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Chiang Rai | Chaing Mai | Krabi | Bangkok

The Chiang Rai area
December 13, 2000 - 21:35 am

Our adventure began at SeaTac International Airport in Seattle, WA. About 20 hours later we arrived in Krung Thep (a.k.a. Bangkok) at 11:30 pm on December 14. As we were walking out of customs I turned to Patti and asked her if she had ever arrived in Thailand with out our good friend Jee meeting her. She hadn't. Just a few minutes later we were surprised by Jee as we were checking into the the Amari Airport Hotel. What a friend! Meeting us unexpectantly at nearly midnight! ... We flew out the next morning for Chiang Rai.

December 15, 2000
We checked into the Golden Triangle Inn not too far from the Chiang Rai "Night Market." A comfortable, attractive, and quiet room in a garden like setting.

Temple bell we bought near Chiang Mai.

NOTE: The Thai people call their capital city Krung Thep. The ONLY people who call it Bangkok are foreigners ... Why do we insist on calling it Bangkok?
The people were wonderful and it was a perfect place to start the unwinding from work. Work ... Yuck! Spit! (Our total bill for 6 nights came to approximately $86 US.)
The next few days were really fun and laid back. I immediately rented a little Honda Dream 100 motorcycle which was perfect for getting around Chiang Rai and short jaunts out into the country side.
Patti and I spent the first day just poking around town and getting familiar with where everything was located. I was amazed at how fast I was able to pick up speaking Thai after a 5 year gap from our last trip.
We knew the northern part of Thailand was going to offer the best shopping choices and also the best prices so we began to pick and choose the items we would bring back for ourselves as well as items for gifts. As the days wore on our work anxieties began to fade away. Ah, this is the life. Sleep until you get up and be greeted by happy smiling people.
I made a few inquiries about schools that could interact with my cousin's class, Marquette Elementary School in Kansas and found that the CVK School in Chiang Rai seemed to be a good choice. So I marched right up to the school and was immediately stopped by the guard.

Whoa, I didn't expect that, but was really surprised and impressed by their reaction to my arrival and request. It was a fun (longer than expected) visit that I hope creates a fun learning experience for both schools.

Various Wats (temples) in and around Chiang Rai

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Cruzin' the back roads on the Honda.

First glimpse of the elephant village.
One day we were cruising along out in the country side and both simultaneously yelled "elephants." We were surprised to see a small village on the other side of the river that had 13 elephants that we could see from our vantage point. We took a few photographs and continued on since there was no way across the river.

Feeding the elephants at Ban Ruammit.
The next day we got up and found a bridge across the river and followed a small road that paralleled the river until we found the village. What a fun discovery. We both fed the elephants sugar cane and bananas and then started walking around the village. There were a few little shops that catered to the tourists and offered souvenirs. As we passed this one shop the lady said., "Please come into my my shop I have something special."

I thought yeah, right ... that's what they all say. Then I looked and she was pulling back a blanket over a cage and as I look closer ... Holy cow that's biggest snake I've ever seen in my whole life!

She said would you like to have your picture taken with the snake and before the words were out of her mouth I was lifting back the cover of the cage and grabbing the middle portion of this cutie. It took 4 of us to lift him out of his cage. They told me he was 5 1/2 meters (16 1/2 foot) long and 60 kilos (132 pound) but I think they must have weighed this guy a long time ago he felt MUCH heavier.

Garden at Doi Tung

Wat (temple) across the river from Mae Sai in Myanmar
... A couple of the days we rented a Suzuki 4WD and took off on longer trips to Doi Tung (the King's mother's home), the monkey temple, Mae Sai (on the Myanmar border), and the Golden Triangle (border of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos).

A cave temple that we stumbled across north of Chiang Rai.

Monkeys at a very old Wat on the way to Mae Sai. We paid 10 Baht (about 25 cents) for a bunch of bananas to feed them.

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The trip continues ... Chaing Mai | Krabi | Bangkok

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This page was last revised January 26, 2001