Made it to Bangkok and took a train straight away to Chiang Mai. I was a bit surprised, from what I'd heard I thought I'd have to spend a day or two in Bangkok. Unfortunately I made the stupid error of accepting a tuk-tuk lift. From there I was ferried to shops I had no intention of buying from so that he could get a gasoline voucher.
Stayed a few days in Chiang Mai but there wasn't as much to do as I'd hoped. Although it depends what you go for. If you want to arrange a trek there's no end of help you can get, it's just that most of these things don't appeal to me, partially as I prefer to do things at my own leisurely pace than keep up with younger and fitter travellers.
The night bazaar is fun though. Lots of different foods to eat and cheap clothes to buy. Long-legged pants are a must to buy from there if you're going north. Generally people will reduce the price, just ask what if I buy 2 or 3. Sometimes I would walk away and they would reduce the price even further. However, when I walked away it was because I wasn't interested.
Pirated videos were in vogue as well. All the big recent ones including "The Dark Knight" and "Pirates of the Carribean at Worlds End". There are cheap WII games as well. And again you will get a discount if you buy in bulk. I bought 3 movies and a WII game for THB400(USD12/AUS$17).
Made it to Pai after an attack of motion sickness and a near case of vomiting. Tip - do NOT sit at the back of the minibus on top of the wheel, you will get the worst of all of the bumps. Try to sit in the middle of the bus.
Pai is a beautiful place once you get there and very little chance to spend money like water. The traffic is so incredibly laid back too. There is not much in the way of any pavement but everyone walks on the road, keeping as much to the side as possible. Motorbikes do not toot at you just for being on the road, only if you stray into a dangerous position.
This is a good place to catch up on some rest, to save a bit of money and to remember that although you want to see as much as possible you are on holiday and should be at least relaxing a bit.
And Pai is only an hour from Tham Lod or Soppong.
#1 mic59 has been a member since 30/7/2008. Posts: 107