22/2/2009 – Chilled Sunday in Chiang Mai

I dragged myself out of my bottom bunk and slowly wandered downstairs with the hope that a cup of tea would sort me and my hangover out. But being vertical was proving too difficult so I made my way back upstairs and resumed the horizontal position on my bed. Eventually I was able to move from my bed and took up various spots around the hostel that involved sitting or possibly lying down. It was a serious hangover day.

Some of the other Spicy crew folk had booked the slow boat trip to Laos and I started to feel a pang of jealousy. I loved Laos, and Luang Prabang. I had also not done the slow boat trip last time I went and had missed out on tubing in Vang Vieng. I was also having a really good time hanging out with my new friends, they were lots of fun, easy-going and probably the ideal group to go tubing with. I spent the morning mulling it over and when everyone had gone to the pool I broached the idea with Noom. He said he didn`t mind so I thought to myself, why not, I`ve only got a week left of my travels I should go out on a high! I booked myself onto the slow boat trip and then headed down the pool at the Chiang Mai Hill Hotel to meet the others and tell them the news.

It was a scorching hot day and swimming in a cool pool really helped to relieve my hangover. The afternoon was spent sunbathing and swimming at the pool. The others were pleased I was coming to Laos too and I told them all I knew about it. I was very excited to be going back again.

The Sunday Walking Market was on that evening and even though everyone was exhausted from the night before we wanted to get some delicious street food from there. So after the pool we embarked on shower time. All the girls were ready fairly quickly and were left waiting for the two real girls of the group to get ready, Rob and Craig. I was so hungry, but when there is a big group of you it can take a while to get anything done or go anywhere.

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Eventually we were all ready and we got a songtaew to the market whereupon we embarked on a massive eat-athon. It was heaven – stall upon stalls of  cheap, hot food. I had a bag dumplings, some mini fried eggs, some pad thai and some chicken nuggets with chilli sauce. The market was packed with tourists and locals slowly meandering their way down the 2km stretch of stalls, eating, chatting, browsing and buying. This was probably my 4th or 5th time at this particular market but it was the first time I had ignored the goods on sale and concentrated just on the food and the ambience, which was lively and uplifting.

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After an hour or so of wandering through the market I was ready to collapse so Sarah, Donna and I shared a tuk tuk back to the hostel and settled down to watch a DVD. The perfect ending to a chilled Sunday in Chiang Mai.

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