Keep on trekkin’
A week on and I’ve been to two more countries already… busy week. Not such a big deal as it was just a trip to the infamous ‘golden triangle’ in the north of Thailand where it joins both Burma and Laos. So an extremely quick, bouncey and fun boat ride across the Mekhong river put us on a small island that is official in Laos but you don’t stamp your passport. Then a bit later a quick walk across a bridge and 250 baht for a day pass gave me a Burmese stamp and another 30 days in Thailand to enjoy. Mae Sai, the border town, was very calm compared to Poi Pet with prices in the market that made Bangkok seem ridiculously overpriced due to cheap Chinese imports.
Most of this week was spent in Chiang Mai, home of more temples than you can point a stick at, all of which are still active and stunningly beautiful. Chiang Mai is also well known as the place where lots of old, fat white men go to ‘find’ young Thai wives which made for some interesting people watching. Didn’t spend too much time on that myself, instead opting for a three day hike up north of Pai.
This hike was important on my travels as I’ve been carrying round my waterproof and hiking boots for a month now and had never used them. I can now leave them in storage feeling like I wasn’t completely stupid to have bought them in the first place – huzah! The boots certainly made the hiking a lot easier, some folk were trying it in flip flops… hmm. The Thai countryside is stunning and reminded me a lot of photos of China I’d seen. We stayed in bambo huts with floors that I constantly felt I’d fall through but never did (unlike when I got on the bambo raft). Also got to ride an elephant and pole bambo rafts down a river with some mini-rapids which was great fun and gave me flashbacks to PGL.
Now back in Bangkok again, on my way down south to Ko Lanta for some more diving and beach dwelling. Another overnight bus journey beckons which hopefully won’t be anywhere near as cramped and unnerving as the one that bought me here last night – every time we stopped the driver pulled out an arc welder and started to weld the gear shift rod back together…