When Andrew and I first visited Chiang Mai in 2009 we were charmed by the surrounding forests and lush countryside, the bustling ancient city, the markets and book shops, the vegetarian restaurants, glittering temples and orange-robed monks. Even though I love big cities, especially my beloved London, I find Bangkok overwhelming and struggle with the dirt, heat and hassle. By contrast, Chiang Mai is much more appealing to me; it’s smaller and easier to get around, the climate is cooler and you can escape into the mountains on day trips whenever you like.
When you’re strapping yourself to a wire suspended hundreds of feet above the jungle floor preparing to launch yourself across the abyss, you want to be sure you’re not going to plummet to your death, right? Well, when we went zip lining in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I found myself seriously questioning the safety standards in place and with good reason.

Our trip to Thailand didn’t get off to the best start.

After an exhausting but incredible three weeks in the Philippines we bid a sad farewell to our mountain retreat in Sagada and headed back to Manila, excited at the prospect of meeting our friends and family in Thailand in just a few days’ time. As we settled down in our Manila hotel for a day of badly needed rest, Andrew received an email from Tiger Air. Our flight to Bangkok had been put forward to the early hours of the next morning and what’s more, we were due to leave from Clark airport – not Manila.Yes, that’s right - we were in the wrong city.