Hello from Thailand!
I arrived in Bangkok Tuesday evening after a 9 hr flight from Melbourne. I may have booked my return flight to Chiang Mai from the wrong airport (rookie travel mistake!) so had to make alternative arrangements. With the help of someone on my flight I managed to get a train from Suvarnabhumi airport to Phaya Thai Station (45thb), get another train from here to Mo-Chit Terminal Station (34thb), a taxi to Mo-Chit Bus Terminal (60thb) and booked and waited for my 10.5hr bus journey to Chiang Mai (375thb) scheduled to leave at 12am. After waiting in the station for 3 hrs I was on my way!
The bus itself isn’t that bad of a journey. It’s got air conditioning, the seat goes back and we stopped 3 times to stretch the legs. If you do manage to miss a flight and are traveling on a budget this would be a good back up plan! It takes about an hour to get from the airport to the bus station and the train system is a really cheap and efficient way of getting around.
I arrived in Chiang Mai around 10.30am and got a taxi from the bus station to my hostel (l50thb around 20mins). The hostel I booked in to is Deejai Backpackers hostel which is within Chiang Mai’s city walls. I’m staying in a 4 bed mix dorm with ac. The room is clean, basic and has its own bathroom.
After checking in the first thing I did was get a Thai massage. For anyone who knows me, you know that all I do is complain about the knots in my back. Well I can tell you, this little Thai woman pulled and dragged at me for over an hour and kneed every knot out. I was like a new woman walking out! I obviously had to get a pedi after 😁. Following this, I had a wander down to the pool, a bite to eat and booked a couple of tours over the coming days.
For the evening, me and 2 of my roomies (Matt and Julien from Germany) went to check out the Night Bazaar not too far from our hostel. This place was amazing, anything you could want was here! We all wished we had room in our bags to get clothes, trinkets, ornaments and rugs! The food stalls were both equally delicious and gruesome looking (fish heads next to fruit platters?!) But there was a huge choice of Indian, Thai and Moroccan dishes.
Hug Elephant Sanctuary
On Thursday, I had my first tour which was probably one of the best tours I’ve ever done. How could you top spending a day playing with elephants?? I was picked up from my hostel at 8 and met the others in my group. All were lovely and from New Zealand and Israel. I had their heads wrecked asking questions! The journey to the sanctuary took around an hour and a half and was quite bumpy towards the end. When we arrived, we were greeted with tea, coffee and water.
After a brief introduction, we were brought up a hill to meet two of the elephants, a moma and it’s baby. It was love at first site with Rodger (7) and Makinoie (28). These two were brought from a tourist place where they were used for riding and work. Now they spend their time eating, playing, getting mud baths and spending some time with the trainer’s. The sanctuary itself is dependant on tourists coming to visit the elephants but don’t allow any riding or hassling the elephants.
When we finished feeding and hanging out with them we were treated to a massive lunch where we all went for seconds and thirds. For the afternoon, we brought the elephants to a pond where we gave them a mud bath (and they gave us one too!) and a swim. This is something I’ll never forget. Swimming in the jungle with elephants has pretty much topped my ‘done’ list!
We said goodbye to the elephants after this and our group was brought to a nearby waterfall for a swim. Again I was blown away by my surroundings! The water was so warm and there was a small ledge (not that small when you’re up there!) for people to jump from. I’ve put up a video on Instagram (link at the side) of me jumping not so gracefully off.
Limbo, our guide was brilliant. He had such enthusiasm for the elephants and really engaged the group throughout the whole day. He was full of chat and was able to answer any questions we had about the elephants fully. I would definitely recommend this tour for anyone who wants to hang with some gentle giants.
I was dropped off at my hostel for around 6 and after a good scrub, me and my new roomie from Amsterdam went to a local Thai restaurant recommended by one of the guys in my group. The place is called Kanjana Thai Restaurant and has a huge menu to choose from and super cheap. I got a veggie pad thai for 60thb! It is a must if coming to Chiang Mai!
Dragon Fly Zipline Chiang Mai
Today, Friday, I went on a Zipline tour held by Dragon Fly. I was picked up at my hostel and brought up the mountains to the jungle. The site was about an hour from my hostel. The experience itself was amazing! The scenery was incredible with the 1000 year old trees everywhere. We’d a brill time going from tree to tree and abseiling down a couple of them. When our group finished we sat down for some lunch and were then brought back to our hostels.
Our two guides were great, very fun and full of energy! If you do decide to do some zip lining in Chiang Mai you should check this company out!
Hug Elephant Sanctuary: 2400thb
Dragon Fly Zipline Chiang Mai: 1900thb
I booked both of my tours through my hostel and ended up getting a 400thb discount. So wherever you end up staying in Chiang Mai, or Thailand see what the hostel can do for you!
I’ve taken a million pictures but the Wifi connection is very slow for upload, I’ll add a few when I get a stronger line!
Ta ta for now!