Day 33 - Last day in Chiang Mai

Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
Trip End Jan 09, 2013

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Flag of Thailand  , Chiang Mai,
Friday, November 2, 2012

So it was our last day in Chiang Mai today and we decided to not rush things and just enjoy. We started off with breakfast at the hotel and did some investigating for spots in Phuket. We then decided we should do a river cruise so booked a 2 hour little tour which started at around 11:30. We were fetched from the hotel and dropped off at the pier. Our driver then became boat man and explained the plan for the tour. We then hopped aboard, just us which was fun. The boat set off and we gently cruised down the Mae Ping river which is the main river running through Chiang Mai. It was very interesting looking at the guys fishing off the banks and some of the Thai houses. After about 15 minutes we pulled ashore and a smiley lady greeted us. We had stopped at her house and restaurant. She then popped us onto horse drawn carriages and we trotted off to see ancient ruins of temples nearby. They are over 700 years old and were built during the Lanna dynasty. The ruins were unearthed about 2 metres below the current ground level and were very interesting. We also stopped at a little museum and learned about the king of the north and the Chinese connection with Thailand then. Seem of the temples were really amazing and we enjoyed our day trotting around the small alleys. We then returned to the Thai house where we received some fruit and interesting herb drinks before a boarding the boat and heading back.
Our driver then dropped us off at the Riverside Cafe area and we took a walk to Regina's - one of Tess and Sarah's favorites haunts. Very sadly it was closed for lunch so we ended up pulling into the Good View restaurant instead. Lunch was delicious as we sat next to the river and listened to the evenings band practice. We then caught a saungtauw to Thae Pae gate and enjoyed a stroll back to our hotel. We stumbled across a local fresh produce market so wandered around. Tess bought some durian (the stinky fruit) and some dragon fruit for John and Lynne to taste.
After a little swim fabulous Khun Nee came to fetch us for dinner and we headed off to a lovely restaurant just next to the river. We were delighted when her husband and two sons, Photo and Fanta, joined us. They were so sweet and although it was late for them they stuck it out for dinner with us. Nee ordered at feast fit for a king for us and we got to enjoy soup, fish, veggie dishes and so many other Thai tidbits that we all felt like exploding by the end of the meal. Tom, Nee's husband took the kids home and she then dropped us off at the Night Bazaar. What an amazing and generous friend she is!
Then the shopping began and we thoroughly enjoy walking the streets and looking at the wares. The Bazaar has grown significantly since Tess was there last and much of it was rebuilt after a flood a few years ago. It is a fantastic market that really takes several visits to enjoy totally. But we did well in the few hours we could do and found some super pressies to take home.
Exhausted we caught a saungtauw back to the hotel. It's been a wonderful part of our journey being here and we agree that it is indeed a great city to live in with the relaxed environment, mostly fresh air and amazing people. The hospitality of our Thai friends has once again bowled us over and they are truly remarkable ambassadors for their country. Tomorrow we head to Phuket on an early flight for our last Thailand stop.
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Sarah on

Ah I have tears in my eyes as I'm reading of your travels in Chiang Mai, revisiting our favourite places. Such special, happy memories. So glad you are all enjoying it.xx

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