Pai, Hua Hin and the rest…

Last time we posted I mentioned that we were about to head off to Northern Thailand. Seems like a long time ago now but it was immense. The mission began with the overnight train to Chiang Mai which itself is an absolute occasion.The train is kitted out with bunk-beds and it is one of the most popular ways for backpackers to get from Central Thailand (Bangkok) to the North. We took on some snacks, snuck on some booze, and the job was a good’n. We both slept pretty well and it was really nice to wake up in the morning to see the train passing through the hilly countryside.

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We spent one night in Chiang Mai, where we have already been, so I will not spend too much time on that. Let’s just say Chiang Mai is never a let down.

From Chiang Mai we moved further north, via a mini-van journey which entailed 762 uphill twists and turns, to little town called Pai. We fell in love with Pai as many other people do. The town itself has a strangely wonderful mix of people. Lots of backpackers, lots of hippies, a few Thai rastas and a strong Thai-Muslim community. We spent 4 fantastic nights there and done some immense things. Our favorite thing was learning how to ride a moped. We actually met a great Thai bar owner, who was so passionate about keeping people safe in Pai, that by day he offered motorbike lessons for 150 baht (¬£3). We done it and loved it. After that, we rented a bike and head through the forest on a bit of a mission. It was such a good experience until the storm came and we had to take shelter in a wooden hut. But that’s a story for another time. Another quality thing to do in Pai is visit the natural hot springs. A pretty tranquil experience and we left feeling pretty good. We also visited another waterfall, a temple at the top of a hill and the Pai Canyon.

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The view after walking up 250 steps to see the temple on the hill.

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Hot Springs. In the picture on the right a man is boiling his eggs in the designated egg boiling area.

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Pai Canyon, Dan wouldn’t let me stand on the edge so the picture on the left is of someone random.

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The waterfall we visited.

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Me (Kelsey) practicing during the lesson.

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If you look close enough you can find our names on the guesthouse wall.

After that we were back in Ayutthaya and back at school. Never a dull moment here. Our friend Michael was having a party/BBQ but before that he decided to organize some pre-drinks on a boat. We took a tour around Ayutthaya and saw some amazing temples and general scenery. At one point we stopped to tow an old woman, a younger woman and a teenage boy, on there long boat because it was raining.

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Boat trip

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On the left a temple on the river. On the right a fellow boat hitching a ride.

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Two little munchkins at the BBQ.

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The following week we had sports day at school. Sports day actually lasts 3 day in our school and, as expected, they managed to involve free food, music and ladyboys. We didn’t really get to join in with any activities but discovered some cool Thai sports. We liked Patong which is a bit like bowls but instead the throw a metal ball on gravel towards a smaller ball. It was surprisingly entertaining. The kids at our school never fail to impress (apart from in class) and it’s actually amazing to see how talented they are.

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The Sports Day Parade.

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Volleyball and 100m Champions.

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……And Cheerleaders.

Following sports day we had another four day weekend because it was the Queens birthday which doubles up as Mother’s day in Thailand. We took this chance to head to the beach. One of the closest beaches to us is in Hua Hin and we also have a friend who lives there so it made perfect sense. We spent four nights there and loved it. We partied pretty hard at night and enjoyed the beach during the day. We decided to get pulled by a jet ski on one of those doughnut thingies and that did not end well for all involved.

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Horse running across the beach.

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Lots of drinking and the best western food we have had so far, a roast!!

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New best friends!

The fun and games is temporarily over for the next 4-5 weeks until our three friends from home arrive and we finish school for 6 weeks. We have managed to save a good amount of money so far for our travels but have picked up some extra tutoring hours to boost our balance that little bit further. I (Dan) am tutoring Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri at the Learning Link and Kelsey is there on a Friday too. I have two students. A thirty something guy who works, in HR, for a Japanese company and needs to improve his business English, and a sixteen year old lad who is studying to get into college. I really enjoy the tutoring and it’s great experience. Especially teaching business English. Kelsey has a group of four girls who are studying towards the exams. She likes it too so we really aren’t too fussed about the extra hours.

As I said, school is coming to an end and it has really flown over. We are preparing our kids for their speaking exams at the minute, then we test them, then it’s the end of term. Absolute madness. It’s been a great couple of months and we are¬†happy to be returning here to teach next term but definitely looking forward to the time off!

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