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Chiang Rai | Chaing Mai | Krabi | Bangkok

Chiang Mai
December 21, 2000 - 9:25 am
We flew into Chiang Mai
via a short 40 minute flight. We were amazed to see how much Chiang Mai had grown and how much construction was still in progress. We were able to check into the Galare Guest House which we had tried to stay at on several other visits, but it was always fully booked. It's a beautiful place in a garden like setting, located on the bank of the Mae Ping River. I rented a motorcycle from Queen Bee. This was the 4th time I've rented from them. REALLY good service.


We spent the day re-familiarizing ourselves with Chaing Mai and scoping out the different shops on what to buy. It was definitely like going back to an old friend. A friend I still love, but that has changed and grown different. While I can't say I like most of the changes I still think that Chiang Mai is still my favorite large city that we've visited on our world adventures. It still has some small city charm and the people are still "northern Thai."

My Thai language skills had really come back and I'm having a great time just hangin' with the locals and just having a good time doing much of nothing. Life is really, really good. It didn't matter if we were shopping, eating lunch, or just waiting for Patti to make her last minute shopping decisions. This was good. We biked out to the Bo Sang area east of Chiang Mai to the umbrella factory, saa paper factory, leather goods, etc. We bought Saa paper goods, a leather jacket, ostrich purse, umbrellas, temple bells and more.

December 21, 2000 - 9:25 am
The next day Patti's cousin Monica arrived from Idaho. This was her first trip to Thailand and we were at the airport to greet her with a bouquet of orchids and a greeting of "Sawadee cop (and ka)."

Thai style - 3 on a bike.
Patti and Monica almost seem to be joined at the hip and travel together like one. Me? I'm the taxi driver hoping for a 5 Baht tip ... Smile. It was really fun watching the two of them having a great time. We all had a great time and Monica was a very pleasant addition to the trip.

The next day we returned the bike and got a Ford (Aspect?) and we all headed for my favorite Wat in all of Thailand, Doi Suthep. It's not the largest, but in my eyes it's the most beautiful of any Thai Wat. At the bottom of the long steps heading up to the wat I purchased 3 baskets of birds (one for each of us). These baskets held a total of 22 little wren-like birds. After we reached the top of the stairs and made our way out into the main area of the temple where we each said a small prayer, made a wish, and released the little birds.

I also bought a lotus flower and incense which I placed in the temple at the request of my cousin, Sue Ellen Ash, who had lived in Thailand while her husband was in the service. This was in memory of her Thai friends. After spending the morning at Doi Suthep we traveled north to the Mae Rim area. This is a great area for elephant trekking, snake shows, butterfly farms, etc. We had a great time.

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The next day Patti and Monica went on a tour that included an elephant ride, 1.5 hour bamboo raft trip, trek to Karin and Meo hill tribes and refreshing wade in a waterfall. Their guide serenaded them with Elvis and John Denver tunes along the mountain trail.

Other parts of the trip ... Chiang Rai | Krabi | Bangkok

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This page was last revised January 26, 2001