After spending just one night in Bangkok, we caught a cheap flight up north to Chiang Mai. Everybody we’ve met for far has told us to spend most of our time in Thailand up North or in the South, getting out of Bangkok as soon as you can. We came up to find out for ourselves.
We spent the first day seeing the famous temples which turned out to be pretty cool. They are all Buddhist temples, and some are still used today. We took a 25 minute or so ride up the mountain overlooking Chiang Mai to Doi Suthep. Essentially Doi Suthep is a golden temple with a bunch of statues. The most impressive one I though was the one in the center of the old city walls called Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan. Older and broken down, it still has a couple of elephants and other animals adorning the sides about halfway up. We ended the day at the market, browsing the endless trinkets and doo dads (once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all), but we grabbed yet another smoothie and hit the bed. We booked a 3 day 2 night trek through the jungle tomorrow. It will take us through the mountains a couple of hours north of Chiangmai.
Day 1 was a pretty easy walk preceded by some delicious rice cooked in banana leaves, and a crazy cage that we climbed in to cross the river. We stayed at a families small bamboo “guest house” with all 11 of us sprawled out. The next morning we got a pretty late start and trekked through the blistering sun, followed by a torrential downpour that lasted the rest of the day. We did manage to stop and swim in two separate waterfalls which was very relaxing from, but a bit chilly on the second one (as it had long been raining). We stopped at another families house where our guide Johnny Walker cooked us a pretty decent meal of bamboo, chicken, cucumbers and rice. After an improvised Thai card game and black pot of charcoal, we ended the night. We woke up somewhat early, had another breakfast, and then went “whitewater rafting, and then bamboo rafting. It was nothing compared to rafting back home in the states, but it was fun nonetheless. We ate some pad thai, and headed back to Chiang Mai. Back in the city, we walked around the Sunday night market that runs down the length of the city. They block off a major road, and vendors set up shop along the entire thing. We ate dinner, and then hit the bed early, as we have a 8am flight down south to Krabi where we will spend the last couple days of vacation before heading back to Bangkok.