snippets of blackwings life

Mountainbiking around Chiang Rai

Rice fieldsToday I rent a mountainbike in order to get around a little more. The guy from the guesthouse showed me and another fellow from GB where to see some nice stuff and get around. So we had a quick stop at the tourist info to get a free map and got onto a ride alongside Mae Kok river. At first, it was just a regular road, but when we took the junction to the waterfall… Lets say it this way: Dirtroad would be the best description… But anyway, that was what we wanted: Steep tracks, through the middle of the jungle – And the best part: a fantastic view onto the jungle, rice patties and so on :)

As soon as I can get my camera working to upload those f**king pictures to flickr, I will post some pictures… Anyway, we had a cheap Pad Thai at some hilltribe villages – which was delicous and pretty much needed after cycling for almost 3 hours :) The best on the food was: In perfect timing to when it was served, the thunderstorm started… So we spent some time drinking some more fresh fruit juice, and continued, when the rain was gone.

At this point the weather of >30C/40% humidity was replaced by ~30C/100% humidity, which was… not really better :)

All in all it was a full day trip, doing about 70km on jungle treks, roads and dirtroads throughout wonderful nature.

Tomorrow I will take a bus to Chiang Kong in order to get to the Laotian border. Stay tuned :)

filed in on tour, thailand

From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai

I spent the last day in Chiang Mai with the long-planned cooking course – which was an absolut highlight! After driving to a market outside Chiang Mai with an detailed introcution to fruits and vegetables we started the course at a nicely located farm around Chiang Mai.

ChiliFirst a, stir fry was prepared followed by a soup and an appetizer. Because we were 8 participants, many different dishes were prepared – and of course, we tried everything for taste and so on… I prepared Pad Thai, a Coconut Chicken Soup and the famous Papaya Salad. After this first round, we got out to the garden to get fresh vegetables, lemongrass and chili for the main dish – the curry. So first there was a curry paste to prepare. I chose the Red Chiang Mai Curry, so some others and me prepared a red curry paste, which was actually a lot of work…

The curry itself, topped with fried noodles was absolutely mindbreaking and delicious :) As dessert, we prepared fried banana. Late in the afternoon we got back to the city – where the Sunday market was just starting up. I was so completely filled up, that I could easily resist any further delicacies…

On Monday morning (8am) I took a bus to Chiang Rai – a almost 3.5h bus ride through the middle of nowhere. After reaching CR, I checked into Chian House, which has a quiet location, nice rooms and a small clean pool. So after taking a short nap, I took a walk to the city – and it was instantly clear: way more relaxed tham CM – Less tourists and way less Lonely-planet-people :)

filed in on tour, thailand

Jungle Trip

Sometimes, plans change… And so on 27th/28th I did my Jungle Trekking Trip – Just because this trip, that I was wanted was not available at the 28th :)

Food in a mountain villageWhat we basically did was hiking for some time through the jungle, getting some dip into a waterfall to refresh and finally reached a quite remote mountain village. There we got some pretty good food and stayed for the night. Actually, it was getting prett cold – That means around 10 degress C… It’s really amazing how fast you can adjust to a new climate, and readjust your feeling of…. cold.

So at the next morning, at around 5.30 we were woken up by a rooster that was practically standing next to the hut, we were sleeping in… Yes, I could have killed this amazingly loud animal in that moment…………..
Anyway, after a delicous breakfast we took another short walk and finally reached another town. Now we switched over to riding elefants through the jungel – and I was the lucky one, to replace a mahoud and sit right on the neck :) It is quite amazing how steep elefants can climb up.

Finally a ride on a bamboo float was on the list… The river was not thyat whitewatered, but it was fun anyway… Besides standing in the sun just in the afternoon in a tropical region is quite…. hot.

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Chiang Mai

Yesterday night I reached Chiang Mai in northern Thailand via an AirAsia Flight from Bangkok. Because of major Thunderstorms the flight from Dubai had to take a time-intensive reroute by taking a southern route, almost over krabi, which resulted in a late arrival around 19h (ETA was 1840, but before the T-storm was there, we were supposed to reach early).

Temple viewSo I had to be quite in a hurry to reach my connecting flight…Especially immigration control was time intense, so it resulted in jogging with my luggage right across the terminal – from Gate F3 to the Immigration and then to Check in at Terminal A…Temple at sunset But it all worked out – only because the AirAsia flight was also delayed due to the Thunderstorm.Finally I reached ChiangMai around 2240… Getting a random TukTuk I choosed one of the few 24hour guesthouses around the older city part – Just for the first night. The place was quite crappy and for the quality completely overpriced (250B for a single room w/o shower)…

Crispy stuff!So this morning I checked out and got a room in a better guest house, which was quite easy. I am now at the way better Eagle House No2, which is nicely located, way more quiet and gives a better value for better rooms and so on (200B/night incl shower). And they even have a in-house cooking school :) I just got a bicycle and now it is time for a city tour… Right now it is quite hot outside, but right now, traffic is quite low, so I’ll be no problem :)

For the week it is planned: Cooking course tomorrow and then: 3 to 4 day jungle trip organized by the guest house.

filed in on tour, thailand

Dubai Stopover

First step on the journey up to Chiang Mai is done – I’am now at Dubai International Airport after a 5.5 hour flight from Frankfurt (Thanks to strong tail winds we arrived about 40 min early).  Unfortunately my original plan to jump into the airport pool at Terminal 3 is not working out, because the pool is closed due to construction works…

Anyway, sunrise is already here - so that it is time for breakfast. My flight to BKK is leaving at 0940 local time, so there is some time to fill :)

filed in on tour

Back to Asia

After some long break in posting here due to some major workload (or better: overload), I finally get back to blogging – Cause it is time for another trip/vacation again :)

Tomorrow, on 24th of March I will board a flight from Frankfurt via Dubai to Bangkok using a pretty cheap 400€ Emirates flight. After taking some AirAsia connection to Chiang Mai I plan to travel far up northern Thailand into the Golden Triangle visiting even Myanmar… I plan to take some boat trip down the Mekong to get to Luang Prabang and finally to Vientianne. On April 14th I will catch a flight to Kuala Lumpur, but actually, I will spend the last week in Singapore and Bangkok, visiting some friends of my Singapore 2006/2007 adventure.

My flight back to Germany will be on April 21st – So there is 4 weeks of vacation. Stay tuned, frequent updates will be posted!

Update: As there were frequent requests: Packing list (german)

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