19.07.2011 - 22.07.2011 35 °C
What we have learned: Never! eat the English breakfast provided by the Thai train service.
After enduring a 14 hour train journey, we have spent 3 full days in the beautiful city of Chaing Mai. I will not lie the train journey for us /Madeline was awful, after she convinced herself that she had forgotten the art of rest (otherwise known as sleep). She experimented with several sleeping positions and various beds before deciding the best direction for sleep was backwards, hugging a pillow she deemed 'too big for ones neck'.
When we finally arrived at 'The Royal Guesthouse' where Madeline proceeded to burst into tears at the sight of our modest room we had piece of toast and decided to go and rent a couple of sit-up-and-beg bikes for a relaxing jaunt around the Old Town of Chiang Mai. Or so we thought...
If you have been to Thailand you will understand that traffic rules are non-existent. At junctions, who cares if it's a red light, eh? Well we do. Due to the very fact that Thai drivers like to line up and drive at full speed towards each other and close their eyes, we could only pluck up the courage to turn left at any junction or opportunity, it didn't matter if we knew we had to go right or straight-on, left it was. Despite Ben's brave intentions, 'Mads! this time we go straight ahead, not ready for right, straight ok!! Ready? Go go go... nooooooooooooo I can't, go left'. Meaning we went round in a circle for a few hours. Lovely. This applies to crossing roads too, red light?? F**k it, we'll just drive at the tourists and hope they die.
After our 'relaxing' bike ride, we returned to the hotel where Ben was in charge of touching the doors so Madeline could enter and leave the bathroom, whether he was in the room with her or not. She had to go in her flip-flops as the ground was 'too dirty' and the door handles were 'too rusty'. We then resided downstairs and met a lovely French couple. We spent the night in the Night Bazaar, which was full of wonderful Thai artifacts (highly recommend).
On Thursday we had booked ourselves up for a day of zip-lining over the top of a rainforest. Our guides were amazing, and it was one of the scariest things we have done so far, especially when we were suspended from our backs lowered 70 feet to the forest floor. Look it up, it's called Flight of the Gibbons in Chiang Mai. After this we got quietly pissed with the lovely French couple and passed out in our room (obviously on our own sheets, which Madeline has named our bed blouses, as theirs are apparently 'not clean'!!! You'd think it was her who has OCD)!
We woke up today with a sick stomach and a headache, and a date with the lovely French couple to the mountain of Doi Pui, which has the most sacred temple in Thailand, or Asia or the world or something massive like that. Bit boring. We also visited a hill tribe in the Doi Village, which was amazing. It was a good day. For the first time it was sunny, not sweaty, and we relaxed in our freezing pool, which was heavenly.
Rating for Chiang Mai: 8.99999/10.
We are off to Pai tomorrow to stay in some bamboo huts for 2 pounds a night.
Pictures and videos of stuff up soon.
Ben and Madeline.