Day 10 - early morning
Day 4 of Indochina Encompassed Tour
At 7:00am this morning, Michel and I were wide awake and having breakfast in the hotel's small dining area. Aside from the cook, no one else was around! We were the only ones from the group moving around and making some noise at this early hour of the morning aside from the birds making a racket on the trees nearby!
You’ll be happy to know that I had good reasons for being up and running like crazy even though today was a day of leisure, a day to do as we pleased and a day to get up at a much later time than 6:00am! I had plans for the day and had better things to do with my time! I knew exactly where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. So now you know what the rush was all about!
Since on the previous day I had expressed an interest to Kit of wanting to visit "a specific Tribe", he was nice enough to make some arrangements for us to go and visit their "village" situated in the North of Chiang Mai, a good hour and a half drive from here! It was now or never because otherwise, I knew that I'll never have any other opportunities to visit them!
As promised, we were picked up at the front of the hotel at 8:00am by a local taxi driver. For a mere 800 Thai Baht ($25.00 CAD), Kit told us that this person would be our private chauffeur for the entire day, wait for us while we visit the colony and drive us back here at the hotel once we're done with everything! How's this for a good deal!
As for the vehicle, it wasn’t a typical taxi as one would expect back home but one of those famous "songthaews" pickup trucks with benches installed in the back of it just like the one we had when we first arrived here in Chiang Mai. At least, a metal cover shielded us from the wind as he drove down the streets at high speed and into the awaiting countryside.
With Michel all spread out on one side of the truck and me on the other one, you’d be surprised to know that the ride was greatly enjoyed, bumpy at times but quite entertaining. The landscape was intriguing with the various trees and the rice fields, quite something! I never got bored watching such beautiful scenes all around me!
Time went by fast and next thing I knew, we’d arrived at destination. We were finally here in Mae Raem where groups of ethic people from various tribes each lived in their own village in an area well looked upon by the Thai goverrnment.
By pointing his finger, the taxi driver guided us in the right direction to the entrance gate while saying he’d stay put right there where he parked his truck. I gave him some extra Thai Baht for him to buy some food which brought an instant big smile on his face and a "Thai Wai", the slight bow with his hands pressed together like a prayer as he repeatedly thanked me!
Being a tourist destination, I was quite happy to know that no one else was here at this moment; we were the first ones to arrive which meant that we’d have the whole place all to ourselves. The countryside scenes around me were stunning. The sun was already up in the blue sky and the weather quite pleasant!
After paying the entrance fee of 1,000 Thai Baht ($34.00 CAD) in which I later found out went back to these people, the gate was crossed and I followed the rugged path which would lead me to the "Tribe" I came here to see amongst other interesting ones living here! Monique :-)