We awoke on our last day in Chiang Rai with very sore legs after our long jungle trek. We said goodbye to the Baan Bua guest House, which had been our home for the last 5 days and made our way to the Bus Terminal. We’d booked the VIP Bus as it made the journey 3 hours instead of 4 (not sure why – perhaps it was quicker to drive without the weight of all the chickens and goats on board?). We had big leather seats and got given a free snack and water – pure luxury. We drove through the hills and were at times surrounded by pure jungle – beautiful.

We arrived in Chiang Mai just after 12 and luckily were met with brilliant sunshine – a vast improvement on our rainy days in Chiang Rai. We dumped our bags at our guesthouse – The Dozy House, where we were staying in the pink room (much to Barry’s horror) and decided to go for a walk. Really it was very similar to most other places we had been filled with Temples and street stalls but it was busier than the places we had been recently but a lot quieter than Bangkok (it also didn’t smell so bad!). Our highlight was finding the ‘HUG Academy’ Queue pic of me hugging the sign! Not sure what it really was but made for a humorous pic.

We spent the rest of the afternoon planning our itinerary for the next 6 days and then ventured out for some dinner. We found a local restaurant filled purely with Thai people and thought we would try the local cuisine. After perusing the menu we decided on Crispy Seafood Salad, Soft Shell Crab and Pork with Garlic and pepper. Upon ordering we were quickly told by the waitress ‘the seafood salad has Munk Fish in it, Westerners don’t like it’. Never ones to shy away from trying the local produce we decided to have it anyway.

Whilst waiting for our food to arrive we start to contemplate what this mung fish could be and start to get slightly anxious. You see we’ve watched a lot of programs where they try unusual foods and one that pops to mind is a program where a small bowl was brought to the table with a fish that was alive writhing around in it. You had to pour sauce on it to slowly kill it so you could eat it – I’m really hoping this is not what arrives on our table. Barry decides to Google it, but I tell him not to as I really don’t want to know what I’m eating until afterwards. That way I can’t be put off.

Our food arrives and we look at the salad with slight disappointment. It looks like a normal salad just with pork scratching’s in it. We ask the waitress what is the Mung and she points at the pork scratching type food. Feeling very pleased that it hasn’t arrived at our table alive, we tuck in. It’s a lot lighter than pork scratching’s, but has the flavour of cow dung. We chew through as much as we can, as really it’s not that bad but after a while the taste of farm is just too much and we eat round it. Next up the crab arrives. I’ve eaten this before so know what to expect, but Barry is quite horrified when it arrives broken down, but with legs, claws, head and eyes still intact. Never the less he tucks in anyway, but opts not to eat right down to the claw and passes on the head, which I decide to eat.

Overall a lovely first meal in our new home for the next 6 days and we are very happy with the weather!

That night was quite cold. What better way to warm up than sink a few alcoholic beverages!