We've had such a fabulous few days in a tiny town in northern Thailand, Pai.
We took a van there on Monday from Chiang Mai, on what must be the most winding road in the world! It's 150Km of just curves - there isn't one part of the road that's straight! There are apparently 762 curves between Chaing Mai and Pai.
Pai is absolutely beautiful. We stayed at a little place just over a bamboo bridge from the town, and had our own little hut with a terrace that overlooked the valley and the mountains in the distance (and where we watched the amazing meteor shower on Tuesday night!) Pai is full of hippies and is a really relaxed, lovely place. We went shopping at the night market (I think I have a disease - I can't stop shopping!) and on Tuesday we took a cab a few km outside of town to a waterfall where we went swimming and sliding down the waterfall. Then we got facials (well, Becky and I did, Karl went for a walk) and went back to our terrace to lie in the hammocks and laze away the hottest part of the day. Even though it's in the mountains, Pai was really hot - about 36 degrees both days we were there (over 100 for my American friends), so the only thing we could really do in the afternoon was lie in our hammocks.
On Wednesday we sadly left Pai, and all felt a bit sick on the winding road back to Chiang Mai. We spent the day drinking juices and wandering around Chiang Mai, did a bit MORE shopping, and generally chilled out.
Last night we took a sleeper train to Bangkok. It wasn't a bad night, despite the squat toilets (still can't get used to those) I've had a fabulous birthday in Bangkok - after picking up my Ghana visa, we headed to our favourite mall, the MBK centre (notice that MBK also stands for Meg, Becky and Karl!) and got subway for lunch (for a nice dose of western food) and then Becky and I went to watch NEW MOON! Great movie, but before the movie started we all had to stand and watch this weird montage of pictures of the king...they are so obsessed with their king here! And you have to stand...disrespecting the king is a criminal offense! After that we shopped some more, got starbucks, and then got frozen yogurt. All in all, a great birthday!
Tonight we're on another overnight train south, but unfortunately this one doesn't have sleeper cars, so it'll be another night spent sitting up. In the morning we're taking a ferry to the island of Ko Tao, where we'll stay until the end of the month, chilling on the beach, getting our scuba certification, and working on our tans!
Here are the rest of my pics from Northern Thailand. I can't believe I have less than two weeks here in Asia! Craziness!!