Because of the distance from Khao Yai NP to the north of Thailand I spend one night in Phitsanulok before I boarded a train to Chiang Mai. It was a beautiful ride and for the locals my presence was like an attraction in the zoo (felang! felang!).
Chiang Mai is a laidback place with many temple sites within the old city walls. It was easy to enjoy myself for a week here. I went to Thai boxing matches (with that annoying Thai music they play during the fights), I cooked my meal in a Thai cooking class and I strolled the markets and the temple sites. I even talked with some Thai monks for an afternoon so they could practise their English and I could get an insight in their lives.
On a tour to one of the mountain villages I gave in to settle myself on the back of an elephant. Though the elephants are used to this, I felt like I was doing the wrong thing here. For the same feelings I decided not to cuddle caged Tigers and not to visit the long-neck people villages. People and animals should not be misused for tourist purposes!