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Chiang Mai ::: Thailand

THAILAND | Wednesday, 25 February 2009 | Views [786]

While sitting eating lunch in luang prabang Vanessa tells me that she is catching the buss that night to Houay Xai and once I do the calculations I realize that I need to get to the border sooner than I thought meaning I will not be able to take the 2 day slow boat up the Mekong with the boys.  So I decide in a rush to join her on the bus.  It is a 12 hour bus ride in a local bus so I can imagine what it is going to be like.  We get to the bus station and I get my ticket seat number 40.  I am a lucky one cause the guy next to me gets seat number 55 now there is no seat 55 which means he has to sit in the island on the rice bags that have been piled seat high all the way up the center isle.  Besides people filling the entire isle there is a group of about 5 local men who will end up standing in the front for the entire 12 hours.  The ride goes fine even with the guy next to me getting sick out the window the whole trip…poor thing…seems a lot of locals don’t do well on the busses as I look around and see a few of them in the same position.  We get to the border town at around 6:30 and have to wait til 8 for the border crossing to open.  The border consists of us taking a small boat across the Mekong to the other side and there you go you have now crossed from Lao to Thailand.  I love these crossing…no stress no worries.  Once on the other side Vanessa decides she is going to go to Chiang Rai while I decide to head straight to Chiang Mai.  I get on the bus for another 3 hour ride not too bad.  They serve free h20 and wet naps on this ride.  Once in chiang mai I stay at thapae gate lodge for one night, which my friend Kelly had recommended.  After that I move down the road to PS guesthouse, which is a bit cheaper.  Vanessa joins me on my second night at PS for a couple of nights.  Kelly had also told me about a place called Restaurant/bar Lucky Foo’s which was only a couple of doors down from where I was staying that was owned by a coulple for NYC.  I went and had lunch there and met deen and amy two very cool people I will hang out with while I am here.  They are two very helpful and sweet people that really helped me out during my stay.  While in chiang mai we go see many temples.  Chiang mai has over 300 temples in the city.  We meet up with 4 other girls who are also traveling solo and we all take a tuk tuk to go see some of the temples.  Not realizing that we could have easily walked it..so after the second temple we let our drivers go.  In one of the temples one of the monks is chewing this root that they chew here which gives them a slight buzz.  We all sit around him and chat and he makes the root concoction for us to try…not bad…makes your mouth numb but not bad.   At another temple I join in with the locals doing thai chi and one of the ladies is nice enough to come talk and help me with some of the moves.  One day while I am walking around alone (this is before Vanessa has arrived) I go to a temple where there seems to be something going on.  Well guess what there was.  The temple was one of the oldest in the city and they were putting new tops on it.  There was free food and drink and all the novices were around wanting to talk to practice their English.  The ceremony was about to begin all monks and people  were waiting for was the eldest monk in all of Thailand to come and bless then new tops before they are hoisted up to the roof.  Many locals were there praying and putting flowers around the new tops.  I got a gold ball that you say a prayer over and wish and it goes into the temple.  At one point all these security guards and police come must be the head monk was arriving…in which case it was.  All the monks line up to great him they get a big beautiful umbrella which one guy holds over him while he walks around.  The people are all so happy and it is nice a beautiful event.   I meet these two girls while there and we decide that we will go to Wat Dio Suthep the most famous temple in chiang mai.  It was absolutely beautiful.   There is the night bizarre that we hit and do some shopping…the shopping has got to stop I tell ya…lol…


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