|Hello to one and all! It is S at the helm today, with Chris taking over when he can peel his bottom off the sofa.
We left bangkok about 10 days ago. We were relieved to leave, mainly as protesters had started to occupy the government buildings, demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister (and they are still there now - we even saw on the news today that there are bands playing live music to relive the boredom!). We saw on the news that the protesters armed themselves with golf clubs, maybe Chris should go and join them after all!! Anything for a bit of golf!
The route to Chiang Mai meant we had to endure a 14 hour night train. It was surprisingly bareable. We checked ourselves into our morgue (the carrage) and then ate dinner, then ordered some more food, just because we had nothing better to do, read a bit, and headed off for a reasonable nights sleep, only waking up when the old-boys sleeping opposite us decided to have a lengthly chat at about 05:30 in the morning. Bless them! NOT.
Chiang Mai is an ancient city, with settlement dating back to the 12th century. The centre is surrounded by a moat and remnants of an old wall. It was pretty nice, but a lot busier and more touristy than we were hoping for. Nevertheless, we had a good few days there. We both enrolled on a cookery course, which was great fun, and saw Chris almost singe off his eyebrows! Pictures to follow. We now have a healthy repoitoire of Thai dishes to prepare when we get home (but not intil we have some money and a kitchen - don't hold your breath!).
S bored, so enter Christos.
After Chang Mai we headed east to a place called Sukhothai. We had to get the bus there because of the golf club wealding protesters had shut down the rail system. Little treasures. So, after a 5 hours bus trip we turned up at said town and booked into a nice but overpriced bungalow. The next day we had a great day cycling around the ruins of the old Thai capital. The ruins dated back from the 12th century and were quite something. It was possibly the hotest that we have both been on the whole trip, so when we stopped for afternoon drinks water has never tasted so good! Sukhothai was also the location of a great restaurant we found simply called 'Poo Restaurant'. Apparently it is named after the lady who owns and runs it. Bet she got bullied at school. In spite of the name it was actually quite good.
Our next trip was onto a quick stopover in a town called Kong Kaen. The bus trip was 7 1/2 hours from Sukhothai on a rubbish bus on rubbish roads which unsuprisingly left us both in a rubbish mood!! We both spent the majority of the 7 1/2 hours trying to work out what the brown stains and bits of encusted food were on the back of the seats infront of us. We checked into a great hotel which I can only describe as 'The Thai Faulty Towers'. There were lots of funny stories from our stay at this hotel but the one that sticks out was when at breakfast I wanted to try and get some fresh toast rather than the stuff that had been hanging around a few hours. I took a bit of toast to one of the waitresses who did not speak a word of English. I said to her "New, hot.......Fresh bit" and made some strange gestures with my hands to try and illustrate that the toast was old. The waitress grabbed the toast off me and a couple of minutes later walked back into the restaurant with the same bit of toast in her hand but a couple of degrees hotter!! Genius.
Currently in the town of Nong Khai which is right on the boarder with Laos and we will be heading over there tomorrow.
Not long to go now until our return so making the most of our time left out here, i.e. more substandard wine been consumed than normal!
Both well and still having a great time!
Sarah and Chris