Chang Mai

Trip Start Mar 21, 2010
Trip End Mar 16, 2011

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Where I stayed
SK 1 House

Flag of Thailand  , Chiang Mai,
Saturday, May 1, 2010

1ST MAY 2010 - Our flight with Lao airlines was pretty good.  For Mary the anxiety of flying small planes and also knowing that this airline has a bad reputation for safety made Mary feel uneasy.  It was 1.10pm and we are just ready for take-off and Mary asked Renee to watch over us.  The flight was pretty smooth except for some turbelance coming into Chang Mai.  The flight was just one hour, couldn’t go fast enough for Mary.  We had a sandwich and a swiss roll and the sweetest juice.  We arrive at Chang Mai airport and it was pretty flash, modern and quite big.  We organise a taxi fare into town 120,000 baht which was $4AUD.  

We asked our taxi driver to take us to SK 1 House.  As we are driving down a road our driver mentions that the guys we see are part of the Red shirt protestors.  I thought oh god they are here too but was told that they are heading to Bangkok.  There was NO protests and it was quite and the road was sealed off with tyres.  I was glad to hear that they are heading out of here.  We get to our hotel without a reservation and they had only a twin a room but we grabbed it.  We arrived into our room with two separate beds and walked through the hotel and thought it was rather nice.  There was a lot of wooden artefacts and a POOL which fabulous and the gardens were nice.  The doors to our rooms had Thai paintings on them and we liked the cool bathroom.  The walls in the bathroom are made of just concrete and had shells, seahorses and fish stuck on the wall.  We thought its pretty cool and different.  We decided its 3.00pm and time for a swim, exciting there is a pool.  The room rate here was 700 baht ($23 AUD).  Just before the swim Mary has a moment where she thought she lost Troy’s passport but no I put it in another zip and due to been pretty tired the brain tends to frizzle in the heat and become just a bit too forgetful - it was in a safe spot but had a moment where I forgot where I put it.  

After the swim we were both hungry so we went out for an early dinner.  We had massam chicken (less than $2) and crispy Thai sausage which were both nice but I definitely have had better chicken.  We came back to our room and chilled out where Mary got stuck into the blog again and Troy went for a swim.  Tonight Mary had an emotional moment and cried for Renee, I miss our little girl SO much, no-one would have a clue how much it kills me inside everyday and nothing fixes a broken heart but a big hug from Troy helps me calms down.  Mary needs some sleep.  Goodnight Renee, love you baby girl. 

2ND MAY 2010 - We had breakfast at our hotel - banana pancakes, yum and then headed off to explore the city by foot.  Our hotel is on the edge of the old city and we are surrounded by a mout and saw some remains of the old wall that once was the Ancient city of Chang Mai.  We explored some beautiful temples such as Wat Chiang Man,  Wat Phan Tao (wooden temple) where a monk wanted to take a photo of Troy so Mary took a photo of the monk taking a photo of Troy.  Then Troy had a photo with him, got it?.   We then went to Wat U Mong Klang Wiang, Wat Thung Yu, Wat Phrasingh where there were heaps of monks sitting inside this temple eating lunch.  Also we saw a monk sitting on a table and so we went over to check him out.  At very first glance we thought he was alive and then we thought he was dead and embelmed or perhaps a waxed replica of the monk.  Now I will explain why we weren’t so sure, this monk was absolutely amazing, he looked so real that we were amazed to find out that he was actually a waxed statue of the real monk that was cremated.  Seriously, this is the most incredible waxed statue we have ever seen, so real, the skin, the body, the robe, the face and all its features, the entire body looked real, it actually looked like a monk was just sitting there meditating.  We both can’t believe just how someone can make a wax replica of a human being just so perfectly real. Check the photos out?

We then went to Wat Chedi Luang that collapsed during an earthquake in 1545.  The wat has been partly repaired to stop it from crumbling.  It used to home to the emerald buddha.  This was a beautiful big temple with some huge buddha up the top of the each four entrances and surrounding temples had large reclining buddha and some other beautiful buddhas.  We also saw some more waxed replicas of monks and they all looked amazingly alive like. We strolled through some markets and went to Wat Phan An.    After all this we went back to our hotel for a nice swim in the pool, it was fabulous.  

We went to the Funky Monkey for dinner and had very average vege burgers, they looked like something you would get from McDonald's or worse but they were ok and cheap.  After dinner we headed into the night markets.  We came across some other markets that are only on Sunday nights and we walked around checking out all the great stalls selling just about anything possible but had beautiful handicrafts.  As we were walking around we saw some Red Shirt protestors who were just walking around through the markets shopping just like all of us.  I first thought oh my god and next minute we were rubbing shoulders with them and having a chat with them and they were friendly.  Mary asked for a flag and they gave me one, COOL I have joined the red shirt brigade. Seriously though before you all panick these guys were not protesting, they were just strolling through the markets and there was nothing going on OR we wouldn't of been talking to them.  

We made our way to the "Night Markets" passing some beautiful temples that were glittering in the dark.  These markets were in another area further away with millions of stalls selling the same stuff - you know they say here "same same but different". There was so much nice stuff that we could of gone crazy spending money but we refrained from spending too much.We bought a blue and black material bag and a vespa t-shirt for Mary and a hippy black top for Troy and a couple of little pouches.  We were just looking around the stalls when next minute we bump into an elephant.  Yes an elephant was walking down the street saying hello to all the kids.  On our way home we walked through the Sunday markets again.  It was a fair walk and we finally made it back to our hotel with pretty sore feet. Its sometimes fun shopping but you get to a stage where you get sick of haggling.  

3RD MAY 2010 - Today we went on a 5 hill tribe day tour.  We were met by our tour guide and with another couple from Tunisia we drove for about 1/2 hr out of Chiang Mai to our first stop, the Orchid Farm.  We walked around here for about 1/2 hr checking out some beautiful orchids, it wasn’t too exciting.  Our next stop was Palong village where we walked up and down a hill and checked out the neighbourhood.  We saw a young girl weaving which looks like you would need too much patience.  On the left side they were Christians and right side they were Buddhists.  There were quite a number of stalls in front of the houses selling handicrafts.  The people here were friendly, the kids were gorgeous.  Mary was actually playing with two boys because when they saw me with my camera they hid.  I was pretending to follow them and they were killing themselves laughing as they hid behind a large bin.  They were so cute, I actually did snap a photo of them. Mmmmm I want to put them in my backpack.  

We then several other villages Akha, Luiso, Karen & Bigears villages. We saw some ladies with long necks and big ears tribes living together. These ladies were the brass necklaces around their necks and we tried them on and they are so heavy.  Their muscles become very weak and they change the rings only once every 4-5 years.  The ladies don’t actually have longer necks than everyone else.  It is actually only an illusion, as the ribs are pushed in more from the heavy necklaces so the neck only appears to look longer. They even sleep with the brass necklaces on. We thought we would of got to see more of the village but we didn’t, all we saw was a few rows of stalls selling handicrafts and some ladies and girls wearing their traditional clothes and the brass necklaces

We then went back to our guesthouse where we went for a swim.  The pool is heaven.  We then went out for dinner at Aum Vegetarian Restaurant and it was great food.        


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