Matthew Stanford

  1977 -
  City of Birth:

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I am adding this additional chapter to my introduction, because after I initially wrote the introduction, it was very difficult to come back to it and try to make sense of all that I have experienced through the various stages of my life and the trials that I have endured or overcome.  I wish ...


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The story has already been written for awhile on my blog "From the heart of Praise, Prayer and Perseverance. 0; Here is a link to that posting, Below are the pictures of the blessed event.   http://fromthehea rt-dotwigg.blogsp other-2-prayer-re ml


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Matthew's Story > Chapters > WORLD BACKPACKING TRIP



Date Range: 11/03/2008 To 11/07/2008   Comments: 0   Views: 3,122
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Had reservations about flying with Air Asia after the last trip but they were only 40 minutes late this time. The view coming over the mountains coming into Chiang Mai Got to the strangely named Gongkaew Chiangmai Home seemed a good place with loads of croaking frogs in the pond at night but later on I found out that it's location was a big let down.

On the first night after a couple of beers I arranged to go on a trip with a lad from Hartlepool called flight of the Gibbon which looked good. So we headed out early the following morning to some nearby hills and into a forest.

It was basically going through the forest canopy on a combination of death slides and rope bridges. The first time was a bit scary but you soon got used to it. What I didn't like was a bit where they lowered you down off a platform which happened 3 times. This was followed by a walk up a waterfall and some food.

Now I enjoyed the trip but it was shockingly expensive for what it was. At nearly 40 pounds and we were back at the hostel before 2pm. It was the kind of money I would expect to pay in a first world country like New Zealand not Thailand.

This is what I called the Chiang Mai dirty secret, there was little to do in the city itself and most of the activities on offer such as hill tribe or elephant trekking were vastly overpriced in the local travel agents. It would be easy to spend 100 pounds in 3 days which was totally out of the question for me at that stage of the trip. I know that I would be jungle trekking in Sumatra later on for a lot less so I kept my money in my pocket until then. This was a decision I did not regret. The place also seemed too quiet at night, and this put me off seeing the rest of north Thailand.

On the second full day I hired a push bike with the intention of going up a mountain about 10 miles north with a temple on top. However there were no shops selling water on the way up so it doesn't matter how physically fit you are once you dehydrate its time to turn round and come back.

On the following I went to the zoo but most of it still looked like it was being built. It was not too bad however and one of the few low cost activities on offer in the city.

I couldn't believe what happened on the last night, I found a street full of bars. Just after spending 3 boring nights at my hostel with few people to speak to, it just showed how badly located my place was. Tried Thai green curry for the first time it was great stuff.

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