Barry was a bit concerned about the long trip from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang but I was really looking forward to it. When faced with the choice of an expensive flight direct from Chiang Mai (on an airline that had recently crashed into the Mekong), I know which option I was always going to go with (also I promised mum not to fly with said airline).
Friday 13 December, the day our Thai visas expired, and we were up at the crack of dawn to get an early bus to Chiang Rai, the first of many legs in the day’s journey. We really needed to get on the 8am bus in order to be at the border crossing well before 6pm, when we were told it closes for the night. Unfortunately, we didn’t get on the 8am bus. It was sold out by the time we arrived at the station at 7.30am.
You may have noticed that I’ve been writing a few guest posts for Tripbod. The latest is a quick wrap up of our island hopping in the Gulf of Thailand and spending some time in Chiang Mai. They asked me to inject a bit of Christmas into it so that’s there as well. It’s a nice way to catch up on our travels if you haven’t had a chance to read the longer reports!
Read the article here.
Merry Christmas everyone.
A random picture of an elephant for you
Barry and I are now over halfway through the Marcothon. We accepted the challenge to run 5 kilometres or 25 minutes every day of December and we haven’t failed yet. We managed to overcome a few hurdles.
Day 13 might be unlucky for some but not for us. Our Thai visas expired on Friday 13 December so we were up at the crack of dawn to get an early bus to Chiang Rai and onwards to the Thai-Laos border. We decided we didn’t really have time to run before we checked out of the guest house as we hadn’t bought tickets for the bus yet and we really needed to get on the 8am bus in order to be at the border crossing well before 6pm, when it closes for the night. Unfortunately, we didn’t get on the 8am bus. It was sold out by the time we arrived at 7.30am.
With our time in Chiang Mai, and Thailand, drawing to an end we wanted to get out of the city for the weekend and enjoy the countryside and mountains. We decided to hire a scooter and spend a few hours (3 or 6 depending on who you ask), driving the winding roads to Pai, a laidback village full of chilled out hippies.
Unfortunately, when it came to Saturday morning, the pressure of the looming travel to Laos and the time away from the ‘office’ started to cause a bit of strain (I’m over it now) and we binned the full weekend away in favour of a shorter bike trip.
Every year Chiang Mai hosts their version of the famous Haad Rin backpacker right of passage, the Full Moon Party. There’s no beach in these here mountains so it’s hosted at the lake out of town.
Ann, the lovely manager of our guesthouse, loves to take Farang with her on outings around town. I’ve tagged along for Thai herbal steam, dinner in the night market and a massage or two. Despite my slight misgivings, an invitation was extended to ‘it’s like a full moon party but not really’ Smile Party and accepted. I checked online and it didn’t sound so bad. Boy Blues Band, an awesome group from a blues bar I’ve been known to frequent in Chiang Mai was billed, along with a bunch of other Thai bands I’ve never heard of. And a fire display. I love fire.