May 18, 2003
In less than an hour I'll be leaving Chiang Mai and getting on a mini van (300B) heading for Chiang Khong, which is a border town in the north of the country about five hours away. My thirty day Thailand VISA is just about to expire so I'm hightailing it to Laos, crossing the border in the morning. By all accounts Laos is a wonderful country and I'm keen to see for myself what all the fuss is about. Watch this space...
The last eight days in Chiang Mai have been fantastic fun. The SongKran 'New Year' festival was well worth coming to this city for. Thai's celebrate the new year during the hottest part of the calendar, and what started as a 'blessing' ceremony has evolved into a full scale nationwide water festival. The throwing of water at people is taken in good spirits and everyone is smiling, having a good time as they nearly empty the moat each day to fuel their water pistols. It was truly a unique experience, which I couldn't see working in any other country. I can not imagine any other circumstances where I would be able to throw cold water over a couple of on-duty policemen without fear of getting arrested!