South-East Asia

Travel time: March - August 2009  |  by alex alex

Chiang Mai

From Khao Yai we went further to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. It is a very relaxed and beautiful city with a daily night market and again, very impressive variety of all kind of foods one can imagine. We stayed in the "Nice Place Guesthouse" (double room with fan for 6 euro, and decent discounts when you book a tour with them). First action here was to go to Tiger Kingdom, where you can caress little and grown up tigers like you would do with your dog.

Where is mama?

Where is mama?

In the evening, I went to Muay Thay, also known as Thai boxing, in a rather shabby place that reminded me of the scenery in van Damme┬┤s movie "Bloodsport". Mainly foreign spectators and local fighters, among them nine or ten year old kids who beat the shit out of each other, though in general, the whole 7 fights was not as bloody as a usual box fight.

"Bloodsport" - the Swedish guy won...

"Bloodsport" - the Swedish guy won...

Next day we started a three-day trekking tour to the mountains surrounding Chiang Mai and stretching up to the border to Myanmar (Burma). The region is famous for those tours where you spend the nights in rather simple accommodations in villages of the local tribes. The highlight of the first evening was probably the soccer match of the Thai guides and local supports against the foreigners, ending with a 12-11 victory for us, although the local clearly had the hosts advantage on the playground with it's ankle-deep holes, supported by some elements of Thai boxing in their way of the game. But it was good fun, and everybody escaped unharmed, though getting clean after the game required some effort. The evening was spent with drinking games, local dance performances and guitar-and-campfire atmosphere.

Soccer? Soc-Boxing? Kick-Soccer?

Soccer? Soc-Boxing? Kick-Soccer?

Next day started with serious workout - climbing mountains with backpacks at 38 degrees temperature is demanding even with a good physical condition, which I don't claim for myself anymore.

Later on, we jumped on elephants in teams of four and took a one-hour ride. Sitting on their head behind their ears in contact with their skin is like treating your legs with sand paper for some time and leaves quite some marks, if not an ugly rash that heals badly, not talking about convenience. But it is worth the experience, and the elephant baby accompanying us was really cute.

The highlight of the next day was bamboo rafting, and though there were no rapids on the river and we frequently even had to go off the rafts to push them, the whole thing ended with the rafts falling apart into pieces and everybody being soaking wet.

On the way back, we got into the Songkran festival, which is a four-day-celebration of New Year and involves A LOT of water. Basically, all the locals line up along the roads with big buckets of water and all kind of pump-guns, super soaker and other water-spreading equipment, and spread it on everyone passing by. An open truck full of foreigners of cause was a temptation no one could resist, so our misery of being wet spread over twelve hours. Unfortunately, due to the water involved there are only a few pictures of those daring to risk their equipment.

Songkran water festival

Songkran water festival

The last day we finally spend with dry and really eventless sightseeing in the town...

© alex alex, 2009
You are here : Overview Asia Thailand Chiang Mai
The trip
 
Description:
Alex and Vera exploring the miracles of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia for five months...
Details:
Start of journey: Mar 21, 2009
Duration: 5 months
End of journey: August 2009
Travelled countries: Thailand
Laos
Cambodia
Vietnam
Singapore
Malaysia
The Author
 
alex alex is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 15 years.