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coast 2 coast world - here we come.

king of the jungle

THAILAND | Thursday, 10 April 2008 | Views [632] | Comments [2]

after a horrid night bus (never again) we arrived in chang mai on daylight - very hazy due to farmers burning off their rice fields in preperation for planting next season. we disembarked and were put into the back of utes, herded like cattle actually as all very sleepy after a long night on board the bus and taken to a hostel where the owner tried to sell us rooms and a trek. dodgy as and the only way to leave was in his taxi, so you really got done regardless of how you looked at it. very random meeting with anna who was making her way from chang mai to bangkok, as we did the opposite and both buses stopped at the same roadside stall about 2am! could only happen to tasmanians! was lovely to see her and katey, if only for a few minutes, and we can't wait to catch up at koh phangan next week. we arrived at our backpackers, spicy thai, slightly out of the way but just like a uni share house - fabulous room for kim and i, complete with bathtub which i look forward to making the most of soon! first day was spent having a tuk tuk tour of the city, very beautiful, and then we headed out with everyone from the hostel for disco bowling! all were very impressed with kim's strong arm and he managed to beat the hostel owner and bowling regular in the last game. performance not so good from lize - balming lack of bumpers and the heat!

day two we decided to head out on a one day trek. first stop an orchid farm where kim enjoyed taking lots of pics of beautiful flowers. it has been wonderful for him to embrace his artistic side!!!! also a butterfly farm, which was okay, but mostly average brown ones flying around so nothing 2 spectacular. next we arrived in a local village for shopping but with kim in charge of the cash lize was kept to window shopping - the women were very keen for us to buy, but everything was much the same as we had seen before so was not 2 tempted. our treking was next, through some farmland which farmgirl lize was looking forward to but the 40'C heat did make it rather unbearable - especially when kim picked up a cattle proding stick and proceeded to poke her with it at regular intervals and with many giggles. first close call for the relationship! we arrived at a second village where we enjoyed some pad thai for lunch and watermelon and pineapple - delicious - and our 5th bottle of cold water! cannot believe how much we can drink, yet no toilet stops necessary, all sweated out  -walnut bladder no longer! kim told tales to some backpackers who had been in WA surfing for a couple of yeras - told them he surfed as was to embarssed to mention the body boarding. nearly got caught out when asked what board he rode but he thinks he bluffed his way through - has promised not to be ashamed of body boarding anymore. after lunch we headed back to the car and a short but bumpy drive and steep walk later we arrievd at the elephant camp! both very excited and soon after we jumped on board with kim asked to sit on the head (poor elephant!) soon after we set off, they do walk very slowly but it isn't the most comfortable animal to ride on, very jerky, the driver (?) fell off so kim took charge of the very hungry elephant who seemed to want to head bush for bamboo snacks every few minutes. prior to the ride the local ladies were selling bananas to feed the elephants, to which kim replied, i'm not hungry right now thanks! call of the trip as it took him a minute to realise they weren't for him but the elephants! was a great experience to finally ride a elephant and they seemed much happier, if a little mischivious, than those at the zoo in bangkok. next was a waterfall swim, but lack of ran made it more of a muddy swamp swim, but all so hot and dirty after the elephants we jumped straight in, to emerge even more dirty but slightly refreshed! we then walked back to the bus and headed for the river where were going white water rafting. arrived at the end point and were told to strip to our bathers and jump in the back of the ute, we then had to drive, standing in an open ute, past several thai villages in nothing but our bathers, much to the amusement of the locals who must see a few tourists riding shot gun as such! kim helped carry the rafts to the river (ohh, big muscles!) and we jumped in and headed off. was a few rapids, nothing to scary but we did enjoy lots of water fights between the three rafts, it must be said ours was rather good at soaking ppl! was amazing to see the locals enjoying the warm afternoon - with boat house like structures set up all along the river where ppl were sitting, drinking, eating and swimming from, hundreds of them. is thai new year from saturday (they celebrate for a week) so everyone is on holidays at the moment. lots of kids in the stream that we splashed and vice versa and was really fabulous to see the locals and how they live - not a bad lifestyle really! after rafting we jumped back in the bus, fairly knackered as it had been a huge day, and headed back to chang mai. in thailand over new year everyone has massive water fights, and i mean insanely massive - even the policemen getted soaked - on the drive back to chang mai little kids and their buckets lined the streets and boy, they must have been practising their aim, because our entire mini van got drenched as we drove past! great fun and we can't wait to jump on board our hostel ute for some payback.

we arrived back at the hostel to fine everyone going for all you can eat bbq - kim couldn't resist the sound of it so we tagged along only to discover it was cook your own! very very hot evening out and we were both stuffed so ate and then headed back to the hostel on foot - kim did get the team lost, but thankfully lize's sense of direction kicked in (take note dad) and she had them both home safely soon after.

it was decided to enjoy a quiet day at the hostel watching a movie, doing some washing, updating journals and blog and finding a swimming pool. after a sleep in we headed downstairs for breakfast to see a note on the activity blackboard - lake visit! yes please! so we jumped on board and spent a fablous day at a lake roughly 15 mins from chang mai. sat in little raised huts right on the lake front and along with 11 others played frisbee, kicked the footy, swam, chatted, ate and generally relaxed the day away. fabulous!

upong our return pong (hostel owner) decided it was time to paint his ute in preperation for the new year water fights which start on saturday - according to others who have been before (and can't believe kim and i have arrived in time by chance!) it is full on water fighing and drinking for 3 days. we painted the ute with some clay paint and made it very colourful - will certianly stand out - and then relaxed with a couple of quiet ones before heading out to dinner.

things we especially love so far - not knowing what day it is, chatting to random ppl, exchanging stories - lize shocked all when saying she dosen't shower unless wearing thong, thai food, spicy thai - our hostel - we love love love it! and as much as we complain, the heat, not working!  



hope this works!
3rd time i've tried now!
So very jealous and excited for you both!
Sounds like your now settled into life as backpackers and have discovered the traveling bug!
Love meeting random ppl who are traveling and talking to them for hours about everything!
Have fun, keep the updates coming,
love gem

  Gemma Apr 11, 2008 9:35 PM


Hello people,
Have read, with delight, your wonderful travel account . David and I are thoughly enjoying your adventure/holiday through your own eyes. I particularly love the 'Surfing Story'. That is actually Davids fault, he has always referred to 'body boarding' as 'surfing', it is not,.however,nice verbal escape Kim. P.S,grand dad would be so very pleased with your bowling score,,,, but don"t mention 'pins'.
Stay safe,,,enjoy,,learn,,breath,,

  STEP MONSTER Apr 18, 2008 11:20 PM

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