making the most of our last few days in Thailand, and don’t my legs know it! On Tuesday we visited the Chiang Mai Flower Gardens. They’re huge, so we hired out bikes – again! It was a lovely day and because it’s the ‘low season’, it was a retreat from the hustle and bustle we’ve become used to recently. It’s got nothing on the Eden Project, though.

The following day I became known as Thaigella – we booked ourselves onto a Thai cookery course. It was lots of fun and I can now successfully make pad Thai, spring rolls and green curry…sort of. I will definitely be buying the curry paste rather than using a pestle and mortar. My arms got tired after about two minutes! Pad Thai was easy and I’m sure it’s probably going to become my signature dish.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m quite particular about my beloved hair. After the cookery course, I reluctantly walked into a salon (if you could call it that). Glad to say that I’m still alive, I still have hair and all in all, it turned out rather well. And the best bit was that it cost me £2!

We dedicated the rest of the afternoon to the Chiang Mai Arts and Cultural Centre. What a disappointment that was! It was a mish-mash of random stories about the city – repeated over and over again, some broken pottery (with no explanation as to what it was and where it came from), and some ‘scenes from the city’, where I half expected one of the wax models from a market stall to try and sell me something I didn’t want. Needless to say, ‘the rest of the afternoon’ turned out to be about half an hour!

Our final day was spent touring the Doi Inthanon National Park. Our guide was really knowledgeable about the area and the history of northern Thailand (we learnt far more from her than we did at the museum!) We visited the Karen hill tribe and their village, took a trip to the highest peak in Thailand, perused the Royal Pergodas, looked at some more waterfalls and finished up at an eco-farming project. The day wasn’t as strenuous as I imagined it to be, and I wished we would’ve been able to explore some of the nature trails and see a little more of the park. It all felt a little too touristy!

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We’re embarking on a three-day boat journey to Laos next. Really looking forward to seeing more of south-east Asia. No-one would want to take the faster two-day boat after seeing the photo I’ve seen. It resembles a banana boat and you have to wear helmets!

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