A Travellerspoint blog

It must be just like living in Paradise...

Doing nothing in Pai

overcast 28 °C

We arrived in Pai on Sunday.

I sang the song "Living in Paradise" daily not just beacause the place is beautiful but beacuse our guesthouse was called Pairadise[i] and everytime I saw the sign it put the song in my head.

Pai is a really great little arty town and the perfect place to relax and do nothing...

Pairadise[i] had bungalows surrounding a man-made lake, one half you could swim in (though we didn't, our neighbour scared me off when he told me he had to get a snake out the day before) and the other half you could fish from! So Chris was in his element. Mostly though we just read and relaxed.

The town has lots of craft, clothing and cofee shops and outside the town there are small villages set amongst the green rolling hills. Very pictuesque.

We spent three nights in Pai beforwe booking ourselves in for a 2 day/ 1 night white water rafting trip down the river pai heading towards a larger town called Mae Hong Son. We decided to pack up our gear, leave it with the company who would pick us up at the end and take us to Mae Hong Son where we would spend a couple of nights.

:) Love Pai :)

ps photos later

Posted by nzwendy 06:04 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

Chiang Mai

Chris and wendy, master chefs

sunny 30 °C

It's Wednesday and we are now in the capital of the North - Chiang Mai. We caught a bus yesterday whcih took around 5 and a half hours from Sukothai. The guesthouse we had hoped to stay in was full but seeing as there seem to be literally hundreds here we had no doubt we would find one. and just in time too before the rain. Yay, rain!! It's much cooler here.

We chose our guesthouse - Baan Sabai Sabai - because the girl running it was so friebndle and helpful. We have a fan room with shared bathroom for next to nothing. Soon after we arrived she orgainsed our washinf for us, rang a travel agen to orgqanise some trips we want to do and recommended places to eat and get massages.

After eating we spent an hour at the travel agent and organised a cooking course for Thursday and a day white water rafting on Friday. Then we had our second thai massage before hitting the enormous night market. This is seriously huge and has heaps of very cool crafty things and jewelery

We also stopped at yet another travel agen and organised flights to Laos (which means unfoprtunatly we have to overstay our visa for 2 days so hope they don't shoot us at the border) and visas to Vietnam.

So far loving chiang Mai :)

Thursday

Today we went on our master chef cooking course. Lucky for us it was just us and a lovely Israeli couple who are on their honeymoon :)

First we went to the market to get our ingredients. We were making green curry, penang curry (my favourite), pad thai, vegetable spring rolls with plum dipping sauce (chris' favourite), stir fry vegetables, yum tom soup and sticky rice with mango!

He taught us how to make each dish one by one and we were chopping, stirring, mixing and stir frying in no time!

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And then we got to eat it all - well we tried!

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Friday
Today we went white water rafting down the Mae Tang river north of Chiang Mai.
The rapids were grade 4 and we rafted for around 2 and a half hours in the poaring rain. Heaps and heaps of fun. Got stuck several times, 2 people from our boat fell out in the rapids, we got saturated and I screamed a lot! Great fun. Very keen to go again!

Saturday
Today we didn't get up to much. Slept in, watched rugby and a couple of movies on TV before heading to a traditional Thai dancing show and dinner. The food was fantastic and everytime we finshed a dish a new full one would appear again within a few seconds. The costumes were amazing and Chris even got to show off a few moves of his own when a thai girl pulled him up to dance!

Tomorrow we are travelling to Pai which is North East of Chiang Mai.

Posted by nzwendy 05:12 Comments (3)

cycling in sukothai

sunny 32 °C

We absolutely loved Sukothai. It seems the further North we go the friendlier people are. This place is full of smiles!

We got in on monday afternoon and found a very reasonable priced guesthouse with a pool called j and j guesthouse. Spent the afternoon swimming before heading to the night market for dinner and then playing cards on our balconey for the evening with the cheapest beer yet.

On Tuesday we were picked up at 8am for our 'cylce sukothai' tour. Our guide was called Mam and she was excellent. Its was us and two English girls (one who hadn't been on a bike since she was eight!). First we cycled to the morning markey where we saw chillies, fresh vegeatbles, pigs head, turtle and even rat (cooked) being sold. I screamed when I realised the photo I was taking was a lady chopping off the head of a live turtle. then she proceeded to de-shell and de-skin it in a matter of seconds. she found it very amusing that we were so grossed out!

