Mini update #3

16th January

So, I’d heard this voice in my head when I was at the meditation retreat telling me to go to Chiang Mai instead of Myanmar. Then I had these visions, including the face of the mona lisa…

I thought I was on some kind of spiritual quest. I even went to the Art in Paradise exhibition in Chiang Mai which had a painting of the mona lisa present. I was imagining rocking up, hovering around that painting, and some sort of message falling out of the sky.

Nothing happened.

Deflated, I went to the Muay Thai boxing last night with Ward on my motorbike, fresh from Monk Chat.


Ward beats me at pool and darts. But I come back with avengence, when after a few bottles of beer my skills have improved.


Turns out Monk Chat was disappointing. Ward isn’t a buddhist convert like I told him he would be, and I’m starting to question my visions of the Mona Lisa. But on the plus side, that probably means my vision of the Iffel Tower blowing up was probably just down to my special imagination. No need to warn anyone.

Also turns out the boxing was a fake show, just for tourists.


I say goodbye to Ward who has given up the dream and is going home.

I do a half day trip up the mountain. I visit the famous Doi Sop temple, and go to a hilltribe village where I take photos of real life purple poppies, the kind that produce the best opium. And I sniff a real life Marijuana plant. Am in botanical heaven.



17th January

I wake up and don’t want to go to Pai. But the bus is coming at 11am. I decide to sack off Pai. And feel great about it. Have a gut feeling it’s not where I’m at right now, maybe a few years ago – but I’m seeking something different. I realise this now.

Snag. My hotel is fully booked.

I go to Pai.

Meet super cool Dutch girl called Annemiek and the three hour windy mountain journey passes by relatively quickly whilst I crack on with Breaking Bad series 3 and eat junk food.

Night out in Pai. It’s fun.

Night ends when I get annoyed by arrogant bearded 20 year olds who schmoke da reefa and don’t understand why 30 something’s Annemiek and Andrea aren’t interested in joining them.

18th January

Several things wake me up:

1. Drunk people leaving Sunset Bar (my hut is next door)

2. Stoners (tripping over themselves)

3. Cockerals cockadoodledooing

4. Dogs barking

5. People going down to the river at sunrise. Talking.

6. The cold. I am freezing. Shivering in my bed. Don’t have enough layers on. Too cold to move and get clothes. I just about manage to unravel my spare towel for extra warmth. I duck my head under the covers and tuck every corner in.

My crumbling falling apart bamboo hut is exposing me like a tent and to say I was a happy bear would be a big fat lie.

Within 12 hours I have flown back to Chiang Mai on a 12 seater Cessnar with Kan Air for 1500baht (around £28)…. best thing I ever did! Made friends with a farmer from Warrington called Tony, and had a right laugh. Like he said, ’twas short but sweet Andrea’ as we waved goodbye.

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….. then I grabbed a connecting Thai Airways flight to Bangkok……

and checked into the swanky Solo Hotel. Before I know it I’ve walked two blocks to get some food, stumbled across Cabbages & Condoms (the restaurants I ate at on New Year’s Eve 2004) and then found myself surrounded by protesters!

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Tomorrow I fly to Trat, and get a bus and a boat to Koh Chang where I will check into the Koh Chang Spa Resort.