We left Bangkok on a sleeper train last night at around 6 PM and arrived in Chiang Mai this morning around 7 AM. I fell asleep on the top bunk of the sleeper around 9 PM and got up at around 5 AM. I kept waking up in the middle of the night, thinking that it was morning already. The lights stayed on in the train all night and it was difficult to keep track of the real time. When it finally started getting light out, we found ourselves surrounded by tree covered hillsides.
After we got off the train we went for a quick breakfast at a restaurant facing the ancient city wall. Then it was off to our hotel, where we had about an hour to get ready for our bicycle tour of Chiang Mai.
Our four hour long bicycle tour of Chiang Mai.
We started off by our hotel and, taking our lives in our hands, cycled through the busy streets until we got out to the countryside, which didn't take too long. We stopped at a small local Buddhist temple, a traditional crematorium, and a leper village before stopping for lunch at a roadside food stand.
I put just a little too much hot pepper on my pad thai and had to drink three cokes with my meal.
On the way back to the hotel we rode through an area of Chiang Mai with about 30 Buddhist temple ruins. They were ruined in a flood a few hundred years ago and have only been excavated recently (I think).
I took several pictures, but the computer I am typing this on was made circa 1987. I'll post when I find a computer with a faster speed.
We are spending the night in Chiang Mai tonight. In about 50 minutes we are going to climb up a mountain with a temple on the top, then later tonight we are going to a bazaar to find some merriment and good times to celebrate my 29th birthday.
My father was 29 when he had me (gulp).
Tomorrow we are heading to the Laos border. We're spending one more night on the Thai side, then it is off to Laos and the Mekong River!
Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes on this blog, myspace, facebook, and email. I'd respond, but I'm paying for Internet access by the minute.