Edit Blog Post
Published: July 21st 2010
We have been hanging out in Chiang Mai for the last few days awaiting Chloe's Chinese visa. Unfortunately good food has been a bit thin on the ground and we are getting a little downhearted about this. I'm not sure if we are looking in the wrong places, ordering the wrong thing or Thailand's culinary creations are just not what they are cracked up to be.
Anyway enough of that. Chang Mai, we visited the zoo and I saw Panda's for the first time. They are seriously cool animals! We watched one of them pretty much just sitting in front of us stuffing his face with bamboo, debris falling all over his fatty belly and he was loving it. As soon as he had had enough it was up onto his sleeping platform with a belly flop and asleep within seconds. It was brilliant to see, I am very jealous of the Adelaide Zoo now.
The highlight of our stay was definitely the Sunday Walking Street Market. They close of one of the major roads in Chang Mai and a few smaller ones that run off it and its covered in markets. They have food stalls arranged in the courtyards of several of the temples along the way and the rest is market stuff, so needless to say a fair few baht were spent that evening!
But the most interesting thing was our visit to the fortune teller. Apparently I am going to meet a tall, handsome German who is to become my husband when I am 28 or 29. Wow that's quick! I take this with a grain of salt however as she also mentioned that my husband will provide for me and I will not go to work but instead stay at home cooking, massaging and taking care of baby....what the? Yes apparently my husband will 'control' me to stay at home and he will look after me, yes that definitely sounds like a man I'd marry! Although I did like what she had to say about him being an engineer and having lots of cash and that I am a very strong woman and be very lucky for my life. Really what more can I ask for???
So after picking Chloe's visa up we headed out of Chiang Mai on Monday and up to Chiang Rai. I had to go to Chiang Rai in order to cross the border into Burma so that I could come back and have a new Thai visa. I didn't really want to go into Burma because of the current political/humanitarian situation there but unfortunately it was the only option for me to extend my stay. So off we went on what must be THE bounciest bus ride we've ever been on! We arrived, alive (surprisingly) and went in search of a guesthouse. The first place we checked out was recommended by the Lonely Planet.....interesting choice. We viewed a room that I backed out of as fast as could because I thought I would get bed bugs just by standing next to the bed! It was RANK! Thanks LP.
Fortunately a little further up the road we stumbled upon Orchids Guesthouse and it was lovely. Clean white sheets, private bathroom and a TV! What a luxury. All for the nominal fee of USD10 per night...hard.
Next day we headed out with a couple of other travelers and a driver to check out some of the sights around Chiang Rai. We visited a Hill Tribe Village where we got to see the Long Neck Karen Tribe, they are the people who have the big copper rings around their necks. That was pretty cool. But the highlight for me was a visit to a temple in a cave up in the mountains. We sat with a Monk there who had to be the happiest guy I've ever met. We learned that he had been in the army as a young man but after several years he left and became a Monk and he now lives in the temple cave. The guide told us he was 66 but he really only looked 45 at the most, it was amazing how healthy and happy he looked. I guess that's what the simple life will do for you.
So this morning it was up early and on a bus at 8.30 to Mae Sai which is the border town. I crossed into Burma no worries, walked around the markets for 20 minutes trying to avoid the taxi men and cigarette salesman. Then made my way back through immigration into Thailand sporting a new 15 day visa. Easy as pie. Back in Chiang Mai tonight before heading to Pai in the morning, looking forward to Pai as its apparently a bit of a hippy hang out...
Tot: 3.428s; Tpl: 0.091s; cc: 7; qc: 45; dbt: 0.0864s; 3; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 8;
; mem: 1.3mb