Category Archives: THAILAND

First Few Days In Chiang Mai

We arrived in Chiang Mai early hours of the morning not-so-ready to explore just yet. First thing first was to catch up on sleep! We arrived at our peaceful guesthouse and was taken to our room. The room was spacious, however, resembled an oven (it was so hot as we stupidly only paid for a fan room). A few hours passed and we woke up and went to check out the pool.
Having a pool is such a luxury especially when our room felt like a sauna – it felt like a spa day, all we needed now was a massage. We didn’t do a lot on our first couple of days being here because we were really starting to lag from lack of sleep. We had booked for 4 nights but fully expected to extend our stay because we want to take full advantage of the free 30-day visa – this also gives us more time to check out attractions without cramming it all in throughout the space of 4 days.

We went out for an early dinner and visited the Sunday night market. This was a great experience hosting such a happy, positive atmosphere.

We didn’t want a late night because we knew the next day we would be up early ready to become ‘flying squirrels’ (keep reading and you’ll know what I mean by this). If you know us personally you’ll know that one of the things we were most excited for on our whole trip to Asia was zip-lining. We were spoilt for choice as to where to do it, but having done research we decided we would do it here in Chiang Mai. We went with a company called ‘Flying Squirrels’ which was originally around £61.00pp, however, we managed to work our magic and grab a discounted rate of £41.00pp. This was considerably cheap compared to their competitors.

The course had a range of activities (mostly ziplining) including riding a bike in the trees, skateboarding & abseiling. We were so excited and even more excited that we could test out our new baby (the camera). We were picked up at 8:30 am and made our way up into the mountains ready to become flying squirrels, something we have always dreamed of! We were all suited and booted and ready to go. It was a great look, although not the most comfortable gear.

We uncomfortably shuffled outside and was greeted by the most incredible views

Looking around we slowly realised that we were the only Westerners, we were surrounded by Chinese. We stood out like sore thumbs and everyone was talking in their own language including the staff, we just hoped that they would be able to talk English to be able to instruct us in the only language we understood. Thankfully they did, however only to a minimum. Despite only having each other to talk to (no-one else spoke English) we had the most incredible day full of laughter and fantastic views- it was surreal and becoming a flying squirrel definitely lived up to our expectations. Our camera was excellent and we got some amazing footage which is going to be made into a video which will be posted on our blog within the next few days – so keep an eye out. But for now, here are a couple of photos of our experience

The following day we pretty much just lived in the swimming pool enjoying the sunny weather aching from being slammed into multiple trees from the day before, now we definitely needed a massage. That evening we went to check out the Night Bazaar. It was great, although not necessarily cheap considering it was street food which was disappointing. We witnessed the weirdest performance we have ever seen. (Sorry about the video- we couldn’t rotate it)

We were actually left speechless and just looked each other as if to say, ‘is this real or am I dreaming?’ We were stood there observing the peculiar performance and then began to hear the dreaded noise of thunder. The sudden panic of realising we were a good 25-minute walk away and no rain macs. Uh oh, please not again. We made a quick exit and walked very fast back to the hotel – fortunately we missed the rain for once! We bought some munchies on our way back and watched a film in our room.

 

 

 

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We’re Coming For You, Bangkok

 

We got to the airport in good timing (way too early – but better to be safe than sorry). We couldn’t check in/drop our bags off until 2:40 pm, we got to the airport at 1 pm. We patiently waited and people-watched until the check-in desk was open. We went through all our checks and waited until we were ready to board. We boarded our plane and were ready to go.

We arrived in Bangkok after a short 1-hour journey. We waited at passport control for ages because some people don’t know how to queue and also because the staff were taking their time having what looked like a mothers meeting – they were so slow!

We made it through and picked up our bags. We asked at the information desk the cheapest way to get to our hostel. We jumped on a bus which cost us 50THB pp (just over £1) and was dropped off just up the road to our hostel. We didn’t arrive until about 6:30 pm, so we dumped our bags, took a shower and went out for some dinner.

We noticed it was a lot pricier compared to Vietnam/Cambodia but that was because we were down a busy road. We wandered around and found a street food restaurant where we got some dinner. It wasn’t too badly priced, we both had rice dishes.

We looked at the price of beers and that was when we experienced our first-ever heart attack. “£2 for a beer. WHAT?! Do they think we are made of money?!” We must of looked absolutely devastated (well we felt it anyway). It’s funny because back home in England you’d be lucky to even get a beer for £3.00! It is fair to say we had become major cheap-skates. We finished our meals and went to investigate the big fuss of Khao San Road. This place was basically a glorified Magaluf strip. We were drawn in by a worker ramming his board of happy hour deals in our face. We got a bucket of spirit and mixer for around £4.50 and took in the antics of Khao San Road. It was an experience although not necessarily something we would want to experience again.

The following day we woke up with slight headaches although smiling at the fun events from the night before. Our first night in Bangkok was great and we already fell in love with the place. We got ourselves up and decided that a GoPro would be useful for our trip and then we wouldn’t have to rely on other people for photos. We got a taxi to the nearest shopping centre which would have been paradise for any shop-addict. This shopping centre had 6 floors, and trying to find a shop that sold a GoPro was at first a struggle. We eventually came across many camera shops, but the GoPro’s were very expensive (even for an older model!). We continued to look around and walked past a book shop where there was a stand advertising ‘action cameras’. We took a note of the name and went off to research.

After a lot of debating and researching, we decided to just get it because it only worked out to be £35 each and it would come in handy (we hoped). We walked out of the shopping centre after about 3 hours of searching and £80 down, but we had done it! Was it a good idea? We were yet to find out.

We went out for some dinner whilst we tested our new camera out, and LOVED it! It was the best buy of the trip so far and would be so useful for many activities. The worker from the restaurant even seemed to love it!

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We didn’t make it a late one because we were tired from all of walking and night before. We stayed in Bangkok for only 2 nights because we knew we would be coming back in a few months’ time, therefore that is why we didn’t do a lot. The next day we were due to catch a bus at 7:00pm to take us to Chiang Mai. We booked the bus ticket through an agency which costed us about £12 each. We didn’t do a lot during the day other than take a walk around the town and have an early dinner whilst we waited. The hotel we stayed at was called Green House. If noise at night does not bother you and you love to party then we would definitely recommend. Otherwise, if you are the complete opposite then avoid this hotel!

The evening soon crept up on us and we were ready to get the bus. When the bus arrived, we were saying how comfortable it looked and that we would “sleep like babies”. You know when people say never judge a book by its cover? We now completely understand why. It wasn’t comfortable at all. The seats didn’t rotate back enough & there was a metal bar by our feet. But there was a toilet, and that’s very important. Although, a part of me wishes there wasn’t one. I went to the toilet to get changed, went to get out and the lock was not going to budge. I couldn’t believe I got stuck in a toilet… on a bus! I started to bang and shout and no-one heard me. Eventually, James realised and came to save me. The lock got stuck on my side but luckily James managed to open it the other side, my hero! If there is something I have learnt this trip so far it is not to lock toilets on public transport in Asia. 12 hours later and we had arrived in Chiang Mai, finally.