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The Big O.E An epic adventure across the world, backpacker style :)

Chiang Mai

THAILAND | Monday, 30 April 2007 | Views [699]

Spot the tourists!

Spot the tourists!

Continuing with the mass tourist route, we did some really touristy things, unfortunately. We spent most of the 12 day "Intrepid" tour trying not to be mainstream 'tourists' and dying to get off the very well beaten tourist track. Think of huge air conditioned buses of wealthy foreigners stopping to jump out and take photos, buy cigarettes, soft drink and Chiang Mai t-shirts, and you'd be on the right track.

The Thai people weren't even interested in talking to us, just selling us tacky junk. I guess I wouldn't bother chatting to foreigners either if hundreds of them sped past me every day, not really interested in where I live or what we do here. It really felt like we were only useful for spending money. 

The terribly touristy activities we did were elephant trekking, bamboo rafting, going to a staged Thai cultural meal, dance and music show (the food was pretty good, but the dancers' smiles were awfully fake), and worst of all, going to the 'Golden Triangle' where Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet. This is where kids dress up and pose for photos under the golden triangle sign("one photo 10 Baht") and tourists pay $15US to cross the border into another country for 10 minutes and buy cheap souvenirs.

One cool thing we did was take a cooking class. We went to the market and learnt what the strange looking vegetables were (James was a total plant geek and could identify which was ginger and which was galangal, what was local coriander and what was normal coriander etc). We cooked tom yam soup, chicken green curry, phad thai and steamed banana and coconut cakes. It was our first time cooking with palm sugar, chili jam, and making coconut oil from coconut cream.  Fun times!

Tags: Adventures

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