Meeting the locals in Chiang Mai
Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
124Trip End Feb 01, 2012
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We hope you are all well and that 2011 has started good for you. Here is our entry from Chiang Mai.
It was a real hard jaunt to get to Chiang Mai. First we had to get a tuk tuk, then mini bus, boat, mini bus and finally a bus from Ko Lanta to Krabi. From Krabi we got an overnight bus to Bangkok. All the trains were fully booked so that is why we put my poor Mom & Dad through all that! We then had a half a day to kill in Bangkok before getting an overnight train to Chiang Mai. Karen came up with a great idea and we went to a hotel pool to chill and sleep off the bus journey. Was it worth all that effort just to come to Chiang Mai for 3 days? You best believe it!
I don't normally copy what I have wrote in my personal journal on this blog but I think on this occasion I will make an exception. Here is what I wrote:
I have to admit that I questioned whether 2 whole days of travel to get to Chiang Mai were worth it. I got my answer as I stood under one of the elephants, stroking the side of her head. I was overwhelmed by how gentle this giant was. But what got me most of all was how willing to trust us humans she was, even after what she had been through at the hands of some heartless monsters. That memory of me looking up at her and stroking her will remain with me forever.
Most visitors to Chiang Mai usually organise a trek into the mountains from here and get to visit some local tribes along the way. As we only had half a day to spare we had to do a whistle stop tour that gave us a taste of what Chiang Mai has to offer. Our day trip included a visit to a small Hmong village and one of the most famous temples in the area.
The name ‘Opium’ is so beguiling. It conjures up images of lush parlours, full of drapes straight out of Arabian nights. On the other hand, it’s other name, ‘Heroin’ just makes me think of someone with hollow eyes and not many teeth. Unfortunately some tourists don’t know the difference and end up going to ‘Opium dens’ thinking they’re smoking some harmless exotic drug.
And so with our new good luck bracelet from the monks on our arms we left the temples and headed to the train station for our night journey back to Bangkok.
More from the capital, till then….
Lots of loveKaren and Paul