Tuesday, 13 September 2016


Two entries for a total of 6 weeks, with very very different experiences. Thailand from north to south was not what I expected but was all the more enjoyable due to the people we met and the amazing stuff we got up to.
Firstly I decided not to write about Thailand until we had completed all my time there. We first entered after doing the Slow Boat From Laos but knew we would be returning after spending time in Cambodia. Now I have wrote about one amazing adventure we had in Pai at the Conserve Natural Forests but that was one of may great things we did in Thailand. 

After the slow boat which was in my opinion the best way to enter Thailand, we made our way to Chiang Mai I had heard a lot of great things about Chiang Mai regards to the party life style and my brother from another mother Rick had told me to head to the 3D Art Museum there. As per usual since Vietnam we had no accommodation booked so we were just winging it, oh I must add by this point there was 4 of us we had met David from Switzerland and Rebecca from Scotland on the boat and we were all heading in the same direction so it made sense to become a team.

We eventually decided to stay at The Arak Bed, Bar & Hostel and trust me we were not disappointed. When we stayed there were very few reviews about the place online but don't let that put you off (if its still the case) It is still to this day the best accommodation I have stayed in while travelling & that included the 4 star beach front hotel in Dubai and the 4 star hotel in Hong Kong. The staff are super friendly, welcoming and helpful, the pod like dorm room that sleeps 12 has the best beds in the world. The wifi was outstanding only topped so far by the wifi in Japan, they provide FREE bottles of water there is a fridge for you to keep your own food and drink in and they also provide free tea and coffee, now free tea and coffee and water is not unusual in a hostel but when this place has a cafe the fact they still give you free tea and coffee and water instead of making you pay for it for me is outstanding. We stayed at this hostel twice and for well over 2 weeks too we didn't want to leave. We also tried out one of the private rooms for a night at it was up there with the comfort and style and atmosphere of any high end hotel. Now the best part about this hostel is the price £5 a night (I think we got it for £4 a night in the end per bed) honestly if you're in Chiang Mai stay at this hostel.

We discovered an excellent Irish pub on the main strip Un Irish Pub the food was outstanding and they have Guinness on tap you can imagine I fell in love with this place straight away. We only had one night out on the main strip pre-drinking wise, as I for one didn't like the vibe, it wasn't for me really as in it wasn't my scene too much like a club atmosphere which I have never been into. Also we ended up being in a group that going involved in a scuffle with a lady boy!! 

Lauren, David & Rebecca ventured to a canyon of some sorts but I was too ill but other than meals out the first time but of time we spent in Chiang Mai was more about relaxing. Myself, Lauren & Rebecca headed to Pai after a few days and David stayed in Chiang Mai as he was heading further south. The trip to Pai was an interesting one a mini bus ride for 4 hours on a road that consists of 726 bends on a mountain road can make even the hardest stomach a little car sick. We arrived again with no accommodation booked so set out wondering the streets trying to find somewhere to stay. Over the bridge were hundreds and hundreds of different style huts, some pretty basic some lovely luxury we stopped at Pai Country Hut the picture used for this blog post was taken from there. The hut had a large double bed and an ensuite bathroom a seating area outside and a hammock. Now the first night there was only 1 hut left so me and Lauren took that and Rebecca stayed at the hostel down the road. The next day we moved to a 3 bed hut a lot larger than the previous, and a bit mote luxury aka a flat-screen TV on the wall and satellite TV.

It was in Pai where we did most of the exploring; we went on a tour of some amazing caves although a little spoiled by the simple tourist guide we had but amazing all the same. On the same trip we attended a natural hot spring which was kind of like being in a big outside bath with loads of strangers, yes some local people had soap and shower gel and were washing. Themselves oh well when in Rome right. We also visited a pretty uninspiring waterfall it was more like a leek dripping off a rock than a waterfall and then we ended the day for sunset at a massive canyon, now the place itself was excellent, but sadly the weather took a turn for the worse and the sunset was nowhere to be seen.

