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Wanders of the World

Catching Up

THAILAND | Sunday, 18 May 2008 | Views [704] | Comments [2]

Patti: This is just to catch up on the days we have been missing since Amy's entry. On May 11 in the afternoon we had our half day tour into the jungle which pretty much focussed on bats. We visited a bat cave where about 3000 bats live and we learned about how the bat poop is collected for fertilizer. Apparently it is a million dollar industry for the area. We interacted with a few creepy crawlies that our guide placed on different parts of our body; geckos on the face; millipedes tickling our arms and necks. He seemed to get a kick out of the various reactions from our group. We experienced something pretty unforgetable at dusk. Two million bats emerged from their cave for their night of feeding. At first only a few came out and then it quickly progressed to a ribbon of black in the sky. It lasted for about 45 minutes and we were quite close so could hear the flapping of millions of wings. Very Cool!

The next day was our all day jungle tour in search of creatures. We saw various spiders, a small tree snake (I was hoping for a cobra or python), a bear, two types of deer, a herd of gaur (sort of like a water buffalo and apparently rare to see), a bear sleeping in a very high tree, and a number of great hornbill birds. Our guides seemed as excited to see the animals as us tourists so their enthusiasm was great. We had a long jungle walk but unfortunately it poured rain, making it difficult for the guides to track animals. We did spot a few gibbon monkeys and Amy was lucky enough to get a view of them flying through the trees. Our accomodations near the park weren't great but they provided us with a great tour of the national park.

May 13 was a travel day and although we were warned that estimated travel time are rarely accurate, we were a little shocked that our 4 hour bus ride ended up being 8 hours. We figured we deserved a nice place to stay to choose a $33 a night place which was quite beautiful with a pool and huge buffet breakfast. Our next day was very enjoyable as we spent it on rented bikes touring the Historic Park Of Sukhothai. This was the first Thai empire and was built in the 1200's. We saw lots of Buddahs!!! It wasn't the same as the Angkor Temples but it defenitely had its own style and beauty. It was also a really nice day weather wise. Amy got a much better workout that me as she rode on a flat tire much of the time.

May 15 was another travel day and we actually arrived when expected. This destination of the city of Lampang was only to get us close to the National Elephant Conservation Centre for the following day. Amy will write another entry just for that day as it deserves one all its own.

We arrived in Chaing Mai the evening of May 16 and have been here since. We are staying in another nice place and it'd pretty impressive what $30 will get you compared to other parts of the world that we have been to. The night market is overwhelming and we have been doing our best to negotiate a good price. The baisc rule is to pay 40% less than the first asking price. Yesterday we got propositioned by a tour guide at one of the temples we had walked to to drive us around to some local sights. He tooks us to some great places including an awesome lunch spot and then came the shopping. We went to a silk factory, a jewellery factory, and a carpet factory. After a quick tour of each you are led to their showroom. We almost walked away with $200 silk sheets, a $600 ruby ring, and a $2000 hand knotted silk rug, but resisted them all. We also experienced our first Thai massages. Lots of sore spots found and my body bent in a way I didn't think it could.

We are making our plans for the next 10 days before we head to the beach. The time is going quickly but it feels like our change in travel duration was the right one. I'm already looking forward to camping in Manitoba, getting in my kayak, and finding my puppy.

Comments

1

Hi Patti & Amy. Thanks for the updates. You may have heard that Canadian mens hockey team won the silver medal at the worlds (or they lost the gold). Carly & Max's pipes and drums band won the SK provincial championship this past weekend. Carly is off to Cyprus Hills this week for a school cycling trip and Heidi is at a conference in Calgary. Max and I will try to keep things together on the home front. Take care out there...maybe we'll see you in a few weeks.
Bob

  Bob Phillips May 20, 2008 12:28 AM

2

Wow. the bats look and sound very cool. I can't believe you put that huge millipede on your arm Patti! Good to hear you are having fun and finding some good places to stay - live it up now - you are in the home stretch. Chat soon.



  Chris May 20, 2008 2:51 AM

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