Sunday, 1 February 2009

Chiang Mai / Elephant Sanctuary

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


  1. Hi Tom, wow didnt expect that blog today what a shame you didnt know about the pick up at the station... & as malcolm said none of your blogs are boring to us we all love to hear what your doing & where you,ve been,it cheers us up esp as it,s got really cold again & snow is on the way :-( not sure about the monestry though..hope you have a fab week with the elephants it may be a colder there though esp in the evenings, & don,t worry if you cant get to the internet esp for the 8th I know you wont forget that day... take care & have a fab time hope the elephants dont make you too WET esp at bath time :-) lol mum,dad and your boy xxx Sawat dii.

  2. Hi Tom bit of a bummer paying 80b when you need'nt still nice to think that they provide that service. I found the hotel looking on the internet it looked pretty ok and had some good reports set you up for your next adventure.Nadal won the tennis in Aus beating Federa it was a five set match.I bet the elephant sanctuary is a real cool experience. Glad you will be able to see the scenery and things on the way back down as it looks pretty amazing.
    I keep looking at variuos parts of Thailand much nicer than I thought and as I've said before am very envious.
    Anyway take good care enjoy yourself
    Love Christine and Malcolm

  3. Hi Tom hows the elephant experience going, amazing animals. You are missing all the snow most we have had in the uk for years. London comes to a complete standstill and people are building snowmen on Brighton beach. Glad we don't have to struggle to work early in the morning.Had to go to Broadstone and the roads were like skating rinks I've never had problems like this morning keeping the car moving in a straight line was a miracle.So we are having a cool experince of a different sort at the moment.
    Take care Christine and Malcolm

  4. Tom not sure now if you,d love the snow or not but we,ve certainly had loads, it started about 6.30 sunday night and finished about 5o/c on monday... at least 10inches, so I dont need to tell you what benson,s been doing..he was at the park for at least 3 & a half hours & then he didnt want to come home. I,m not even sure I,ll get to work on tuesday.. it didnt matter on monday coz I was off but who knows for the next couple of days... hope your having fun I,ve been watching a program called the secret life of elephants & they are really lovely animals, so we,re looking forward to your new blog. Take care mum & dad x

  5. Hi Tom thought would send another message hoping that you are ok and enjoying the adventure and also that you had agood time with the elephants. The weather here is still gross snow all week and several inches remaining and more forecast in the next few days. Jeremy Clarkson has got in trouble he is in Australia and told a press conference who were talking about global problems that we were being governed by a one eyed scottish idiot. He has got into trouble personally I can't see why you should have to apologise for speaking the truth. We are all looking forward to your next blog but I think all support you in enjoying your journey and experience. Take good care love Christine and Malcolm xxx