Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In Chang Mai

Its been a long time since I posted so I don't think I can do a blow by blow at all. It is strange how after a few days of not looking at a screen its easy to not want to spend time looking at a screen. Plus I met up with Dharma, Gabe, Sarah, Tyler, and Shy, all about at the same time in Chang Mai. So having the friends around made it easier to not write.

I didn't really like Pai at first because it seemed kind of like a fake touristy place, but after a few days it grew on me. I met up with Chris who is the springer I met down in Um Phang and he showed me some cool springs that not many other people could have showed me. We went to one, one day, and another the second day. The first one was really hot and usually mixed with a cold stream. But now it is the dry season (the dryest in years) and the cold stream is basically dry and all the the pools didn't have water because the water was diverted to the crops next to the spring. We walked down the hot steam until it was cool enough to get in and was deep enough to soak, it was nice. Then we went back to drink Chai at this place that many of the local farang hang out at. The next day we went to a warm pool out in the national forest nearby a hill tribe. Then went to the chai house again.

At night I went to this place that had live music and good musicians. I met up with the San Fran guy and he showed me this place and some people he met earlier that day. I ended up hanging out with the band because they were friends with the people I was hanging out with. So it was a late nite of seeing live music and I went to this one place that basically stays open all night. The next day was similar but after the live music I went to a guest house, outside of town a little and with bungalows, and hung out around a fire with a couple thai people, including the owner of the guest house, and an Austrian girl. Again it was a late night.

Then I came to Chang Mai to meet up with everyone. The guys got a room at SK house so I went there. Its a nice place, with nice people working here. Sarah arrived about 2-3 hours after I did. We hung out in Chang Mai for a day recovering from traveling and whatnot, and then did a 3 day trek.

Kickin it in Chang Mai
The SK house view from our room

The trek was cool. Two nights with hill tribes, basically hanging out with the poeple, who were all friends of the guide we had. It was nice because there were no other tour groups, and it was nice and green. All over the place, at least where I have been, its pretty dry and people are burning everywhere. Here there wasn't too much smoke and it was green and kinda lush. The last day of the trek was ok, we just hiked out and then did the elephant riding (which was short but cool) and rafted down the river.
On the trek

The place we stayed the first night
Passed out after the first day's trek

Singa, our guide cooking for us
The place we stayed the second night

The waterfall we went to

riding on the elephants

The last couple days have been hanging out in Chang Mai. There are some strange group dynamics. I don't really know how to put it but basically different people seem to be traveling for different reasons. I like partying and hanging out with girls, but that is not my focus. I enjoy the mellow days too, where I read, see some stuff, and go to bed early. I think most people are taking it easy tonight and during the day but I'm not sure. I need to split off for a couple days and then we made plans today to meet up in Bangkok and go to Kho Phan-gan for the full moon party. Then we will see from there. Other people would deffinately like to split off also but the four guys are trying to stay together for this month, and that should be interesting to see if that happens. I'm guessing not with the drama that has already occured, but maybe.
Temples in Chang Mai

Interesting signs around one of the Wats
I can't write anymore, sorry for hardly any details. I don't know if I can keep this up as detailed as I have been, but we'll see. And there aren't any pictures because I forgot my camera but also because people are camera happy. With all the flashes and stuff I figure there should be plent of pictures to go around. I think I took 3 pictures all trek. I'm just not that much of a picture person, actually about 50-70% of the pictures I have taken are on this blog.

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