An uneventful day

Trip Start Jan 28, 2013
Trip End Mar 02, 2013

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Had a bad night, tossed and turned with stomach ache. Tried to have something for breakfast - luckily they had some watery porridge.

The group met in the lobby at 8am for the bus to take us to Wat Doi Suthep, which is a must-see temple in Chiang Mail. It is at the top of the mountain. The bus drove up the windy mountain road and we got there in about half an hour. The temple was indeed gorgeous. We took the cable car up, and walked around - the temple ground was quite spacious. Our guide Chula told us the history of this temple, which I did not pay too much attention to. I took some photos. After an hour or so, we walked down the mountain and hit the shopping area, which was more interesting to me. Got a couple of miscellaneous items.

Next stop was at the jade factory. This place is owned by 2 brothers who're Harvard graduates of Gemology. The lady owner (not sure if she was the mother or the wife) gave us an introduction of jade - the different kinds of jade and how they make things out of the stones. She was a very graceful lady and she was wearing some very beautiful jade jewelries. We looked at the jade jewelries for sale - they're indeed beautiful, and expensive (at least to me). Only one lady in the group bought a pair of ear rings, I think.

We got back to the hotel at noon. Lucy, Chris, Bob and I followed our guide to a nearby noodle place and had delicious noodles! I had a bowl, which actually stayed inside me.

At 1pm, we got together again and set out for the afternoon activities, which consisted of visiting some silver and silk stores. This whole thing turned out to be quite disappointing! The first was a rug store owned and operated by Indians, from Kashmere. We were given a long introduction and show of rugs. The silver store did not have anything too exciting. The silk factory/store was very disappointing - nothing special. Finally we visited a factory/store that made lacquer things. We got back to the hotel before 4pm. Lucy and I walked around the stores next to the hotel, and I found a couple of linen/cotton tops which were reasonably priced and of good quality.

Last activity of today was dinner at the Mandarin Oriental restaurant, with Thai music and dance. Food and entertainment were both OK. Got a brief look at the Mandarin Oriental in the dark - seemed like a very beautiful and luxurious place. Chula said the room rate starts from $1000.

I ate a decent meal without stomach pain yet, but feeling exhausted. Tomorrow is a traveling day - fly Chiang Mai to Bangkok, changing plane from Bangkok to Singapore, then board the ship which will set sail at 8pm. I am calling it a night now.

By the way, I'm not sure if internet is available on the ship, so I may not be able to update my blog .....
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