alright! last time i updated was in sri lanka i think. we spent our last taking priscilla (aaron's mum) out for lunch in galle. aaron was so busy with the opening of his showroom that she hadn't been out much. we were happy to take her, she is lovely. we went to a nice restaurant in galle fort and then walked around and looked at some really nice souvenir places that we must have missed before. we had brownies and icecream for dessert and then went back to aaron's to pack.
i don't like packing.
we had a light dinner of eggs and toast and then at about 7pm we said a sad goodbye to priscilla and the house and got into the van. we stopped at the showroom where aaron was still working to say goodbye. i must say that after we left i got a little teary.
the ride to colombo took about 4 hours, and we tried to sleep most of the way. got to the airport and checked in, and then had a coffee while we waited for our flight. we got on and ate dinner, and then tried again to sleep, but it was difficult. stupid economy class. arrived in the huge but corrupted and cracking new bangkok airport and lugged our bags up to the domestic level. we asked the lady at the information desk to point us to the airline which was cheap but didn't crash and she said air asia. we bought return flights to phuket, because that will make going to khao lak much much much easier. they weren't very expensive either. we then went to the top floor to have breakfast. god we were tired. that was about at 7.30am and our train didnt leave for chiang mai till 10pm.
we needed to book one night in bangkok for when we got back from chiang mai, and decided to try somewhere closer to khao san. we took a taxi into the city, and found a place called donna guesthouse. it looked really clean and quiet, so we booked and paid for one night. it is nice to know we have somewhere booked and organised. after that we jumped in a taxi - which is hard to do when it isn't pulled over and you have huge backpacks - and went to the station. they have left baggage storage there, so we left our big bags and went to find a post office. after much hassle, we finally found one near the station and a really nice guy helped us organise sending a package home. we've sent it to james' house because it contains many presents and we don't trust my house with it!
after that, we went to mahboonkrong - a huge shopping centre - and watched a movie - night at the museum. it was the only thing on! and we were stuffed.
anyway, then we did some shopping and trundled back to the train station. after some time on the net, a guard told us to get on the train, even though it was only about 8.40pm. we did, and the train was really cool. two bunks on top of each other, i had top, james had bottom. we had pillows and a towel blanket thing and a curtain that pulled across the bed. and a fan!
we fell asleep ok and i slept pretty well, except that they didn't turn the lights off so when i did wake up i was really disorientated and couldn't figure out the time. james had a window and i didn't. james didn't sleep that well, he kept banging his head. poor thing.
anyway, we woke up about 8 am and i scooched down into james bed and we watched the thai countryside fly by. a thai guy came through selling breakfast, which was toast eggs ham and butter and juice. it was ok. after that we folded the bottom bed into seats and read the rest of the way.
the first thing we did when we got into chiang mai was buy tickets home. but we could only get airconditioning, which we've heard makes it too cold. oh well we'll just have to wait and see.
then we jumped into a tuk tuk (much bigger than sri lankans ones) and got to julie's guesthouse. it was really nice, pretty big and we opted for a superior room (bout 5 bucks more) so we had our own bathroom and really nice mattress. the walls are painted really nice. and the place has a restaurant and a lovely back garden to eat in. and a free pool table!
that arvo we were just really tired so we ate and read and slept. oh and coco (the thai guy at reception) helped us book a 1 day cooking course and a 1 day "wimps" trek.
the next day we got up and decided to just have a walk around the city. first stop was a bookshop (as always) and we bought a really cool nancy chandler's map of the city. it was really helpful and pointed us to a couple of gorgeous shops, in which i bought some presents for some people! yay! chiang mai has a much different atmosphere to bangkok. there are lots of tourists here and lots of guesthouses but it all seems much more relaxed somehow.
that night we'd arranged to have dinner with maddie o'hare - dad's friend pat o'hare's daughter. she lives in chiang mai, just about to move to bangkok but has been living here for about 4 years. she is english and about 28 i think. we met here at the tha pae gate, she was a bit late so we looked around in the market for a while and bought some new playing cards. when we met her she suggested a really really good vegetarian restaurant. we had a really great time with her, she was so nice. after dinner we went to a rooftop bar and had some drinks. we didn't stay out too late because we had to be up early on sunday for the cooking course.
my fingers are sore from typing so much! i'll finish this tomorrow in bangkok, and i'll post some photos then too.
hope everyone is well.
love love love