"Chiang Rai tour" = Market tour :(

Trip Start Nov 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 01, 2011

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Monday, December 6, 2010

So we set out in a minibus for a tour they called the Chiang Rai tour. First they stopped at what they told us were hot springs, essentially all it was was two fountains spraying hot water with stalls surrounding them...a market. People were cooking eggs in the hot water and trying to sell them to the tourists.
Next (the BEST part of the day) we were taken to Chiang Rai to see the White Temple. It was crazy! The temple was completely white with silver bits all over it; it was like looking at winter, Thailand style. The best part though was inside the temple. When you walk in it seems like a normal temple with a Buddha statue at the front but when you turn around and look at the back wall, well it gets weird! ha ha. The guy who built the temple spent some time in the U.S, which helps to explain what we saw. On the back wall is a big intricate dragon with temple style swirls and paintings but then when you take a second look because you can't believe what you're seeing you notice the American pop culture style drawings intertwined in the paintings. No word of a lie there was superman, spider-man, batman, the matrix guy, and avatar, Darth Vader, the puppet from Saw with the red swirly cheeks and even a picture of the twin towers, one blown up and the other with a plane heading for it and a two headed demon wrapped around it. Madness!! Then we went into an art gallery type building and there were paintings from Thai style Buddha drawings and then back to the weirdness with a picture of George Bush and Osama Bin Laden riding a rocket together in space and smiling! We left completely awestruck.
Then they took us to the Golden Triangle, the borders of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. We got on a boat on the Mekong and they drove us around to see all the dirt river banks....not very exciting, there was a casino on the Laos side though! haha. They dropped us off on the Laos side to (this seemed to be the theme of the day) look in the market stalls! They did have some special whiskey to try though which James enjoyed very much! He tried the snake whiskey but there was also gecko, ginseng, banana, and tiger penis!
Next, you'll probably never guess where they took us....to a market in town!! The whole van groaned when we pulled up.
Finally we were taken to see the long neck hill tribe (people with a bunch of rings around there neck) which was a major disappointment. It was cool to see them dressed up in their costumes but it kinda seemed that that's just what they were, costumes, and it was all staged. We walked through a single line of stalls with the women dressed up and trying to sell us the stuff in their stalls..grrr. Also the little kids ran around us holding out their hands saying "10 baht" "10 baht". They were cute though and didn't push it when we shook our heads and walked past.
And that was our day; we headed back on the road for our three hour ride back to Chiang Mai.
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