So elephants ticked off the bucket list, which left us a day in Chang Mai to dick about and cram in as many of the must dos in 24 hours. Here’s how we did
Now I have always wanted to see a panda and we found out that the Chinese government had loaned two to Thailand to see if they could get the infamously celibate bears to mate and produce baby cuddly pandas. Well they did, so we set off in search of these mysterious little creatures. The pics show the results and the video shows about how much they care being watched by fascinated tourists. It was good to see them even if they weren’t too impressed with us, and another one crossed off the bucket list.
We then set off in search of a songthaew that was headed in the direction of the temple at Doi Suthep, visiting this Wat is a double bonus as it is perched on top the hill which offers magnificent views of Chiang Mai, and again we were blessed with pretty decent weather so got to enjoy them with some moody skies and less moody monks.
We admired all the Buddha’s and then John decided that it only fitting that we had made it all the way up there that he should be blessed by a monk. So he queued and waited in line for his puriifcation. This consisted of some chanting by the monk and then a splashing on of some water then a tapping on the head with this bamboo stick before having a string bracelet attached by the monk. I stood witnessing this event and I could swear that the monk whacked John on the head a little harder than the rest of the worshippers.
I like these temples they are a very peaceful serene place to spend an hour or two away from the bustle of the city.
After that it was back down to pick up our Songthaew driver. But before that we had to negotiate one of the nice hawkers. On our way up to the temple John had tried to put off a purchase of some very unholy buddist bells from her by saying “maybe later”. He should have known better, and sure enough when we got back down from the mount she was there waiting for him. I left him to let her down gently….
It Doesn’t Always Pay to be Kind to the Environment
Let’s rteturn for one moment to yesterday. As we were packing everything we might need for the day with the elephants I suggested to John that it might not be good for the elephants for us to smear ourselves in Deet mossy spray. He reluctantly agreed, and for once I felt environmentally smug. The day after through I paid for my kindness, John had been ravaged with mossy bites all over, even in places they don’t normally strike. So we had to make a detour to a pharmacy in the middle of our sightseeing day to get some anti itch cream and pills to stop johns agonising itches. For some reason the mosses left me alone, but John didn’t , he still hasn’t forgiven me for this act of kindness.
Pinging Down the Ping
So after John had liberally applied his creams and popped his pills, and liberally swore at me for making him suffer thus, we went off in search of a boat to
take us down the river Ping. Now admittedly unllike a trip down the river in Bangkok there is not as much too see until you get towards the outskirts of the main city where some very beautiful houses adorn the banks of the river and the guide delights in telling you who owns them ” Europeans, Japanese, ex prime minister of Thailand etc etc “. The end of the journey is at a farmers restaurant which apparently featured in Rambo
4. Now it’s a shame I gave up on Rambo the original, but we were shown a cock fighting ring, a Thai house and a boat all which he was certain had featured in the film and he was very proud of this. Entertaining in itself that one. I have just looked this up and found this on imdb, i think I will have to watch the film now to be certain.
A few things I now know
1. I have wondered why there are so many street food vendors in Asia and then in a bar chatting to the owner the other day he explains that most people here don’t have a fully fledged kitchen only a hot plate on which to cook so most people eat out. Obvious really but not so stupid here…
3. Thai zebra crossing marks on the road don’t mean shit to drivers of tuk tuks, taxis or songthaews….
4. Thai people remain the most friendly and hospitable bunch of people I have ever come across on my travels, even those not on the lookout for tips
5. The reason quite a few Americans own business in thailand is due to age old agreement where they can own land (via the US embassy in some strange contract) under a deal signed during the second world war, other foreigners can’t own Thai property.
6. Autsralians we have met on this trip prove the stereotype that they are a very laid back culture.
7. Do not repeat do not order anything in a local Thai street food cafe which is marked as spicy. We still hadn’t learnt our lesson and the other night we ordered something described at stir fired spicy chicken with lime. It sounded enticing and when it arrived it was served along with a bowl of iced water with some pak choi greens. One mouthful of the lime chicken later you needed to chomp on these iced greens to calm down your mouth. Here is a short vid of the evil man that cooked this for us.
So Chiang Mai is over and we definitely want to come back and spend some more time here, we loved it but only really did the must do’s. So we will be back at some point. We are now in Bangkok for the last two days, we did all the sightseeing last time so we are concentrating on shopping, eating and as I speak John is in with the dentist getting his teeth whitened giving me a couple of hours to polish this penultimate blog off.
Hope one more sum up blog to come then I hang up my blogging fingers till the next trip (which is currently being discussed and planned)….
See you all soon.
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