Thailand – Chiang Mai

chiang-mai-1Chiang Mai

It was an interesting 17 hour overnight train journey from Bangkok to the Northern city of Chiang Mai.  Despite not getting more than three hours sleep due to the rickety motion of the sleeper train, it was lovely spending time together planning ahead…


with our trusted Lonely Planet copy, playing chess and learning our first Thai greetings: ‘sawadee ka,’ ‘kob Kuhn ka.’  At 5am sunlight crept in through our curtains and – looking out of our window – we were greeted with the incredible sight of rural northern Thailand; replacing the polluted concrete city of Bangkok was dense green jungle, mountains and small isolated villages, with Thais working in the rice fields, what a sight to wake up to!!  Stepping off the train it was such a relief that the weather here is much cooler than Bangkok’s 39 degrees on our first day and – more importantly – it’s nowhere near as humid, which has allowed us to explore more without rest stops in aircon buildings.

Arriving at our accommodation, Viraporn’s Place (formerly CM Blue Guesthouse), we were amazed at the quality of the room and service. We have a very large, clean and comfortable double room with ensuite and well equipped with TV, fridge and aircon – and bug free! Can you believe all this for £5 each per night? Neither can we, maybe that’s why we are suspicious that something is likely to go wrong, but so far so good!
One of the many positive aspects of backpacking Asia for westerners is the cheap living costs in comparison to the prices paid back home; don’t expect luxury for £10 a night, but if it’s somewhere to lay your head and recoup in between exploring during the day like us, it’s definitely worth the small fee.  No need to hire a car we’d say, as a 15 minute ride in a tuk tuk is as little as £0.80, absolute bargain!

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