After leaving Green Climbers Home in Laos, we hitchhiked into Thakhek and three buses and 16 hours later we arrived in the digital nomad and backpackers paradise of Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Check out our Chiang Mai Climbing Guide here.
A welcome sanctuary after sleeping in a tent in the woods with no connection to the outside world for three weeks. Chiang Mai was only a very quick stop as our actual destination was Crazy Horse, a climbing area 45 minutes drive to the East. Crazy Horse aptly named because of the rock structure at the crag is another place that we’ve both been before and our last climbing spot in South East Asia.
Before leaving for the crag we applied for our China visa and of course encountered difficulties. Applying for the China visa involves providing a full itinerary for the whole month including hotel bookings, copies of our Thai visa and passports and a bank statement to prove we had enough cash. It’s advertised as a four day turn around but for some reason the embassy was delaying it to 15 days with no explanation. Luckily it didn’t really affect us as we had planned at least three weeks in Chiang Mai but everybody else was trying in vain to get an explanation or argue a case. Cue the stereotypical white guy who just speaks louder and louder to get their point across to a non-native English speaker. Turns out a lot of other people were having problems during this particular time in Vientiane and Bangkok with a similar delay with no reason.
Chiang Mai is well known on the tourist circuit, however less known for being one of the most popular places in Asia for expat remote workers. This has created a demand for all the modern facilities you would expect from a small city. Cafes on every street, organic shops, good internet throughout and of course the obligatory Thai massage parlours. After refuelling and catching up with the world wide web we caught a public bus to Crazy Horse.
One of the things we love about Crazy Horse is Jira, the home stay on the crag. Staying there is like living with an adopted family. The motorbikes are free to borrow, their dogs will follow you to the crags and the food portions are huge! Even better our Singapore friends were coming to join us climbing for a week. We really appreciate Rhea, Jason, Suyen and Martin coming out to see us, it was great catching up and remind us of the good times we had in Singapore.
In total we spent almost three weeks at Crazy Horse, not climbing or projecting anything hard like we were in Thakhek but rather just enjoying climbing with friends. After the Singapore Crew left we were joined by Tam, Mike and Mike who we had met in Tonsai and Thakhek.
We finally concentrated on getting some good climbing shots of us climbing and here are the results.[carousel_slide id=’274′]
The highlights in Crazy Horse are some awesome caves that you can go into and climb! Climbing in a cave with head torches is a surreal experience! Of course we had the usual close snake experience.
After we left Crazy Horse we went back to Chiang Mai and Pyn started an intensive German one on one language course with all the enthusiasm of a kid going back to school after the summer holidays. One week later he’s just about learnt the Dative thing and can sort of speak in the present tense which cued us to move on to Chiang Rai to do some touristy stuff!
So far we’ve been on the road for almost three months and only been to 3 places, Tonsai, Thakhek and Chiang Mai. As we’ve only been climbing it was a welcome change especially for Silvia to go see the tourist attractions in the area.
We’ve really appreciated all your positive comments on the blog and videos. It’s actually been really enjoyable learning the new skills required for this project. Hopefully you’ll see the improvements as we learn to make the blog and videos more professional. In the mean time we have also created a Crazy Horse Climbing Guide, in our Guide section.