We're in Chiang Mai now... which makes a change from the chaotic awe that is Bangkok... We arrived here on Wednesday via the Night Train which was a bizarre experience. The train took us from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai.... The seating arrangements on the train could be converted into bunk beds and so we slept the 400 mile journey off ... The food here is amazing and CHEAPER THAN CHIPS... In Bangkok you have a meal for around 35 baht - 50p...
Unfortunately the internet timed out before i could finish my last post and so it was left unfinished! But now we've found a place which allows us to use the internet for 15 baht per hour which is the equivalent of 22p!! so now we'll be attempting to upload some photos... and fill you in on what we've been up to... Bangkok was and still is, an extremely busy place.. It extremely different from England. Parts of the city were extremely run down... and you could tell the poorer parts from the richer parts very easily. Even so the people here are very friendly... maybe too friendly... we have been told on many occassions to ignore people who randomly talk to you... ESPECIALLY those in Tuk Tuks... simply explained... they are converted motorbikes which have a tin roof and two seats in the back... as cool as this sounds... it is not cool at all... They will try to get you onto their tuk tuks and then instead of taking you straight to the destination that you 'specificied' they will take you on a wild goose chase around the city to tailor shops, tour operators and also fake gem stores! this happened to us when we first arrived in Bangkok...
A few days ago we visited an ancient ruined Capital of Thailand called Ayutthaya, which is located about two hours north of Bankok... It was the Capital city before it moved to Thon Buri and then onto Bangkok. We were told it was devastated by countless attacks from the Burmese who when they successfully invaded the country also looted the entire city of it's gold. Though it left extremely impressive ruins which we have had the pleasure of capturing with the camera!
Chiang Mai is lovely... it's not as hot as Bangkok up here and there are many cool breezes... However there are few sights to see in the main city, which consists mainly of temples (or wats to the natives) so we are taking a trekking tour to see the Karen Hill tribe in which we get to wonder through jungle and waterfalls so we're both very excited about it! Last night we visited the famous Night Bazaar where we were able to put our bartering skills to the test... I quickly found out that I had no such skill and so I left that job to Clara... she did a fine job in securing me three t-shirts with thai beer brands imprinted on them for under 6 quid... which was very impressive! we also found a lot of little souvenirs which were very cheap here as they are made here before they are sent onwards to Bangkok where they are sold at a much dearer price. Although this would probably still be much cheaper than similar items in England. We begin our orientation for the trek tonight and are currently preparing to go to the local shopping centre for supplies!!
we hope you enjoy reading about our travels and we will post again soon... Hopefully our photos will be online soon!
Vince and Clara