Chiang Mai

We left our hotel at 820am for our 0950am flight to Bangkok with Thai smile. When we got to the airport the flight had been bought forward to 0915am! The flight was good with a snack and drink arriving in Bangkok 5 minutes after the scheduled departure. Bangkok airport was huge. We got through customs and waited a good 20 minutes for the bags. Then we went to domestic departures for our 340pm flight to Chiang Mai. In the airport I got a Thai green curry from a fast food outlet with a water costing £5.80.
We touched down in Chiang Mai at 450pm. The airport was small without even a passport check. We jumped in a taxi (160bht) to our hotel the grand guest house which was located in downtown.
The hotel was a big white and red striped building with our room on the 5th floor. It was very basic but cost just 550bht for the night for a twin room.
After checking in we went for a walk to find food and finally I saw the street food I had dreamed of. Sticks of marinated chicken cost just 10bht (23p) and a smoothie 30bht (70p). Then we walked to Zoe in yellow which was a popular bar. We ordered Long Island iced tea which cost 100bht each.
We left the next morning at 830am for Pai and would be returning to Chiang Mai in 4 days time.
We arrived back in Chiang Mai at 3pm and checked into trekker camp. Paying £36 for 6 nights for 2 people with breakfast via agoda.com
Back in Chiang Mai we booked through a tour agent, half a day with elephants, a 2 day trekking with water water rafting and food, Thai boxing, a cooking class and a zip line course costing £118.
On the next day we went 1.5 hours to play with elephants. There were 5 in total the youngest just 6 months old. They were in great condition we fed them bananas and sugar cane then bathed them. Then we went to the shopping centre to visit the immigration centre to get our visa extended to 60 days. We were passed along to around 6 different desks and ended up paying 2023thb for the extension we also had to have new passport photos done as the uk ones were too small.
The next 2 we went on our 2 day trek. We drove 1.5 hours to an orchid/ butterfly farm and stopped off for 20 minutes. Then went to an elephant farm. I was instantly saddened to see 20+ elephants walking up and down in a line with people on saddles. The elephants looked so sad and such a contrast to yesterday. We refused to ride them and instead jumped in the water and gave one a bath then fed him.
After we started the trek. It was planned as a jungle trek but it was actually a 4km up hill road walk. After about 1km we jumped in a truck. The village we reached was way up on the hill. No electric no running water. The views were incredible. We slept on the floor praying for no bug invasion but the mosquito nets did well. Early the next morning we hiked downhill to the waterfall it was impressive and worth the walk. Then we went white water rafting I re named it stream paddling the water was no more than 6in deep.
On the way back to Chiang Mai we stopped off at the karen long neck tribe which was basically a market with every stall selling the same things. In the evening we ate at UGOs bar which was next to the city gate the food and drinks were the best I’ve had in Thailand. After we went to the Thai boxing in the stadium next door. Paying 500thb for VIP which was an upfront seat. The atmosphere was good however there was only one adult male fight at the end the rest were children and ladies.
When visiting Chiang Mai I would say it’s absolutely key to review your tours. The first elephant trip we did was incredible just feeding and bathing them and if your gonna trek ask about accommodation and group size.
The last day in Chiang Mai we got picked up at 10am to go to Phoenix adventure park. There were zip wires and obstacles from tree to tree it was good fun although I’m not great with heights. We chilled in the afternoon and planned to meet 2 girls from Italy/ Spain that we had met in the hotel later in the evening.

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