After getting our visas renewed in Phuket, we decided to head to the city of Chiang Mai in the far north of Thailand—a journey of almost 1,000 miles. We broke it up by staying for a few nights in the completely untouristed towns of Surat Thani and Phetchaburi. Both had wonderful night markets to stroll around getting yummy Thai dinners for only a few dollars.
We didn’t do much sightseeing, but we did stop by a few of Phetchaburi’s beautiful Buddhist temples (called wats in Thailand). Their style bears some resemblance to that in Laos but with some distinct differences, such as the use of carved stucco designs. While in Phetchaburi, we also got to meet (from a distance) the giant water monitor lizards that are common in parts of Thailand.
From Phetchaburi, we took a train to Bangkok and then a night train to Chiang Mai. Sleeping in the cozy little curtained compartments was great fun.