Chiang Mai (She-ang mai)
Good morning, the train is broken.
We’ve been stuck for 3 hours near Pha Lad volcano. I woke up thinking “wow, this train is smooth!”. Then I looked out the window. We ended up being 4 hours late into Chiang Mai, so our zipline adventure was postponed to the next day. But this was completely fine as it meant an extra few hours sleep.
The red section was where we were stuck for four hours!
While in Chiang Mai we tried getting some money out for the first time using my Revolut card. It was nice and easy and while the bank here charged us some money, I didn’t get charged by Revolut, and got a better exchange rate than the one offered by the bank here. Nice!
That evening we decided to go to the night market and try street food for the first time. It took a while to find any we trusted (didn’t want to push our luck on the first time) but it was good. We ended up having fried cheeseballs, some gyoza, and a steamed pork bun. Claire also got some new shorts, and I got a thinner jumper to replace the hoodie I had bought (as it took up a lot of room in my bag).
The next day the temperature was quite cool as we went up into the rainforest to go ziplining. It sounds stupid, but I really see why they call it a rainforest – because about 30 seconds in we were drenched! It was so wet that even my waterproof case on my action camera failed and the camera stopped working.. Which is annoying because it was so fun to do, and there was even one zipline that was almost a kilometre long that I would have LOVED to film. It was fantastic! One scary part was the “superman” zipline, where you just had to jump straight off the platform (rather than easing off like the others) so that was a bit nerve-racking, because you can’t hold onto anything!
The next day we had our first proper lie-in of the trip before heading off to the elephant sanctuary. What an experience! We fed the elephants and had some pictures taken with them, before we then gave them (and ourselves) a mud bath, and finally washing off in the nearby river. Lots of splashing! I can see why they’re called “gentle giants”.
It was also interesting to note that after our last blog post about Pai, it became SO clear the difference between the elephants you ride on Vs. the ones in the sanctuary. They looked so sad in Pai, chained up and being forced to live in a few square meters. In the sanctuary, they were happy and free to roam for kilometres around. Really cannot stress enough to not go elephant riding, I’ve seen the difference it makes!
The next couple of days we went to Pai, which you can read about here.
In the evening we went to a place called Mixology, where we had the Chiangmai Burger – a spicy burger with a sticky rice bun. It was good, but it was so hot! We’ve heard about there being spicy, and “western spicy” and this was definitely the former!