A Departure.

Dearest mother,

So we went on a mountain trek. It was pretty boss, walking through the jungle, looking at plants, wearing leaves.


Jungle walk.


Jungle stream.


Jungle fever.

It was an overnight trek, which meant we had to camp out in some outpost in the mountains. We had a dorm made of bamboo to sleep in. The mountains get ball-achingly cold in the night so we had to rug up in no doubt bed bug infested blankets and suffer through it. Everyone had a rough time getting to sleep but since I had been up all night previously being ill there was nothing stopping me, not even the eldrich snores of an old Swedish man or the constant fights between warring dog clans.


Put some clothes on, Jen.

We got to do some pretty rad stuff on the trek, such as swimming under a waterfall,


Woot. That’s a slide carved into the rock next to the waterfall.

visit a mountain village,


Pigs, yo.

more trekking,


Hmmmm. Mountains.

riding on a bamboo raft,


This bit was maybe a little too long.

and getting a ride on an elephant at an ethically sketchy elephant training camp.



I say ethically sketchy, but I’m really not sure what the standards are like. Elephants always look sad in any case and these ones seemed to be cheerful at times. I’m not sure what to expect in a second world country in any case. I think I preferred feeding them to riding one anyway, they take bananas out of your hand with their trunk. Their trunk. I very nearly lost my mind.


Trunks. WTF, right?

Our last few days in Chiang Mai were spent at a much nicer hostel with significantly less bedbugs, although there’s a good chance a few had decided to hitch a ride with us like the shitty little free loading bastards that they are. Jenny had borne the brunt of the itchiness but it turns out I had aslo been bitten quite a bit, it was just taking longer for my bites to swell up and really start itching.

Without dwelling too much on the negatives, we spent the remainder of our time in Chiang Mai doing some things of a reasonably rad level. One of our course-mates had a friend on the previous CELTA course, so we met up with him and some other teachers and spent a few nights partying in Chiang Mai. We went and saw some Thai boxing, which was awesome.


All my pictures of the fights are blurry so here’s us blocking the view of the ring.

On our second last day we spent a considerable amount of coin on a trip called Flight of the Gibbon. This involved being picked up in the morning and driven up to a mountain village somewhere around Chiang Mai, and then spending the next few hours ziplining through the forest canopy. It was pretty much the most balls-out awesome thing we’ve done so far. One of the ziplines is 800 metres long and spans right across a mountain gully. I only got pictures but a friend also did the tour and she managed to get some video. She put it up on Facebook – I’ll share it since Facebook are dicks and won’t let you save video.






(Unfortunately my camera isn’t great at capturing depth. This was the 800 metre line.)



That just about wraps up Chiang Mai. We booked an overnight bus to pick us up and take us down to Bangkok. Remember that time you made me catch a bus up to schoolies rather than get on a plane for some completely ludicrous reason? Well I knew from that prior experience that overnight buses are generally a horrific experience and so bought some sleeping pills to help make it slightly less painful. We were picked up by Songthaew and we had a minor panic when we thought that maybe this guy planned to take us all the way to Bangkok in the back of it. We wouldn’t have gotten far anyway as it broke down on the way to the bus station. We got there in the end and the bus turned out to be old but comfortable enough. We ended up leaving Bangkok at about 7 pm and not long after I took a sleeping pill and dozed most of the way South.

This seems like a reasonable place to finish this one, Mum, so I’ll continue in the next one with our adventures in Bangkok.

Talk soon,

Joel xx


One response to “A Departure.

  1. Thanks once again Joel for a great insight on
    your exciting adventure,keep safe and look after Jenny, Love from your Favourite Mum xxx

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