We left the hotel after the breakfast and started the last stretch towards Chiang Mai. Road was small and curvy. It ran around nice green hilly scenery. I was enjoying the ride and Miss E was taking some photos.
Road surface was in a quite good shape, only once we hit gravel due to ongoing road construction. Sandy surface was quite hard, so riding on it was easy, even with such a heavy bike.
Before we arrived in Chiang Mai, we decided to go and visit one elephant farm nearby, really needed to take this chance to see these big animals.
It took some time and effort to find the elephant farm, because it was further away from the main road than our map indicated, but finally we saw it on the other side of a narrow river.
One guy came to chat with us and he showed us around.
First we went to take a look at the elephant that we just saw. This male was shackled from the ankle, so it was quite safe to approach him. I took some photos when miss E approached him and was able to touch his snout! Wow, I think she was a bit scared and hugely excited!
Soon it was my turn. Miss E was taking photos when I approached this massive elephant. I reached towards him and what did he do! He turned away 🙂
He did not turn back his breeder tried to make him turn… Miss E was laughing in the distance when I had to walk away before he would get upset. The breeder said it must be the elephant sensed serious male competition 🙂
After the successful contact with local animals for the first time, it was time for us to ride to Chiang Mai and find our prebooked hotel.
We found the hotel easily and settled in.
In the evening we went for a dinner and then took tuk tuk to visit the night market.
Night market was ok, nothing for me, but miss E found some souvenirs.
We started the morning by going for a walk to the old town area and visited a few temples.
The temples were really nice and colorful. We spent quite much time taking photos while the day got hotter and hotter.
Wondering what to do next, we decided to chat with Tuk Tuk drivers and got a good deal to visit some other animal places.
First we went to see a snake charmer. While we were waiting for the previous show to end, we walked around among small cages where different kinds of snakes were resting.
Suddenly one of the snake charmers approached us with python around his neck. According to him it’s a 3 year old baby and didn’t bite. He raises the python and intended to put it around miss E’s neck 🙂
Miss E was unsure whether to take it over, but I encouraged her to try the local treat 🙂
She then took the snake and put it around her neck. To my great surprise she got used to the python really fast and even enjoyed this cool creature around her neck. I get few nice photos of her and the snake.
Then it was my turn to get the snake around my neck. I was surprised how cool her skin felt against my neck. It felt really nice on such a hot day! I tried to hold her still, but she was really strong and tried to escape (maybe she was afraid of the height :)). Miss E had to help me put her back on my neck.
Soon snake charmer came back and this time he put a scorpion on my shirt in front of my chest, then he moved it on top of my hat!
I was actually scared that scorpion might drop from my hat, so tried to keep my head steady. So there I was with scorpion on the top of my hat and python around my neck… What can you do except smiling nicely 🙂
A bit later new show was ready to start, so I got rid of my new friends.
We watched the show where two guys were playing with several snakes and announcer told us (with strong thai-english and high pitch tone) some facts about the snakes.
Few times they tried to scare us by throwing snakes towards us 🙂
At the end of the show we got an around 3m long python (I guess it was python) around our necks and then we were asked to give a kiss to this monster 🙂
Next on our list was to visit Karen Long Neck –village. Entrance fee to this village was quite high, but we thought that this kind of possibility comes so rarely that we wanted to see them.
Village was basically an area where villagers sold their handcrafts.
I saw only women and girls in the village, to my surprise also young girls already had these rings around their neck, but I guess they need to start young if they want to get a really long neck…
We saw one woman who had unimaginable long neck. Obviously she was the queen of the long necks ☺ I just could not believe my eyes when I saw her. Please, see the photo because I cannot find any words to describe her neck…
Miss E found a souvenir of a long neck girl carving from their stores.
After this amazing experience, we stopped for a drink and purchased some mini bananas. Those bananas were tiny, but really tasty.
Then it was time to go and see some cats, big tigers 🙂
Once we got to this tiger kingdom, we had to choose (like from the food menu) what we wanted to see: Small, medium or big tigers. We decided to see big tigers.
