After visiting Ko Landa we took the night train from the south back to Bangkok. The train was surprisingly comfortable. The beds had soft mattresses and pillows and thick blankets, which was better than some of the hostels we’ve stayed in! Because of this experience, we decided to book a night train for our journey going north as well, but unfortunately they didn’t have any more beds available for the day we wanted to leave. We got two reclining seats in second class instead. It turned out to be a very uncomfortable night, and we quickly learned that the nights in north Thailand are a lot colder than down south.
Chiang Mai, the main Thai city in the north, is lovely, if very touristy. There’s lots of coffee shops and cafes. You also can’t turn a corner without seeing a temple or pagoda. The city has a pleasant atmosphere, much more relaxed than Bangkok, although it’s still a bigg-ish city.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
This is one of the most famous temples in Chiang Mai, situated on the top of a mountain and view over the city. To get there, we drove for a bit out of town on a scooter, and up the hill. The road is very steep, and our scooter could only barely manage it. When we got there it was another steep walk to the top. The view was amazing and so was the temple, although full of other tourists. But we were happy that we picked it as one of the temples to spend some time in.
The grand canyon
Mike’s friend had told us about this place before we went, it’s an old quarry 30 min outside town which has been turned into a water park. One of the main attractions was a really high jump that Mike was dying try. We got there an hour before closing, and Mike jumped twice from 7.5 metres. The place was really cool and we could have easily spent half a day there.
We love a good night marked, lots of cheap food and opportunities to try new things that we haven’t tried before. Chiang Mai has one of the biggest and most diverse markets we have been too, you could walk around there forever and quite easily get lost. Needless to say we ate a lot.