We had a real shock when we crossed into Thailand, after the slow pace and quiet life of Laos. Chiang Rai wasn't anything special but we did have some great food in the many bakeries dotted around. We were expecting it to be a small twon in the mountains, but it was a really mondern, quite big city.
Another city, but nicer than Chaing Rai, as the old quarter is quite quaint. We spent our first full day doing a cooking course. We were surprised by how easy and quick the dishes were to make. It was an all day affair, we cooked and ate 5 dishes and a curry paste, we were struggling to breath at the end, no word of a lie. One guy on the course obviously doesn't cook very often, we had quite a laugh later about his lack of ability to grate a carrot!
We hired a scooter today and drove up the mountain pass to the temple overlooking the city, the road up was pretty cool, well I can say that as i only had to sit on the back as we went around the hairpin bends. Rick loved weaving in and out of the traffic in the city (don't worry mike, he is still safe!).
Three hours north west of Chaing Mai and further into the mountains is laid back Pai. Sunshine, a swimming pool and endless cocktails... a little slice of heaven!
We did pull ourselves away from the pool one day to explore what Pai has to offer. We foolishly hired bikes in the heat, and (unsurprisingly) Rick was rather hung over. We visited Pai Canyon, no Grand Canyon but it was still pretty impressive, and rather scary walking across the narrow high up paths. We also cooled off at one of the nearby waterfalls and sampled the finest ice-cream with home made waffle cones, yummy!
We bizzarely bumped into the two cornish girls and two of their friends, who we had met at the very start of our trip, and spent a large part of our time in Pai with them, which was great.
Sadly headed south to Bangkok to catch our flight home. Four days and its hello South America....