There are only so many wooden frogs, ‘Armani’ suits and trips to see the 45-metre Buddha you can be offered before you start to tire, so we decided to head to Chiang Mai. I found it tough leaving our hotel in Bangkok because it was so comfortable and almost felt like home, and it’s sometimes difficult to drag yourself away to the unknown.
Our last night in the city was pretty crazy: we sat down briefly at a table on the side of a street while our cocktails were being made, and a guy Paul used to work with and hadn’t seen for eight years was sitting in the chair behind. Small world! We made a night of it and went onto a club called..The Club! Was a really good end to that part of our journey and he had some useful tips for the rest of our trip in south-east Asia.
On Tuesday we embarked on a 10-hour overnight bus ride which was fine, although the coach driver treated the double-decker bus as a supermini – pretty scary in the fog and when you’ve just woken up! Chiang Mai seems a lot quieter than Bangkok, and a lot less touristy. We’re going on a temple tour tomorrow, and we’ve just booked a jungle trek for a few days’ time – elephant riding, bamboo river rafting and a walking trek where we’ll stay with a mountain tribe. Really excited – and hoping the snakes keep away!