Paid the entrance fee and then we were guided inside the park next to the tiger cages.
To our surprise we were told that we could go inside the cage and pet these tigers!
I had to leave backpack and hat outside, but soon we were inside the cage.
Miss E was first to pet this “big” size tiger. They were actually young tigers, 18 months old. But to me they looked pretty darn big 😀 Miss E was instructed to sit behind the resting tiger, then she started petting him 🙂 Stroking the back was not enough, she was asked to lie on the tiger! She managed to get down onto the tiger’s back, but her legs were totally not at ease 🙂
Next it was my turn. I also had to approach my tiger from behind so that he would not think that I want to play with him.
His fur felt damp and warm and his paws were huge! I did not feel uncomfortable because there was one of the tiger trainers in front of him.
Finally I and miss E posed together behind the tiger. Maybe we disturbed him or he was bored. He suddenly raised his head, and the trainer took some nice photos with us behind the huge and powerful cat
After the once in a life time intimate contact with tigers, we still walked around a bit and saw lot of tigers running around and playing in the cages, darn these cats were fast and big!
In front of a lion cage I was talking to a single adult male lion standing on a table when he decided to get some fun out of the tourist and made huge growl in my face. I automatically jumped back and was really happy that there was fence between us. Miss E almost laughed her butt off when she saw my reaction and face 😀 😀 😀
After 5hs tour, we were back to Chiang Mai. We went for a dinner and walked around in the market area inside the old town. There were so many stands selling handcrafts, dresses and food, loads of people from all directions, and colorful lights everywhere. It was a nice day.
We decided to ride all the way back to Bangkok during this day. We started quite early in the morning and got back to Bangkok just after sunset.
Day was hot, but we just kept ongoing.
Day´s ride was around 700km, took 7hs. But the last miles in Bangkok to our booked hotel took 2hs in the traffic jam, so totally 9 hour day.
Riding in Thailand in the hot and humid weather was really not fun for us. Miss E didn’t want to ride anymore. So we decided to fly to Phuket for a one week holiday and leave the bike for service. We took my bike to the Bangkok motorcycles (BMW service) for service after we checked out from the hotel.
They were really nice and let us leave all the gear to the storage for a week.
We had prebooked hotel close to the airport for the first night because our plan was to get there first and then decide where to go.
After landing we grabbed our luggage and walked out to find a taxi.
Quite many people were trying to sell their transportation services to us while we walked to the taxi booth. I had read from the internet to be careful with these unofficial cars, because their prices are totally outrageous.
We told the hotel address to the guy inside the booth and he told us immediately the price 300 Bath
I just told him that we want to get “taxi meter” because hotel was only 3kms away..
Jumped into the taxi and guy started driving without putting his meter on! We noticed him about this but nothing happened.
This guy was driving really slowly and acted like he did not know where the hotel was (even he had the address).
He was calling someone and we told him to call to the hotel (we had the number) instead of taxi company (or maybe he was just pretending…).
He did not want to call the hotel, because he claimed it was too expensive. That was absolute bulls**t, because hotel had a local number.
So, miss E called the hotel with her German number and then gave the phone to the driver.
Finally we got to the hotel where driver told us the price, 300 Bath. In Bangkok, going all the way to the airport for 20kms was only 200 Bath! I told him that I would not pay that price because miss E had to make expensive call from her phone. This assh**e went totally crazy and started yelling, so I gave him the money just to get rid of him.
Phuket started tasting like sh*t already at this point. All taxi drivers are there just to scam you.
Hotel receptionist (owner), a young good looking Thai woman, told that we got there really cheap, because quite often they will take tourists around and pretend that hotel is much further away from the airport.
Hotel itself looked nice, even our bathroom was damp and smelled quite bad
We had dinner in this small hotel and met the owner´s husband, who was a German guy! He had been living in Thailand already for 15 years and owned a diving company there. There we also met the other only guests, one young German couple. We were really amazed that we got into a small German world in Phuket.
And here we had trust worthy local contact, really important!
