So i've been out and about in Chiang Mai today, arrived about 10:00am after a pretty decent sleep on the train - apart from the occasional loud vibrating sound of the train stopping, shame it was dark but I get to see the scenery on the way back down.
It is so much calmer and relaxed here, much less hectic than Bangkok with people being much more friendly, or atleast genuinely so. Folk just say hello and there's never that over-bearing emphasis on buying stuff, people are just happy for you to browse - a bit like the weekend market actually, surprisingly.
Im staying at a place called Top North Hotel in Tha Pae Gate Area and annoyingly, even though I missed it, had a guy at the train station holding a placard with my name on it, proper business like. Instead though (because I totally had no idea they were picking me up) I paid 80B for a tuk tuk. But, and this is a big but, maybe even in capitals... BUT my room... I am never booking accommodation as part of any package again, it's way too high end! I asked the porter and he said the room i've got is 800B a night (!), I was only paying 300-400B in Ko Chang/Ko Samet and the North is supposed to be cheaper! Grr... I hope I didn't pay more than 600B for this room, thankfully it's only for 1 night but still, it's too nice (in a very bad way), no young folk at all.
Luckily, and this is the only plus point, the place I have to meet tomorrow to go to the elephant sanctuary is 2 minutes down the road from Top North so that's good, I have to be there at 8:00 so cuts out a lot of the hassle.
This might be my last post for the 7 days im at the elephant sanctuary because according to the information pack i've got, internet access is very limited, it says even just to full time staff but I dont know how true that is (just to give you a heads up). I'll have to keep extra notes and stuff so come Feb 8th/9th, i'll post a big update about it. Im pretty excited though (!). Yesterday infact, me and Frida went to the zoo in Bangkok (by accident really) and we purposefully avoided the elephants because of the conditions they were in, that pretty much went for every animal there though, just so much concrete. I did see hippos, tigers, bears and monkeys though but still, you can see them in any zoo. I did make humourous Moira Stewart voices when we came accross the giraffes - big up Chris Elphick for that.
Ok unless you want all the very boring details about every single thing, I think I have nothing more to say. Im off to Wat Phra Singh this evening, apparently very beautiful in the sunset with all the reflections and stuff - a Thai guy with family in Hackney told me that. So, like I said, might post something sooner that the 8th but I'll see what the situation is. I'll definitely hope to post something on the 8th because it's a certain someone's birthday... :)
Sawat dii. X