and so by sleeper train we head north to Chiang Mai to rendezvous with Ms R and Ms S our travel companions for the next few weeks. Travelling with three women how brave is that? We arrive at the hotel within five minutes of each other and set out to explore Chiang Mai, 'the rose of the north'. The old city is a perfect square surrounded by a moat and the remains of a wall. It's a bit of a disappointment to me, being full of bars, smiling women and massage parlours. Its raison d'etre now seems to be based entirely on tourism. What it has in spades are night markets and my little point and shoot comes in handy again, Here for a hat maker.