Later in the evening we decided that we would go snorkeling on Wednesday.
Rest of the evening we spent swimming in the hotel pool under the moon light☺ Hard life 😀
We woke up quite early and started the day by going for a swim in the hotel pool again. Sun was shining, water was warm.
After this we enjoyed nice European breakfast in the hotel early enough so that it would not come out on the boat 🙂
We rented scooter for a day so we could ride to the guy’s diving school next to the beach where we would go snorkeling.
Around midday we rode our scooter to Jan’s Aquadiving school and got information what to expect. Neither of us had ever done snorkeling before, so this was totally new for both of us.
Next we were given wetsuits, masks and other stuff. Now we had all we needed and there was no turning back anymore 🙂
We got taken to the boat together with a Swiss family and the German couple from the same hotel and then drove around 15-20 minutes close to the diving site (in our case, snorkeling site).
Before we jumped in to the water, we threw some bread over the board and saw a lot of colorful fishes fighting for those breadcrumbs.
I could not wait to jump in and see these fishes, but I wanted to give some time for miss E to get prepared for this new experience.
Slowly but surely miss E joined me into the sea. She is not an experienced swimmer (neither am I), but there she was ready to stick her head under the water!
After few tries she also got a grip how to breathe and we started swimming a bit further from the boat.
At the beginning we did not see many fishes but when we got to deeper water we started seeing few colorful fishes swimming around of us.
After a few breaths, there was always some seawater got into the pipe. It was really salty and very uncomfortable in the mouth.
After some time we swam back to the boat and drank a bit, and we got fresh watermelon. Something sweet in the mouth after the salty and bitter seawater was a real treat!
I jumped back to the water and swam around the boat, because there was huge amount of colorful fishes. While Miss E decided to feed the fish with the leftover of water melon. Seemed not only us who liked water melon. All the fish came to her, she held the water melon on the one hand, and the water proof camera on the other hand, and took many under water photos.
A bit later she joined me again and we saw lot of yellow and blue fishes going all around us and we took photos ☺ What a gorgeous view ☺
After we got back to the boat and started to head back, Miss E got really bad sea sick. It had been very wavy on the boat and she had been feeling sick in the stomach. On our way back to the shore, she had to throw up. But after that, she was alright again. But she was not the only one feeling seasick.
Rest of the day we spent at the hotel just relaxing.
We decided to stay longer in the hotel and also keep our scooter to get around the island. No chance that I would give a single penny more to these bastards who called themselves taxi driver… 🙂
We decided to visit aquarium to see also other kind of fishes.
Aquarium was nice, but surprisingly small.
After seeing enough fishes we visited one of the biggest shopping malls in Phuket. Had good dinner and then went to movies to saw new James Bond. Seemed we both enjoyed the city mall life style 🙂
This day we decided that we would stay the rest of the days in the same hotel and just go around the island and rest.
This time we found correct route to monkey hill where bigger and smaller monkeys were having lunch next to the road.
These guys were used to tourists, because they did not care about us at all. They just ate their fruits and picked flees for each other while I took photos of them. On our way down one monkey saw my water bottle and decided that he was thirsty. He simply walked next to my scooter and tried to grab my water bottle.
I told him that he needed to ask nicely and after 1 minute education talk I then could give my water to him 🙂
I handed over the water bottle and miss E asked how he could open the fassened bottle… Before she could finished her question the bottle was already open and the monkey took long sips from the bottle 😀
Next target was to reach southernmost point of the island.
We did not get all the way to the southernmost point, because there were no roads, but at least we got close to it.
Nothing special there, just lot of tourists…
Left this place quickly and headed to western coast. There we stopped at one restaurant for dinner and watched heavy rain to pass close to us over the sea.
On our way back to the hotel we had to stop and buy rain coats not to get wet. But the rain was so heavy, and we had to stop for a while. After it got a bit lighter, we started riding back. The cheap plastic raincoat made big noise in the wind, but it helped keep us a little warmer. We managed to find DVD shop on our way back, and bought a few movies. After we got back, we had our chips bear movie night 🙂