Backpacking in Asia #14: Chiang Mai part 1!

After my flight from Krabi, I arrived at my first destination in Northern Thailand: Chiang Mai. It was still pretty early when I arrived in my hostel that was, besides the man from the reception, completely empty.

Therefore I had to be creative myself. I decided to take my camera out and to walk around a bit. When I am alone, I love to go to parks so that’s what I did. Of course, not before getting a grilled cheese sandwich at 7 Eleven (it’s so good sometimes).

When I came back in the hostel, it was not empty anymore. I met another Dutch girl that also arrived in an empty hostel the day before. But the good thing was that we were together now! We decided to go for dinner together with another Dutch girl and two Dutch guys. After having food while being accompanied by really good life music (although we were the only guests), we went to something you really want to see when you are in Thailand: The Ladyboys Cabaret. I was so impressed. ”The one in the middle is a woman, right?” That´s what I asked Talisa (Dutch girl) when we saw the show. But no, this was also a man. They looked fierce. And what a coincidence, I met English and German girls again at the cabaret that I already met in Krabi. Small world, and really nice!

The next day, Talisa and I decided to hike to the temple Doi Suthep, which is laying on a hill. Instead of Grab we used the red cabs you have in Chiang Mai, also known as Songtaew. You sit in the back of a truck here which is a really funny experience. After the Songtaew brought us up to the hill, we started our hike. I expected a hard hike, but it was so easy. After some steps we already saw the beautiful golden temple. It was so beautiful and the view that came with it made it even better. After our ‘hike’, we decided to chill out at a pool.

In the evening we just took it slow with playing some games, drinks and crisps. The next day I needed to wake up early because I had a long day. I booked a combined trip with a jungle tour, bamboo rafting and an elephant sanctuary. While I arrived at the sanctuary, I already saw all the elephants. It was so impressive to see. Being so close to these huge and beautiful creatures felt unreal. It looked like they took good care of the elephants, but I have to say that on the way back I felt selfish. The idea of a sanctuary sounds good, but when I found out that there are so many ‘sanctuaries’, I realized it’s just all really commercial instead of people that want to help the elephants.

After the elephants it was time for my jungle tour. I was at the elephants sanctuary with lots of people, but I was the only one doing the jungle tour. Which meant, being in the jungle with two guides who could not speak English. ”Oeeh!”, one of the guides said while looking a bit shocked. I asked what was happening, but he couldn’t speak English so I still don’t know what was happening. What I knew, is that the nature was really beautiful. I saw a cool waterfall, which I crossed while balancing on a tree. The guides made lots of picture from me here, without me asking for it haha. One of the guides also wanted to have pictures together with me, which resulted in really awkward but funny pictures.

After my jungle tour with Non-English speaking guides, it was time for bamboo rafting. There was a car waiting for me with a guy (and a really cute little child) that could also not speak English. At one point, I thought we arrived at the bamboo rafting. But it turned out he was just buying cookies. Really sweet, he gave me pieces of his cookie the whole time. When I arrived at the rafting, I saw a guy that looked like a pirate waiting for me. It’s normally better to do things together, but because I was alone on the bamboo raft I had a view without any other people on it, except the pirate. The view was amazing. The only thing the guy from the boat could say in English, was: ”Do you enjoy?” He asked this to me lots of times which was cute. He was happily singing songs, while he said that there was a water snake on the left. I asked if it was dangerous, but he didn’t understand. So I just hoped for the best. And I survived, again. Just as every time while traveling in Thailand, you don’t know what is next but it’s fine at the end.

In the evening I went for food with a Dutch, Belgium and German girl. Later the Dutch girl and I decided to go to the next destination together: Pai. Where we drove a motorbike and ate so much good street food. You will read about this in my next blog!

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