Chiang Mai and elephants
Chiang Mai and the Elephants.
01 02 2011
Our last night in Bangkok was a bad computer night. All our efforts at uploading and labelling pictures seemed to be in vain and we have missed out some of the short cuts somehow. We missed supper ,had marital strife and went to bed on a Mars bar feeling very grumpy. Husband and wife sharing a computer is very difficult.
Up early again next morning. Our driver was a little late causing minor anxiety but he redeemed himself by getting to the airport extra fast,( It was a Sunday and the Chinese New Year so not much traffic). Our flight to Chaing Mia was very efficient, less than half an hour to get off the plane ,meet a lovely guide called Oi and arrive at our hotel. We were soon off on another tour. More temples but Oi was good at explaining the virtues of Buddhism. It is difficult to climb a gold leafed Pagoda and reach Heaven but easy to slide down to Hell! The last temple was in a lovely mountain setting. We bought Buddha a lotus flower and three joss sticks for 40p walked three times round the temple and rang some prayer bells. All our sins were forgiven and marital harmony was restored! The weekday of your birth is very important for Buddhists so we checked our birthdays on a one hundred year calender. Roz was born on a lucky Tuesday and Phil was born on a lucky Saturday, so we put 10 Bhats ( 20p) in the appropriate weekday box for more good luck.
Back at the Hotel we found we had free WiFi and were able to resolve some computer problems. Went down town on Sunday evening to the Sunday Walking Market, mostly cheap clothes, and local handicrafts. F and Auntie Vi would have loved it but we resisted temptation. Excellent Thai dinner. We chatted in French to a couple from Brittany,(Thank you Nicole fro improving Roz’s French conversation)! Monday morning off to the elephant reserve, stopping at an Orchid and Butterfly Farm on the way.The elephants were great. First it was bath time in the river, then a demonstration of logging skills and then the elephant kindergarten class did paintings of trees. They were better than some modern artists. Next we had an elephant ride through the jungle ,perched on top on a howdah. It was a bit wobbly going downhill. We visited a hill tribe village. On the way back the elephants went striding through the river up to their tummies in grey green fast flowing water. Very exciting. After lunch we got onto flat bamboo rafts and were punted downstram for an hour, a lovely tranquil journey watching birds elephants and butterflies. On the way a man popped out from behind a bend with a floating crate of coca-cola. Last night we went down town again and Phil sampled Thai Whisky and we ate in an ethnic foodstall. The food was very good but the plates were rather grubby and Roz is not entirely a well woman today. (Chilli diarrhoea makes you a bit sore!)
Today we are having a quiet day waiting for our next flight this evening and overnight to Shanghai via Bangkok. We walked into town and visited a good museum. Had a lovely afternoon swim in the pool. The temperature is a comfortable 27C, we hear it is 0-4C in Portsmouth.