Alive And Well And Thailand…I Promise

Posted: April 26, 2014 in Thailand, Travel
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m OK y’all. I’ve seriously neglected this blog for the last month and I’ve got some stories of adventure and misadventure to fill everybody in on. For now though I’ll give you the brief rundown. The last extensive post I did was 0n my time in Ayutthaya, since then I’ve been to Lopburi, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Lampang, Chiang Mai, Pai, back to Chiang Mai and back to Pai. I obtained a 60 day visa in Ottawa at the the Thai embassy prior to leaving with the idea of spending about 45 days in Thailand to ensure I was here for Songkran. Things have changed, yesterday I made the 110km drive by scooter to Mae Hong Son from Pai to visit an immigration office to extend my visa for another 30 days. After 60 days in Thailand now I’ve seen big and small places, seen more temples than I can remember, met people I’ll never forget and met people I wish I never had. I’ve paid ‘fines’ to police, been robbed, been told ‘I’m the one, take care of me and my family’ and everything in between. Here it is chronologically in a nutshell, I will do further posts on each destination and give detailed reviews of where I’ve stayed.

From Ayutthaya it was another third class train up to Lopburi, a quaint little town famous for being overrun by macaques. At first it interested me but after some close encounters and horror stories from other travelers of scratches and bites I decided they were vile little bastards and I would keep my distance. Luckily my guesthouse was in an area of town where the monkeys aren’t as common. Lopburi was a nice little town with a few decent attractions, mostly the people I met were English teachers from the UK, Canada and the US. I stayed at Noom Guesthouse which I enjoyed and a proper review will be coming.

King Narai's Palace In Lopburi

King Narai’s Palace In Lopburi

From Lopburi I decided to get the train to Phitsanulok. I was unsure of whether this was somewhere I would enjoy and so far it is my only regret. With hardly any tourists and hardly any English it was a very difficult time when it came to directions and getting food. Yes it was real Thailand but I found the people in this city to be different from the rest of Thailand, to be quite honest the people weren’t as friendly, maybe because they are much less used to seeing tourists. My guesthouse didn’t help either. I stayed at Lithai Guesthouse which was actually like a hotel and was as sterile as a hospital. Meeting fellow travelers here was non-existent.  I did have one good night at a night market where some Thai’s took me to a massage bar. I didn’t partake in the extra curriculars but I did watch my new friend get dragged out by three bouncers for getting too touchy-feely. That was the end of Phitsanulok for me and I couldn’t wait to get out.

Clock Tower In Phitsanulok

Clock Tower In Phitsanulok

From Phitsanulok I got a quick 40 minute bus ride to Sukhothai. I originally planned two nights here but it became three, mostly due to a hangover. I really enjoyed Sukhothai and the heritage park in the old part of the city was quite nice. I rented a bicycle for the day checked out the sights. There was no shortage of good eats and drinks here either. My guesthouse, TR Guesthouse was really good as well. IMG_0369

Sukhothai Heritage Park

Sukhothai Heritage Park

After Sukhothai I had planned to head straight to Chiang Mai but decided to spend a few nights in Lampang, about two hours South of CM. I’m glad I made the stop here. The city was quite nice filled with old teak wood homes. I stayed at Riverside Guesthouse and would not again but the reasons will come in a later review. I had a great night one evening at a local bar where an expat told me where to go for after hours fun. I ended up in a warehouse type place where there was something different on each floor. My Thai folks I shared a bottle with took me out for a 4am supper where we ate mussels, spring rolls, shrimp, pho, pad thai and much more. It was one of the best meals I’ve had so far and my friends even got me a safe ride to the guesthouse.

OK kids, here where shit is about to get real. I made my way to Chiang Mai and spent three crazy nights of FUN. I met some of the best people these days so far. Each night myself, the two great Danes and the two crazy Swedes drank the nights away. I saw nothing in Chiang Mai except my guesthouse and the dance floor of Zoe In Yellow. That was OK though as I knew I was coming back to CM at some point. CM has so much to offer and I would enjoy it at a later time, for now it was all about spending time with some of the best travelers I’d met so far. The five of us decided to go Pai together and endure the 762 curves in a minivan along highway 1095. Despite always drinking copious amounts and eating way too much we all held our ground and nobody got sick, something that this ride is famous for inducing in people.

When we arrived in Pai we had an idea of where to stay but that was quickly washed away. As we exited our minivan a man approached us about his guesthouse. He saw the maple leaf on my backpack and informed he had an online subscription to NHL Gamecentre which means access to all hockey games. For a Canadian that was all I needed. We decided to check the place out and we ended up with a huge room that fit all five of us and had a massive private terrace. There was hockey, beer and even BBQ’s. It was heaven. Pai is an amazing place to catch your breath. Everybody including the locals are laid back. It is the chillest place I’ve been in Thailand and my favourite. Happy House Pai is a great spot. Throw in five more great Danes that showed up and it was a place that felt like home with people that you felt you’d known forever. My planned two nights here turned into nearly two weeks. As new friends made their way in different directions it was time to head back to CM for an extended period and really experience the city.

Unfortunately Chiang Mai long term wasn’t what I had hoped. It is a spot where countless bloggers, digital nomads and backpackers alike stop to catch their breath. It wasn’t for me. Maybe because spending almost three weeks there started to feel like real life and my life right now is not real life. The worst of my time in CM was being robbed but that escapade merits its own post where I will go into more detail. I decided to head back to Pai and extend my 60 day visa for another 30. So here I am in Pai, happy as a pig in his own shit.

I feel better than I look. LOL

I feel better than I look. LOL

Stay tuned, more to come on cities I have experienced and my suggestions on where and where not to stay.

 

 

 

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