For me apart from the AMAZEMENT that is Conserve Natural Forests the best thing about Pai is the out of this world, crazily good, mouthwatering greatness that is the street food. You name it you can buy it from some of the most amazing street food vendors in Asia, local foods, pizza, jacket potatoes, nachos, burgers, lasagna, waffles, pancakes the list is endless and it is all AMAZING. We even had our picture taken by one of the vendors for her Facebook page because we bought some nachos haha I think she recognised me and thought if The Bearded Manc wants my nachos everyone will. Have a look at some of the excellent food we bough one night Pai Street Food

We stayed in Pai way longer than we wanted too but it was so beautiful and we were having such a good time eating and drinking every night on our terrace swapping stories of our travels and from back home. For the first time in my life I saw a firefly I genuinely thought they were a myth and only from fairy tails haha, I slept in a hammock looking at the night sky and listened to the world go buy. I am lucky enough to not get bitten by any sort of insect, I have no idea why but they just leave me alone its great because I love being outside at night time. It was in Pai we went our separate ways Rebecca flew down to Bangkok and we headed back to Chiang Mai for our second stint at the best hostel in the world.

Back in Chiang Mai we headed to the 3D art museum Art In Paradise if I am honest it's a little pricy for what it is, I mean its fun and all but £9 per person to get in is pretty expensive. Luckily it wasn't busy so we got to spend a decent amount of time taking pics on the 3D art and it is a laugh. I just don't think it was £9 worth of good. Our second stint in Chiang Mai was where we pretty much lived off 7 Eleven cheese toasties and noodles, If you ever go to Thailand I am pretty sure it is against the law not to eat the cheese toasties they are so cheap and so good. We spent most of the week relaxing and chilling out in Chiang Mai the hostel has such a good atmosphere we loved it so much we forgot to book the train to Bangkok so we had to get last minute flights but for £40 each it was the same as the 30 hour train anyway and it only took an hour.

In Bangkok I had heard about a hostel call 1989 Hostel & Cafe and after a few messages on Facebook we managed to scoop ourselves 2 beds for a great price. Again this hostel had a cafe down stairs but unlike in Chiang Mai no freebies here but the drinks were reasonably priced. After a day or two of chilling we headed on a stupidly long walk to the Victory Monument (the traffic is outrageous in Bangkok) so we felt walking would be better than sitting in a taxi in traffic paying for the pleasure. The main reason I wanted to head this way was for the world famous Boat Noodles now I am not going to write too much about them here as I am working on a particular blog post for all the food and drink I have tried so watch this spacE. Let me say they were every bit as good as I had imagined and they were the main reason why I wanted to go to Bangkok.

After we had filled up on noodles we ventured towards the famous Khao San Road roughly another party street designed for backpackers, it has everything you need, hostels, shops, fast food take outs, bars, tattoo shops, chemists you name it Khao San Road has it. I am not sure if its because I am in my 30s now but I just don't like the vibes on these party/pub streets this one again was full of Gary and his mates from Clacton-On-Sea thinking they are 10 men walking about with beer in one hand and their other in their pants. 

While in Bangkok we celebrated our anniversary I know I know The Bearded Manc has a soft side, Now I spent a whole day trying to figure out what we could do, where we could go and then I remembered the roof top bar where the Hangover was filled. Sadly after reading their STUPID dress code I realised unless we were to go out and buy new outfits the clothes we had just were not going to cut it. It was then I stumbled across The Marriott Hotels roof top bar Octave and boy am I glad I did, 5pm till 7pm buy one get one free on cocktails, the views are out of this world and the atmosphere is excellent. We spent 3 hours here we only bought drinks during the buy one get one free offer but you can buy as many as you like in that time and at 18:45 the waiters come round to get any orders in before the time limit is up. We spent £80 in total and had 18 cocktails it is fair to say we were wasted but we had such a good night. I honestly never thought that we'd spend one of our anniversaries on a roof top in Bangkok drinking cocktails.

We lost some time waiting for our friend to arrive into Bangkok as we were all heading to Cambodia together, but he had an issue at the border so we headed to Cambodia ourselves and met up with him there. We got the train to the border and you can read about that here Crossing The Border and I am going to do a separate post about our return to Thailand as we stayed in an impressive luxury apartment I stumbled across on AirBnB and I feel it deserves its now post. 

Thanks very much for reading and all the love is shown since I started this blog, some exciting things are happening at the moment, and I have a few opportunities in the pipe line, and it is all down the success of this blog. I can not thank people enough for your support.

Take Care

Richard :)


No comments

Post a Comment

© THE BEARDED MANC. All rights reserved.