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The Saga of Heather's Travels ... the story of a dream come true

Still in Chiang Mai

THAILAND | Saturday, 3 October 2009 | Views [474] | Comments [1]

a beautiful little lady in traditional dress, she looks vaguely familiar.....

a beautiful little lady in traditional dress, she looks vaguely familiar.....

Here I am, still in this beautiful city, I can't tear my self away. I have done lots of sightseeing, visited silk factory and watched the silkworms and learned about how the silk is produced, visited a jade factory, a leather factory - they use all sorts of leather from stingray (who knew??) to elephant (from elephants who have died of natural causes they assured me!) and all in between. I even visited an umbrella factory where they have made the beautiful paper parasols for over 100 years - amazing. I went to the incredible Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Rajvoravihara which is up on a very high hill overlooking Chiang Mai. So stunningly beauitful, with golden buddhas, a magnificent gold stupa, many many bells, and many devoted Thai people carrying out their mysterious rituals of worship, so fascinating and a totally different world. The usual magnificent hilltop view back over Chiang mai was completely misted over, as the hot sun reclaimed the  water from last nights rains. The 306 steps up to the temple, after an approx 30 min steep up hill drive, were a killer, and I cheated and took the cable car up, though did manage to walk down them. Apart from the sightseeing, I have visited a couple of malls, but mostly I love to just wander around the old part of ChiangMai city. There are the ruins of a wall that surrounded the old city back in the days of the Lammas empire, pre Siam/Thailand. The old city is wee narrow streets packed with small wats, a few churches, restaurants and bars, shops, and little markets everywhere. People here are a bit like kiwis, they stop and talk to you in the street, and don't seem to me to be always trying to part you from your money as was my experience in Bangkok. I just love to wander, have a beer, or a coffee somewhere and read my book, wander some more, have conversations and try to resist buying things as my pack is heavy enough!! Though I have done some xmas shopping, and shipped it off to Singapore, along with more of the unnecessary clothes I was toting!! Yes I know, Deb and Michaela told me but I had to find out the hard way! I have made some lovely friends here, Eric who gave me the most excruciatingly painful therapuetic massage I have ever had, but man was it worth it for the difference in my body, and his partner James who read my tarot, and plied me with martinis! We went out last night for a traditional cantonese meal, as James is chinese, and this is what his Mum used to cook. Such good times. Through soroptimists I have also met a lovely woman called Linda who has invited me out to her place for the day on monday. She works in an international school looking after the boarders, so will be interesting to see her environment. My dear friend Michele in Brisbane put me in touch with a lovely couple, Rudy and Lara who work here doing social work with a christian based group. I spent a day with them and was so impressed. Interesting to see that they work closely in touch with the local tribes and leaders, much as we do in NZ with the local iwi. I had thought to spend some voluntary time working with them, but the times didn't work out for them at present, maybe on the way back through. And as well as all this, I spend many hours at the pool, reading and swimming and talking to people, it is a lovely life, see why I dont want to leave here!! However, I am going to tear myself away on tuesday and head up the mountains to a town/village called Pai, which is apparently a hangover from the hippy era, with hot springs. 2 or 3 days there, then back to Chiang mai to fly to Kuala Lumpur next saturday. It's a great life if you can get it......



sounds just wonderful ma! i didnt realise chiang mai was so lovely.. my vague memories of it from 10years ago are getting drunk at the night markets and racing in tuk tuks. classy.
nice to get the updates, keep them coming!!

  michaela Oct 4, 2009 12:03 AM

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