Trains, Jungles, and Creepy Neighbours

Sorry for the long gaps between posts, folks! I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with bated breath for the latest episode of “Ruth’n’T-bone do life.” Not to worry – after weeks of assorted traveling, I am back with a vengeance.

The day after I arrived home from Cambodia, we flipped a u-turn and headed back to the airport to pick up our most favourite Jenny’n’Sean(y).

Lookin’ stunned and stunning after an afternoon at what may be the world’s biggest outdoor market

These renaissance souls are on their way back to Canuckistan after spending a year in India working at assorted NGOs. They rightly concluded that nothing would soothe their dithered souls like a week spent in the presence of Pure Sanity (ie: Me and T-Bone). Our time together began with a 20 hour, non-AC, urine-scented train trip. We learned that this particular train always runs 4 hours late – changing the schedules to reflect this would apparently ruin the beautiful mystery that is Thai train travel.

Livin’ like locals. Except that all the locals opted for either the comforts of AC or the cheapness of regular seats. They may be on to something…

The four of us headed up to Chiang Mai, a city in Northern Thailand. Being the precise planner that I am, we had no clue what we would do when we got there, but we knew it would be good. The first day involved a lot of eating, and not much else.

Starting with breakfast, stopping never.

Our eating habits were threatening to blow our budget, so we booked a three-day jungle trek. This involved a highly sophisticated selection process of flipping through brochures at our guest house and choosing the cheapest option. The trek began with a quick elephant ride.

The smiles are hiding sheer terror. The top of an elephant is a long way up.

Well, hello there, Dumbo!

Our first night was spent in a straw hut in a hill-tribe village, complete with spiders and other critters.

Our trekking crew in the middle of a sophisticated Thai game that involved painting unibrows on each others’ faces with charcoal.

The next day involved swimming in waterfalls and jungle trekking.

Finally, a shower with actual water pressure!

Trying to remember how to swim.

It also involved numerous, numerous random stops by our guide, who was determined to carve cups out of bamboo for all of us, whether we wanted them or not. This involved many, many carving breaks. We passed the time by doing stupid stuff.

Like playing Tarzan

And wrapping our lunches in banana leaves.

And introducing my pet crocodile to assorted dogs.

The second night was spent in a dark hut in a dank jungle on filthy beds with filthy blankets. It was a moist, clammy night. I dig authentic travel. After a 30 minute rafting trip (yay budget travel!) led by guides of unknown certification, we piled into a Song Taew and headed back to Chiang Mai for one more night of extended eating.

We were feeling melancholy about the end of our trip, until we received an unexpected early morning wake-up call: the Germans next door to us brought a couple of prostitutes back to the hotel, and engaged in Cacophonous Copulation for what seemed to be hours, then spent additional time haggling over the price.

Try that again and you’ll be meeting my javelin.

With that, we decided we were ready to leave Chiang Mai after all. Back to southern climes!

Officially creeped out.

And one bonus photo of a jumping jungle spider. Much smaller than the one that was crawling on the floor of our straw hut.

9 thoughts on “Trains, Jungles, and Creepy Neighbours

  1. Pingback: Rock Domain: Bangkok’s indoor climbing paradise | The Facetious Farang

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