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We tried heaps of fruit that we had been wondering about but been a bit unsure of...

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Here we have ngo(Like lynchee without the sour taste), dragon fruit (pink skin, white flesh with black seeds) and long dong (my favourite).

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Just for you em!

We biked the back roads following the canal around 12km to get to the Sukothai hostorical park and stopped on the way to see local people fishing, weaving and hand carving furniture. It was really peaceful and a great way to see how the locals live. At the historical park Mam showed and explained the different styles of Chedi (which is either a shrine to Buddha or a temple where ashes are kept. A shrine to Buddha beacuae when he dided his ashes werre put in a chedi (and still are) in Sri Lanka. So it is basically a cemetary.
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For a change we went to a few temples and I found my favourite buddha so far. Here he is:
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Yuo can see how big he is when we are sitting next to his hand. You may notice the small squares of gold paper on his hand - people buy these to show that they have done a 'good deed'.
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After our tour (and we stacked our bikes into a Sangtheaw instead of biking home!!) we spent the afternoon swimming and hoping for rain but it never came. And this is supposed to be the rainy season?!?

Posted by nzwendy 04:39 Comments (2)

On the road again...

To Aytthaya

sunny 32 °C

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On Saturday after visiting the Railway Museum we took 3 different local buses to one of the ancient capitals - Ayutthaya. We ended up staying at a guesthouse called the Baan Lotus which had the cutest sweetest old lady who went out of her way to help and look after us!

On Sunday we rented bikes to look around the old city which holds masses of ruins of temple after temple. These wats (temples) were destoyed when Myanmar took control of the city in 1767AD which was when the new captial became Bangkok.

After around an hour or so of biking a schoolgirl stopped chris to ask if she could have a 'debate' with him. She was really meaning a conservation to practise her English and it was part of her homework. So very sweet! She asked around 4 questions about our travels, took a photo and then gave us a present each! Chris got a fish keyring and I got a wee little purse.

After that we entered a temple to check out yet another Buddha and came across this sign which probably just about made our day:
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Later that day we went on a night tour with a few others from our guesthouse. We say the ruins at night, most of them being lit up and we went to the elephant camp and saw the most adorable baby elephant - only one week old!

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Tomorrow we are catching another public bus (though its first class this time) to Sukothai.

Posted by nzwendy 02:29 Comments (2)

Kanchanaburi

sunny 30 °C

We travelled to Kanchanburi on Thursday which is around 120km west of Bamgkok. We were loking forward to some outdor activities and fresh air. We checked into Bluestar guesthouse which has bungalows right on the river Kwai. A very friendly family own this place and there many many cats!

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We spent the afternoon relaxing with a few chang beers and then had a lok at the night market later on. Was a really grerat market with heaps of different fod to try for 10baht (around 40 cents). We tried thai pork sausages, corn fritters and veggie pancakes.

On Friday we were boked in for a full day tour. First we went elephant trecking. Chris and I rode on a saddle chair while the mahout (elephant controller) rode on its neck. After around 5 minutes he hopped off and I took his place. Very rough skin with prickly spiky hair and not the most comfortable ride but we got used to it. The mahout didn't get back on which wasn't good timing seeing that two nights ago we had watched 'animals gone wild' on TV which included elephants in the same situation we were in completely losing the plot, throwing their riders and even stomping or chasing after them. Luckily we had a calm elephant whose only interest for a while was in stealing my jandal :)

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After our treck we went bambo rafting on the river kwai.
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Next we went to Erawan waterfall which is a 7 tiered fall and took around an hour to climb. Lots of great swimming spots and fish that like to suck and nibble your limbs. Tok me ages to get the courage to get in. One tier had a giant rock you could slide down. Very refreshing!

After luch we tok the train over part of the 'death railway' built during WW2 when Thailand and Burma was occupied by Japan. It got its name from the 16,000 + allied POW and 100, 000 Asian labourers who died while building it. Its a 415km railway linking thailand and Burma.

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Posted by nzwendy 22:04 Comments (3)

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