We had intended to spend a couple of days in Phitsanulok looking around and make a day trip to Sukhothai, but Hamish’s body had other ideas.
No, instead we spent three days in a hotel room flicking between action movies, the outdoor (hunting/fishing) channel and miraculously some River Cottage while I battled a chest infection and associated fever and headaches. If you’re ever in Phitsanulok and need to go to the hospital, don’t stress… it’s very clean and professional.
We arrived in Chiang Mai by train at around 11pm from Phitsanulok (unfortunately not having been to Sukhothai) to find our intended (but not booked) accommodation’s office closed. This was soon remedied by the nice man at the bar across the road calling the owner and getting him to come and let us into a room.
Our second day in Chiang Mai we bumped into Lena. We first met Lena in Yogyakarta, when she overheard our conversation with a french couple (that we’d originally met on this leg of our travels) about how we’d overstayed our visa the first time and how we hadn’t got any real trouble from Imigrasi. She thanked us for our advice and went on her way. Roughly 60 days later we bumped into her in Koh Tao, as she was leaving Big Blue for Krabi. Then she came back to Koh Tao while we were still there and we finally got to introduce ourselves and we quickly became good friends.
Anyway, in Chiang Mai we met her again and went to a Muay Thai boxing match which was awesome fun – especially the novelty blindfold match.
As part of Kat’s birthday treats, she had decided she wanted to spend a day with elephants at the Elephant Nature Park… a refuge for elephants that have been mistreated or injured and are no longer able to work. There’s no riding, and a few of the younger elephants are orphan’s the founder, Lek, has rescued.
New things to keep in kitchen pantry: Mushroom Sauce, sticky rice
New things to grow in garden: Turmeric, Galangal, Thai Ginseng