Happy New Year 2560

Well it’s 31 December 2559 here in Thailand so all the best for 2560!!

I decided to go for a pre-midnight stroll and there is so much going on tonight, as well as some amazing street food stalls. Just had a bit of a feast.

To start some crab thing: 

Then walked into a temple and this lady was doing a roaring trade with her seafood Tum Yum noodle soup and I can see why. It had octopus, muscles, prawn, a whole egg, noodles and veg in all smothered in an amazing broth. It was perfectly spicy. I just couldn’t resist pulling up a plastic chair and getting stuck in:

I continued on my merry way. Most of the main roads are closed to cars, however, I actually think it’s easier to manoeuvre around cars than people. It seems everyone in Thailand has decended on Chiang Mai tonight including the local drag queens:

I finished off my mini feast with a fully peeled young coconut. Haven’t had a fully peeled once since being in Accra, Ghana. I suspect it’s quite hard work and needs good knife skills. It is so much better, as in addition to having the coconut water in the middle you also get all the flesh to eat afterwards. The best dessert ever:

So far so good. Just came for a post dinner lay down, wash and change before heading out to the east gate for the fireworks and releasing of lanterns.


Swinging around in the jungle

Went to do the Eagle Track Zipline today. Got collected from my hostel at 9.30am and took the hour or so journey outside of Chiang Mai. I opted for the gold route so I did everything. By Thai prices it is pretty steep at 2400 baht (around £50) but you get a lot for your money. I am sure a day out at Go Ape – the UK equivelent – would end up costing you far more.

Got my golden sticker from my driver when he picked me up and I started to get really excited. I’m such a big kid!!!

Upon arrival we signed the just in case you die disclaimer. Got kitted up and off we went with our two guides. They were such good fun. 

They clip you on and off the zip lines so efficiently and it is clear safety is paramount. 

It was such great fun zipping through the jungle and the views were great, when I remembered to look, that was when I wasn’t wobbling and jumping around on bridges and crossing a few metres up in the trees. Sometimes you completely forget how high up you are. At the very end we did like a free fall jump, we’d already done a couple of small ones but this was the bad boy just by a waterfall, I think we here about as high as two double decker buses. 

They clip you on, you sit and dangle in mid air for a bit thinking holy s**t and then they release the rope and you just go whizzing down. It was pretty exhilarating.

I’m so pleased I did it and would definitely recommend it. After all the zipping around they have a Thai buffet lunch which was delicious and I also got awarded with my certificate and t-shirt.

Fun, fun day. Great way to spend the last day of 2016.

Back in chilled Chiang Mai – 30 December

Took my Prempracha mini bus back to Chiang Mai. I sat up front next to the driver so had plenty of space and enjoyed the views as we went round the 762 bends. It takes about three hours and costs about £1.50. 

A little taster of the twists and turns below. It’s pretty much like this for about two hours of the journey:

Hope the video didn’t make you travel sick!

I checked into a new hostel in Chiang Mai and it’s Hostel by BED. The same place I stayed over Christmas but cheaper. It’s only been open a week. It is slightly more expensive than many other hostels but it’s lovely and clean. Just popped my clothes washing on. 

So far the staff here have been mega helpful. I think I will like this as my five day base while I go galvanting.

This is the reception area which is really nice and area and up on the mezzanine level there are bean bags and a hammock to chill on. Also free hot drinks and water 24/7:

Om Garden Cafe – Pai

What a pretty place for breakfast before I leave Pai. Another recommended place and it’s so lovely I can see why people love it. The Cafe is quite rustic in really lush gardens:

From their delightful breakfast menu I ordered avocado, tomato and feta on toast and it didn’t disappoint. So fresh. It’s avocado season here so they are very tasty:

Bus ride back to Chiang Mai ahead.

Two dinners Liz

Got recommended a joint to eat in Pai by my cousin Beca, and it didn’t disappoint. Went to ‘The Curry Shack’ down a little alley off the chaotic main Walking Street. It does what it says on the tin. Just had a banging red curry with brown rice and a beer all for about £2.50. I’ve now got that nice warm tingling mouth from the curry. It’s definitely been curry day today:

And it certainly is a shack. The guy in the pink top at the back seems to just do everything, cooking, waiting etc and all with a smile:

No complaints from me as he produced this delight, surprisingly the Brown rice here is really good:

There is one other place I want to try for food before I leave tomorrow so I think I’m going to be a greedy so and so and have two dinners. I didn’t have breakfast so it’s fine. 

Dinner two to follow in the next installment…

I’ve decided this woman at the Green Restaurant on the Walking Street does the best noodles/Pad Thai in Pai and they’re only about 80p (40 baht)! 

I’d say all in all I’ve really enjoyed Pai, it’s definitely worth a visit mainly due to the beautiful surroundings. Not sure if I’d come back though as I keep finding myself saying to people in my head – “go brush your hair, have a good wash, take off the elephant pants, eat some meat and put on some f***ing shoes”. 

I think many come here to be Vegan, eco-friendly, dreadlocked, yoga masters, who allegedly love the planet, when in fact the influx of so many like minded people is slowly ruining the originality of what was probably once an even more beautiful quaint town.

Nevertheless I’ve had a good chilled time. Cheers Pai.

Final day in Pai – 29 December

Had a lazy morning sunbathing by the pool. Timed it perfectly before it got cloudy. When I left my bungalow there was this beautiful moth just taking a snooze on my veranda:

It was about 3 inches across. The great thing about where I’m staying is that there are loads of butterfly’s. Makes me even more eager to get to Kuala Lumpur butterfly park next week.

Took a wander into town but before doing so read about a restaurant called Charlie and Lek. It’s a very unassuming little place but the food was delicious and tasted really clean and fresh:

Had a beaut green curry with shrimp all washed down with a Mango and coconut shake. Mmmmmmmm. If I was staying here longer I would definitely come back here for food.

Having been put for lunch I returned to my bungalow and low behold this little lady came out from under my bed. She must have snook in earlier this morning:

She was very friendly and had to pick her up to get her out. What is it with me and cats??

Borrowed a bike from my hotel this afternoon and took a little bike ride around town and along the river. It’s a bit hilly and therefore a bit warm so upon my return I retired back to the pool for a swim and a lay down.

Booked my bus back to Chiang Mai for tomorrow and have zip lines/Go Ape type thing in the jungle, whitewater rafting and an elephant sanctury waiting for me over the coming days.

Street food city

Had the mandatory meat on a stick for dinner this evening. There is so much street food in Pai, and in really close proximity, which is great. I suspect there is no need to eat in restaurants here. 

For dessert I decided to treat myself to a banana roti smothered in Nutella. Doesn’t look too appetising but tastes delicious:

Took a little stroll and encountered bars with the token hippies smoking weed and the younger dudes trying too hard to be a cool backpacker types – they’ll soon grow up!!

Just headed down to a bar called Edible Jazz to chill and listen to some smooth tunes with a beer. It’s reasonably backpacker free as it costs £2 for a beer, so way too expensive for the great unwashed:

There are also loads of bikers in town. I think that must be quite a regular thing for those who like the challenge of the 726 curves and crazy hills to get here.

Just moved on bars and just jamming in a bar with more live music. Why do you always hear Oasis while away? I think the Thai singer is pretty much making up the words but it’s good fun nevertheless.

While sitting in ‘why not bar’ I was next to some Spanish guys who were pretty drunk. On my stroll home one of them stopped to give me a lift on his motorbike, as tempting as it was I had seen how much he’d drank so kindly declined.

Chill day tomorrow I think before heading back to Chiang Mai on Friday.