I bought cheap air tickets from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, so I ended up in a tightly packed plane where the AC didn't work before the flight took off. So there i was midday heat, buckled in tightly to nearby passengers, delayed for some late arrivals and wincing every 5 minutes with stomach cramps I'd had for almost three days.It was times like those that you dont think you'll make it...but in the end ya always get there!
Many people seem to vouch for Chiang Mai over Bangkok and I can see why, it's a little calmer and has a little more Thai culture to it. I too felt at ease there, finding it very laid back and quite easy to navigate around the central area which is carved out by a man made moat. Chiang Mai is an action packed place where you can do everything from outdoor adrenaline activities, see a variety of wild animals, visit temples and do the expected partying at almost anytime.
Above left is the Muay Thai boxing match we went too. I was extremely surprised to find how "all out" this sport was. Man they let fly, knees, elbows you name it. Out of the 5 fights I think 3 were knockouts. To the right above was my my visit to the crocodile farm. We got to see a show and got a chance to hold baby crocs and ..err..."touch" the adult crocs! It was a weird sensation between touching the rock solid outer shell to the smooth coldness of their stomach skin, eeww! The usual tricks expected were performed of sticking their heads and hands into the open mouths of the crocodiles, something I wouldn't do for 300 baht anyway!
Below is my visit to the Tiger Kingdom where I took a visit to see the big tigers (almost 200 kg but they get bigger). I couldn't believe the sheer weight and breadth of these animals and how they would surely paw your head off like a ragdoll with one swipe. Despite the close proximity of the nearby tiger official, your always a little on edge around these animals. Below that again was the local bungee jump, 50 m on a specially made bungee tower looming over a 6 m deep man-made pond. I know, I know, 50 m ain't the highest in the world, but I still got that "almost shit my pants feeling" when I got to the top! what a buzz.
A quick video of Roy "goofing" around!
A highlight for me in North Thailand also was my two day visit to Pai, north of Chiang Mai (horrible bus journey though). This secluded little town between the mountains was truly a special underrated location. I'd recommend anyone heading that far to head there for a few days and rent a scooter (no license needed here my friend) and roam around checking out the many sites it has the offer (Canyon, temples, waterfalls).
Busking - I didn't write this as a blog heading because it was only half an hour. My German traveling companion, Martin, a passionate musician also shared a slot with me and we were both running short on time for our Muay Thai boxing show! Either way, it too was an enjoyable session and I earned I think approx. 110 Thai Baht in that half hour which equates to around the same I earned in Khao San Road per half an hour. Again, the street was noisy and it was very difficult to choose a fully suited area. It was located on steps leading to a hotel and below me there was a narrow passage of about 3m wide that people could walk on as they looked at the market stalls. If there was a little more room or "collecting space" then it may have become a little more profitable.
Check out a random collaborating cover of "Impossible" with my German traveler mate, Mr. Martin Messner at a local Vigie Sist cafe in Chiang Mai ;https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=547830448572700&set=p.547830448572700&&theater
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