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A Couple's Encounters

Chiang Mai to get the adrenaline pumpin... and some shopping!!

THAILAND | Sunday, 28 November 2010 | Views [806]

From the hustle and bustle of Bangkok to the more relaxed atmosphere of North of Thailand today we headed to Chiang Mai.  We arrived early evening and headed on down to the old city to see the temples.  We caught the last night of the Yee Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai where we watched a massive parade of colourful floats and Thai dancing similar to the Dublin Paddy’s Day parade but bigger.  It was fantastic as it commenced at 6 in the evening and continued onto past 12 o’clock that night.  Later on that night we lit our own lantern and sent it into the night sky which is tradition at this festival with the belief that misfortune will float away with the lantern.  We then watched all the fireworks in the sky before hitting the hay.

Temple Trotting & Panda Watching: The following day we got a pickup truck taxi to bring us up to Doi Suthep the most famous temple in Chiang Mai which offers spectacular views of Chiang Mai after climbing the 309 steps to get to the temple.  The temple itself is an amazing colour of gold and worth the trip.  From there we headed back down the hill and stopped off at Chiang Mai zoo to visit the three pandas.  After our day of sightseeing we hit the night market in Chiang Mai.  Definitely well worth waiting from Bangkok as the variety and prices are much better.

Shop til we drop: Day 6 of our adventure began with dropping our bag of smelly washing into the reception area where would pick it back up later that evening washed and ironed for only €3 each, NICE!!!  That day we hopped onto the free shuttle from the D2 Hotel where we travelled to the Central Plaza shopping centre located near the airport.  It had a good selection of shops ranging from clothes to electrical and plenty of food.  After an afternoon there and some money spent we headed on the last shuttle truck back into Chiang Mai.

Tailor Made: Back out to the Central Plaza Shopping Centre to get my hair done and then we came back into town to get sized up for our suits.  Head to toe measurements were taken and we await the finished product.

Me Tarzan, You Jane: Today we headed into the jungle for a spot of zip lining.  Our jungle flight included 34 ziplines, 15 platforms and 4 abseils on Thailand's 5th highest mountain, Doi Lungka offering luscious rainforest views with the longest zip line 300 metres and greatest distance from the ground of 120 metres. Absolutely incredible views.  Best holiday day out so far.  Mad scary when you start out but after a few goes you get into it and it’s absolutely brilliant, would definitely do this again!!

I’m a tourist, get me outta here!!:  Early rise to begin our two day Hilltribe Eco Trek.  After we rounded up the troops from all the hotels we made our way up North West out of Chiang Mai to the jungle.  When we landed in the jungle at the bottom of the mountain our journey commenced.  First we went on an elephant trek and then headed on our 2 ½ hour trek up the mountain to the hill tribe camp.  The heat was immense and it was tough but we made it.  We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when we finally got to the top and the villagers had cars, mopeds and a road down the mountain.  We soon forgot the tough trek when we settled into a well-deserved Chang beer.  Our tour guide had a slogan for the night as he strummed on the guitar ‘No woman I cry, No Chang beer I die’!  It was funny hearing him sing it in a Thai accent.  After a much welcomed shower 7 of us out of our group went to explore the village and found a recession buster hut on the far side of the mountain.  It was only half built so we figure the banks had just got to it before we arrived!!  We chilled out to watch the fantastic view of the sunset across the jungle.  A few more Changs followed later that night and off to our hut to bed then.

In the jungle, the mighty jungle….:  Short trek downhill to the waterfall this morning for a refreshing dip.  The large drop from the waterfall was amazing and we all enjoyed a cold shower from it!  After that we headed downstream to the white-water rafting which was great craic, especially when one of the lads fell out.  We then hopped on a bamboo raft to finish our journey down stream.  Our guide told us our bamboo raft was called the ‘Titanic Bamboo Raft’ and we soon found out why as we all thought it would be a great idea rather than sit down that we would all stand up on the raft and float downstream but our raft sank with all the weight! haha.  We then headed back into Chiang Mai and were welcomed back to our guesthouse room with all its comforts.

Piece of Oz in Thailand:  Today was a go slow day.  We relaxed and got some lunch in a nearby café where we ran into Lou Carpenter from Neighbours! Ha We got a few sneaky pics of him until he caught onto us pretending to take pics of each other eating our food when really we were catching a pic of him in the background. heehee

Eatin Dust:  ATV Safari Tour today.  Back to the jungle for quad biking!  FUN!  After a few minor incidents ending up with the quads and us in the ditch we soon got the swing of it and figured out how cool full throttle standing up on the quad tearing downhill really is!! Off road was crazy and needless to say we got a bit dirty.  The best way to describe it is like being a kid again.  We got mucked upto our eyeballs (literally), had the best craic and didn’t give a hoot!  It’s great!!  Love it!!

Tags: bamboo rafting & atv riding., elephant riding, jungle trekking, shopping, sunsets, temple visits, white water rafting, zip lining


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