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Tiger Balm Twins

USA | Thursday, 6 November 2008 | Views [677]

Thursday, November 6         6:55 pm Thailand / 4:55 am US

As you all can tell from our title, Tiger Balm is the miracle drug! Ryan and I have officially stopped itching thanks to this wonderfully, smelly balm. Oh yeah, and it somewhat cleared Ryan's nose. Woo hoo! Too bad for all the folks on the plane with us.

We arrive in Mae Hong Son at 10:50 am. Mae Hong Son is the northwestern part of Thailand, super close to the Burmese border. After arriving, we drove for 2 hours to get to the Tham Tod cave where we saw stalactites, stalamites, helatites, sinkholes, and limestone dams (I just learned most of those terms today!). And we can't forget the wonderful scent of bat poop in the last cave! Yums. =P The tour was pretty cool though because our tour guide had to use a gas lantern since the caves were in total darkness. We also could hear and occasionally see bats in the cave. To get to each of the three cave sites, we rode on a bamboo raft. So we have decided that our raft driver currently holds the title of "Worst Job in Thailand" because he had to stand in the water and drag our raft with us and our 2 guides upstream back to the front of the cave. Twice we got stuck on a sandbar so our cave guide had to jump into the water and push the raft while the raft driver dragged us out. It took about 10 minutes to travel 70 feet! No wonder our raft driver had quads and calves like a soccer player or bicyclist!

After that, back to Mae Hong Son. But we did stop at a lookout point and the views of the valley below were the prettiest we've seen so far! We had some tribal villager kids beg for money but they were kinda scary looking because they had some white drool dripping from their mouths. But that wasn't why we didn't give them money - our wallets were in the van.

We arrived back in town in time for the night market across the street from our hotel. The first thing we hit was FOOD! I was starving as usual. So we bought fried chicken, papaya salad with salted prawns, Shanghai noodles- thing (looked like tofu but mushier and was in a spicy sauce - good stuff), and a chocolate & banana crepe for 70 baht (~$2.00 and some change USD)! That's less than what this online log will cost us tonight! We don't know how people who don't want to try vendor food survive out in Thailand. There are very few "Western" food places (ie super-duper clean restaurants with Western toilets and great service). The majority of food places are open-air restaurants or vendors with carts. And their food tastes so much better than the restaurant food that we've had so far.

So that's it for today. Tomorrow we're to visit temples and markets in the city before heading back to Chiang Mai. Hopefully, Ryan won't get nauseous on the plane. Today he did but it passed until he used the nasty-ass toilet by the cave. He said it reeked so badly that he got even more nauseous than after the plane ride. Gross!

Tags: bat poop, cave tour. night market, mae hong son, tiger balm


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