I can't believe the extent of our travels in just four days. We went shopping in Bangkok on Friday afternoon, where I bought a new torchiere (floor lamp) for my home office. Much to our own surprise, we managed to make it to Chiang Mai by Saturday morning. We bought our new camping gear and then had an excellent camping trip with our friends, David and Jeab. We were back in Bangkok by Sunday night, and then on our home island by Monday evening. Whew.
When we departed our home Thursday evening, we had the intention of heading all the way to Chiang Mai. Even before reaching Bangkok, however, we decided it wasn't worth the additional eleven hour bus ride. We slept a night at my girlfriend's parent's house in Bangkok, and went shopping the next day. That evening, however, my girlfriend's mother phoned from work saying her niece (my girlfriend's cousin) will be driving with her boyfriend to Chiang Mai that very evening. We scrambled to hitch a ride, and arrived in Chiang Mai the next morning.
The highlight of the trip, without a doubt, was ascending to the peak of Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai on Sunday morning at 6 a.m. Being the highest point in Thailand, it's a popular tourist destination among Thais. Now is the country's "cold" season, and that peak is the coolest place. Everyone goes there at 6 a.m. because it's the coldest time of day. It's for the thrill (?) of feeling freezing cold, as if in some foreign country.