Mel and I have been in Thailand. We flew out on the Thursday night before Easter (with Jetstar). We flew into Darwin, and arrived at about 11:30. We got a taxi to our hotel which was in central Darwin. In the morning we organised a hire car, but we couldn’t pick it up until 12. We walked around Darwin (all the shops were closed because it was a public holiday). We checked out the World War 2 bunkers where they stored fuel when then Japanese began bombing Darwin. We got our hire car (it took some negotiating to be able to hire a car with more than 50 free kilometres) and we took off to Litchfield National Park. We checked out a few waterfalls. There were heaps of people swimming there. One of the waterfalls was closed because of crocodiles. We drove back to Darwin to get on our Singapore (Tiger) bound flight. This left at 1 am. We arrived at Singapore at about 4. We had to go through customs/immigration in Singapore. We walked out of the terminal, turned left, walked for 100 metres and then into the departure terminal, where he had to check-in again. Our next (Tiger) flight left at about 8, and we arrived in Bangkok at about 9.
Our taxi ride was eventful. Our taxi driver cut someone off and the guy in the other car began chasing us. The taxi driver was doing 120 km through downtown Bangkok as he tried to outrun the other guy. The other car eventually overtook us and the other driver slid is car in front of us and got out of his car and came marching over to us. Our scared taxi driver, locked our doors and told us to hang on. He took off and swerved between the parked car and the concrete barrier. He sped off and lost the other guy. He spent the next 10 minutes doing blockies to make sure. Eventually, and thankfully, we arrived at Viviana’s apartment in Sukhumvit.
Viviana’s apartment was nice. We had our own room. The apartment block had a pool and it’s own Tuk Tuk. It was only a short distance to the Sky Train which allowed us to scoot around Bangkok with ease. The day we arrived we checked out all the shops in Sukhumvit, including the MBK building that was full of fake stuff. The second day, Sunday, we went to the weekend markets at Chatuchak, where there was a lot more fake stuff. On the third day we went to the temples and the Grand Palace. On the forth day we went shopping with Pedro (Viviana’s son) and then we made our way to the train station for our overnight train to Chiang Mai.
The overnight train was good, but slow. It took 14 hours to travel 400km. (It took us 3 hours to do 400 km in Darwin with their 130 km/h speed limits). We arrived at our Backpacker place in Chiang Mai, and then spent the day walking around checking out temples and markets. The next day we went on our trek. Our guide was an ex-thai boxer. Our trek group consisted of Mel, Myself, Brendan (from Brisbane) and Maya from Germany. We drove into the surrounding mountains and went to a Elephant Camp run by some tribes people (who have there own dialect). We had an elephant ride for about hour. We rewarded our elephant with lots of bananas. There were a few other tourists at the camp. I remember two American chicks talking to one of the elephant guides, asking him if he had ever been to Hawaii or not. I don’t think they understood that the hill tribe people only make $5 day, and that they have never probably left their village, let alone Thailand. After the elephant ride we hiked through some bush to a waterfall. Another guided group arrived just after we did. Whilst walking down to the waterfall a Canadian lady slipped and slid halfway down a cliff. She was covered in grazes and was a little distraught, hanging on to a branch halfway up the cliff. Me and the tour guide climbed up. I managed to help her down step by step. She wasn’t to grateful, but her guide was.. she thanked me profusely for not letting her client die. After that we went for a swim at the waterfall, and hiked some more to a hill tribe village. We saw some villagers and then were picked up in the car and had lunch at a small town on the road. After lunch we went bamboo rafting. The rafts didn’t really float, well they did, just a few inches underwater. Our bamboo raft fell apart halfway down the river, which was quickly fixed by our driver. After the boat ride we returned to Chiang Mai.
The next day we made our way to Chiang Mai airport and flew (with Thai) to Phuket. We stayed at Kata beach, in an awesome room that overlooked the beach. We stayed there two nights, spending our days swimming and shopping on the local shopping strip. After Kata beach we went took a boat to Phi Phi island. We arrived at about 10. We spent the day walking around Phi Phi, we stayed at the Phi Phi Cabana which had an awesome pool and great views of the surrounding cliffs. We were due to take a boat to Krabi at 3 the next day. After breakfast we hired a long-tail boat to take us to Phi Phi Lei. Phi Phi Lei is the smaller uninhabited island about 5 km from Phi Phi Don. Phi Phi Lei is where the movie "The Beach" was filmed. We forgot to take our bathers, and we ended up having to swim a little way. There are photos of Mel and I looking like drowned cats.
After Phi Phi we went to Krabi, Ao Nang beach. We stayed their for 4 nights. Just relaxing. We did some swimming and kayaking (at Railay Beach), and a whole lot of shopping. I bought myself a fancy Bell & Ross. Friday afternoon we departed Ao Nang by boat for Phuket. We flew out of Phuket at 9 on Friday Night with Jetstar. We arrived in Sydney at 10:30. Unfortunately all the flights were screwed at Sydney and we had to wait until 4:30 to fly back to Melbourne (with Qantas).