Changing in Mai

After the depths of Thailands under belley I decided to shake things up and arrive to the shunshining lushing greenery of Chang Mai. The far north, surrounded by mountains and jungle, this city is much more relaxed then Bangkok…oh and a lot less lady boys. Perfect.

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Chang Mai. Green as far as the eye can see, not as much pollution…you can actually breath the air here. Hearing about the north, all the talk is about trekking…well after you gaze upon the flock of jungle, you can’t help but want to….Especially if you get to ride an elephant

A jungle excursion…white water rafting and riding a fucking elephant…can’t pass that up mother bitches. Except…for some reason, people do not like arriving on time here. So after waking up fucking early(yes it was only 7am…buuut still) I get picked up in a rickety old truck with some boards in the bed…hmmm…this should be fun.

this is the transport

this is the transport

It was an absolutely stunning day…the sun gleaming over the trees, the leaves with the fresh morning dew glistening…the fresh air…ahhh…breath in that glorious fresh air…anyway…the hike was pretty sweet. Going through the jungle, after a fresh rain…ya a little slippery, and if you know how klutzy I am…well just imagine(lets just say my pants weren’t perfectly clean when I got back) But we saw, waterfalls, spiders and tons and tons of trees.

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My main objective of the trek was to ride on the back of an elephant…and that my friends, was soon to become a reality.

These massive beasts who have roamed the earth for hundreds, maybe thousands of years are an absolute marvel in themselves, but to actually ride it…well…it needs to be experienced. Much comfier then a camel, but alot scarier. Everytime they go up or down a hill it seems as though you’re going to fall off. Then comes the part where the elephant is hungry or just feels like it needs to go somewhere else. Still…riding atop this giant animal I felt like the king of the castle…just think of Borat.

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After the elephants, it was white water rafting time…or more like brown water…sheesh the river we were taking…fucking sick…but the rafting…absolutely raw. Definitely not the hardest rapids or course I’ve ever taken, but sooo much fun. I got soaked, ate a shit load of dirty water and almost fell out…good times indeed. Almost the entire time while rafting I was thinking how sick it was that I was in the northern part of Thailand and rafting down some river.

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When I first arrived in Chang Mai I actually thought that there wasn’t much to do. Hahaha There is a shit load of stuff here. All of Thailands history basically started here. Also they have the best fruits, vegitables and therefore cooking. So next step…learning to cook Thai food.

One of the best choices I made in Chang Mai. You were taken around a local market, shown the best vegitables and spices for particular dishes…then guess what…we got to cook those fuckers. You were able to chose from two soups, three curries, three meat dishes and three noodle dishes. I chose Tom Yum soup, Green curry, Chicken and cashew nut and finally Drunken noodle. I also learned how to carve fruit, make spring rolls and one of my favorite…mango and sticky rice.

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So maybe if any of you are lucky…Iron Chef Bobby Vanilla may come back and visit your town. Still the best part wasn’t the cooking…it was what we got to do with the pans…light them on fire…ya just take that in…nice and smooth eh…good ol fire. Unfortunately, the guy taking the picture for me…SUCKED…so this is the only fire picutre I’ve got…geez amateurs.

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Still this wasn’t even close to the best fresh food I’ve had thus far…it was time for a real Thai treat…rice farming. In the hostel I was staying at, the owner’s family owned a patch of land where they did rice farming…well shit…I couldn’t pass this opportunity up. So me and a few others headed down to the land and begun the process of cutting down the rice stocks.

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I thought It would be a very messy job, but it turns out, before they start to harvest the rice they make sure all the water is drained, and the rice stocks are basically dry. All you have to do is grab a…scary movie type of blade and cut down the collection of rice stocks. Hot, sweaty, sore back, but completely worth the experience. Especially with the bonus of a free dinner at the end…Rat.

Mmm...Rat

Mmm...Rat

I know what you’re thinking…WTF…ur gonna eat rat…thats sick…rat would be fucking nasty and dirty and funky…well…no. These are special rats…they only live in the rice fields..eating the rice, then you smoke them out of the hole and kill the little fuckers. We caught eight…so that means…big eats. I’ll be honest tho…at first I was a little skeptical, but after watching them burn off all the skin and clean it and prepare the meat…well…it looked like pork. I wouldn’t know the difference if it was on a plate full of other meats.

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So we helped prepare the meat, cut it, spiced it and then voila it was ready to eat. Boy the family was awesome. Free beer and eating rat…nothing else would have made this day better. The only thing was…it was spicier then a naked devil chick in hell…wow…I seriously thought my mouth was on fire…and then the family members kept rubbing it in by eating the hottest parts…sheeeesh…I like spicy…but not lava, scorching the inner parts of your mouth and guts…whoooeee. Still after eating the rat…it tasted like pork…if I served this dish to you…ha…you wouldn’t know the difference.

You wouldn't even know it was rat

Bam…Chang Mai was the surprise of the trip. I’ve heard it was a great place, but arriving I thought nothing more then relaxing…maybe walking the jungle and that was it. Turns out, I accomplished, experienced and did so much more then that…most things I would never have done in North America. Hahaha…eating rat, havesting rice and even riding an elephant, once in a lifetime baby. Do I recommend this place? Yes…it was all completely worth it.

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