North to Chiang Mai

Well with Koh Tao behind me i board the bus in Bangkok to for the 12hr drive, i’m the only wester on the bus and get a few strange looks but just smile and say sawadee karp, Movie – Steven Segal in thai… I’m going to sleep…
I get off the bus in Chiang Mai at 6:30 am and get a tuk tuk to my hostel, Deejai’s Backpackers, Rob checked me in straight away and gave me a great welcome… very little sleep so a quick nap needed then back up and out the door for a wander around Chiang Mai. Its a hot sunny day in the mountains… so that means humidity, but I have to have a look at this famous city, temples, flower markets, the old city moat and wall, all beautiful. On the way back to the hostel i pass a Thai police road bloke… they are pulling drivers over left, right, and centre, I ask if i can take a photo and politly get told no… as i walk away the police man calls after me… i can take the photo now they all know i’m going too and they pose for the camera… very funny…

posing police men

back to the hostel for a relaxing afternoon in the beer garden and meet some of the others at the hostel.Let me tell you DeeJai’s is the quintessential backpacking hostel, cheap, clean, great atmosphere filled with like minded travellers,at $3aus a night for a 3 person share dorm you couldn’t ask for better, the staff we all incredibly helpful and always smiling. Got talking to a couple of guys at the bar Jay from Holland, Mark the monster kick boxer from the UK and Tane from New Zealand/Australia (little did i know i had just met my new travel buddies) and after a few cold changs we headed out for dinner and a club…

The DeeJai backpacker crew

wasnt a big night for me and Tane and me had made arrangements to do some sightseeing the next day…
midday and still no tane… so I head out my self to see the Chiang Mai zoo and Doi Suthep (the mountain temple), jump in a tuk tuk to the zoo, and paid my 100tb to get in… don’t waste your money people, one of the saddest places i have been, only photo i took was the entrance… enough said… back out the front i jumped in a red taxi… pick-ups with a closed in back, once we had a full load we headed up the mountain. Now any one who has travelled Asia will know temples are a dime a dozen but Doi Suthep was very impressive, An un-budda like amount of steps to get up to the top but once there the temple and the views were both stunning. A couple of spring rolls and half a pineapple for lunch on the way back down and back into a red taxi for the trip to town. its about 4pm when I get back to the hostel and Tane is just getting out of bed, him and Mark had got home at 7 am…. Chatting over a beer Tane jay and I decided to book into flight of the gibbons for the next day…
8am pick up for the hour dive in the rain up into the higher mountains east of Chiang Mai, the higher we got the thicker the foliage got and the heavier the rain, needless to say we all brought ponchos… choice of pink or purple…. I look STUNNING in pink…. We met the others on our tour, 5 western women from Dubai on a girls week away then we harness up as the sun comes out and its into the canopy for 4.5 hrs of tree top fun

800m zip line longest in Asia

clip in… fly through the canopy… clip out… clip in… speeds of nearly 100kph… at up to 44m in the air… so much fun… Donatello our ‘sky ranger’ was a

DeeJai Backpacker Beer Garden

complete card, must of terrified Tane 5or 6 times as he took off from platforms… great time, tick that off the list. Lunch was great but the rain started again so we missed the waterfall hike and went back to town…
Tonight is the 4th of July and seeing there are several Americans in the hostel a bit of a gathering is organised, a BBQ, some fire works and a hot dog eating competition… Val couldnt find any other non americans to be involved in hot dog contest so yep you guessed it I get roped in, that was a mistake wasnt it Val… I cleaned up and won ‘The 1st Annual Deejai’s Hot Dog Eating Competition’… watch the vid, its hilarious (language warning)…

The Hot Dog Eating Champ


What a night… it didn’t end there but that’s not for the blog ;)… lazy morning the next day and just a chill day in the hostel for my last day in Chiang Mai, every one keeps raving

The Last Supper Chiang Mai

about Pai so I’m off to see what all the fuss is about tomorrow. Jay booked his bungalow and was leaving that morning, then Loes and Brenda book there as well (2 Dutch girls that had joined the group) so with out even looking at where I was booking I paid for 5 nights and bid Jay farewell till tomorrow. The group that had formed over the last week got together for our last supper, Chiang Mai style, then up to a roof top bar for after dinner drinks and dancing…
With hand shakes and hugs for those I wouldn’t see again I headed home at 3 and the anticipation of the unknown tomorrow