Monday, 1 July 2013

Elephants and rafting in Chang Mai.

Yesterday we arrived in Chiang Mai, checked into a hotel that was different from the Stray team and just dossed around for most of the day. I skyped Vikki and James then slept for a bit, Olivia swam and eventually we got ready and went out to the night market at 6:30pm. It was so vibrant, alive and busy! All the items were handmade, but I didn’t feel very well, and there were so many stalls - same same but different. After a while, each stall merged into the next and the amount was overwhelming so we didn’t go down every road. All I bought was a top and a cute dress for my niece Maddison. I kept debating whether to buy it or not as I had no idea whether it would fit her, but after I bought my top, I felt I ought to buy her dress! We went to Burger King to relax for a while.

We were supposed to meet the others at 9:30pm, but we got there a bit early and then some guy came and took us to a private party where we met our Stray leader. I felt sorry for the others because they had no idea where we were so never joined us! The party was seriously strange. The guy was beyond gay, and the karaoke leader was in the tightest red top half unbuttoned continually tensing his muscles. It is really nice that this is totally acceptable in Thai culture - if only England were so liberal! 
A really important ladybody was there, she owns all of the bars in the area so we were told to treat her with more respect using a different hand gesture to say hello. Eventually, we got up and sung Wonderwall, it was super embarrassing and totally out of tune. The other Thai people there just looked at us like we were mental, so we swiftly left! We had to be up early anyway in order to go on our adventure. It was a shame though because we missed the private ladyboy performance.
This morning, waking at 8am was a killer, I am not used to waking that early at all! It meant that we were so drained for the entire day! It took an hour and half to get to our destination, but once we got there, it was absolutely beautiful. It was in the middle of nowhere, there were only handmade huts around and the whole day was filled with Thai people, a change from the flocks of western hot spots we tend to find ourselves in.The day cost us £10, that included transport, elephant ride and white water rafting.
We eventually reached the elephants and my god, they were so cute! When we finally got on them, I actually felt so guilty it stopped me from enjoying it. Poor elephants. I now understand why the stray leader told us to wait to Luang Prabang, they’re not treated that nicely and ours was really struggling to take us along. Perhaps we’re just too fat! It also really hurt my back as there was no support. I wish we could have just cuddled the elephants. We want to bath them in Luang Prabang and just roll around in the water with them, like we saw other elephants doing with tourists who looked far happier. But it was a really good experience and now, I really want a pet elephant to take care off please!
Afterwards, we went for lunch and met the other people we were going to be rafting with. They cooked for us, it was just an egg and rice, but thankfully some pineapple in the middle which I ate. I did eat a bit of the egg and rice though, be proud family, be proud.
Eventually, they gave us a rough demonstration then we got in the rafts and we were paired with 2 other Thai men. They were so lovely. One of them spoke perfect English. They were there with 6 other friends from their high schools, but they are all now either Doctors or Engineers of some sort.
The rafting was really fun and the sights were marvellous. It was a shame though because we didn’t actually get the full experience as it hadn’t rained half of much as it had in previous June’s so the water wasn’t really rough at all! That meant a lot of the time it was just rafting… But the rough bits were hilarious, a few of the other boats capsized but we didn’t. One of the leaders did pull me backwards into the water though! It was annoying because I hadn’t bought any spare clothes with me, Liv and I didn’t really think about that, and it was really hot, but not that sunny so it didn’t really make us dry! Got back on the bus soaking wet.
On the journey back, I just spoke with the boys. I can now count to 5 in Thai though, are you impressed? Ning, Song, Sam, See, Ha! (Ok, that’s not spelt right but hey ho, I still know it!).
One of the boys from the raft added me on Facebook and we were supposed to meet up with them tonight instead of the boxing, but liv and I felt so ill and just drained that we’re staying in tonight. I feel so crap! We went to McDonalds for dinner, there portions are so ridiculously huge, I got an XL and the chip box was about the size of my face! I think I could drown in the size of the drink too. It was so weird. They do family box meals out here to and there menu is very different. You can get pineapple or sweetcorn pies. What?!
 Also, just on a random note, everyone keeps telling us the redbull out here contains amphetamines and so is actually quite dangerous as its like speed, it just keeps you up all night! Also, in Cambodia pharmacy’s sell everything. You can buy liquid ketamine over the counter, or morphine etc. When I get there, I’m going to stock up on strong sleeping pills! English doctors take forever to prescribe them. 

Awful picture of me, but look at the size of it!

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