There's a lot to cover about Chiang Mai. I'm going to attempt to condense it all into one paragraph before letting the pictures do the talking.
We left the islands and done a straight journey to Chiang Mai. 907 miles. By coach. That goes 10 miles an hour. It took two days. In fact it took one rocky boat, one coach, one minibus and then another night bus that was stopped by the military. And then a taxi to a dodgy looking hostel down a dark alley. The next day we found another hostel, the crazy arts hostel that is Bunchen, where it was the norm for live chickens to go by, cockroaches to be passed around as a snack and drinking games to take place every night. We tried Khao Soi, a dish of Northern Thailand, met up with old friends at the Night Bazaar, attended a ladyboy show, completed a cooking course, went kayaking in rivers where elephants bathed, ripped my trousers while jungle trekking, ripped my shorts while bamboo rafting, ripped my new trousers by falling off the roof of a taxi van, played drunken hide and seek in 7/11, went to a butterfly farm, visited a tribal village, started the party in a reggae bar, had a Thai massage, rode an elephant (which I'm actually very ashamed of), and took a dip under a waterfall. I think that just about covers it.
Riding the elephants were part of the days trek, where we asked before riding if they were treated well. After being assured that they were, we hesitantly got on. I couldn't enjoy it for both a guilty conscience and the fact it's extremely uncomfortable. The place we were at was an elephant camp where we saw them being treated well, but we were told by a hostel friend afterwards that any elephants that you can ride would have been treated very cruelly at a young age which made me regret my decision even more.