Off to see the flowers

Trip Start Sep 21, 2011
Trip End Mar 21, 2012

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Flag of Thailand  , Chiang Mai,
Thursday, December 22, 2011

Phone friends Cliff & Tukta at 9:30 to make sure arrangements are on target and find out that they are already on their way to pick us up and before 10:00 we are leaving town and heading to the Royal Flora Ratchapreuk 2011.  It is a huge site but for some reason they are using the car parks that are furthest away from the entrance.  We join the large crowds assembled and realise that most people are travelling as groups and their are no queues for the individual tickets that we need to get in.  Our first stop once inside is the orchid pavillion and a wonderful display.  Would have liked to take some back with us but ...  We catch a small trolley bus to save walking too much and set off round the site.  We get off and explore some of the gardens dedicated to different countries.  I was a bit disappointed to find that nearly all of the flowers at each countries garden were Thai and none appear to have been brought in.  There were about a dozen tulips on the Dutch garden along with a giant pair of clogs and a windmill although most of the display was chillies.  We reach the giant Ferris wheel and have to go for a ride.  Great views over the site from the top of the wheel particularly over the Royal Pavillion.  We walk around a few more national gardens even giving Cliff the chance to take Tukta to Canada with him.  It is warming up a bitby now and the crowds are also becomming more dense so we board another trolley bus and complete a full circuit of the site.  There was a lot of emphasis on eco projects and being green so it was a bit disappointing to see that all of the transport being used was petrol powered.
We return to the car and drive back into Chiangmai and to Sugar Bar where we meet up with Dave and Maxand staying here for the rest of the day.  The girls have started a card school.  Although illegal in Thailand they all love a bit of gambling and money is moving around the table at a great pace.  Bill, who 'owns' Sugar Bar phoned from US.  It was 06:00 in the morning and he was just getting ready to go to work in Florida and wasnt too happy to hear us all enjoying ourselves drinking his beer !!  Walking back to the guest house we stop in to the Chiangmai Entertainment Centre - a cluster of 'girly' bars to see if there wasanyone we recognised hanging around.  There was a party in full swing at Jackies Bar where we always used to drink so we stopped for one more beer and something to eat here before calling it a night. 
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