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Tamarra’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 21 Nov 2012

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

MapHello ALl! Not sure anyone is going to look at this, but there has been some pressure to write my blog. I have been posting pics and by lines on facebook but thought I would drop a line here too. So it goes like this: I arrived in Bangkok on November 12th at midnight. My friend and I met at the airport as planned. We spent three days walking around stifflingly hot Bangkok. It is my third time there but my friends first. We went to the regular tourist places, the Royal Palace which is mind blowing and awe inspiring. The work on each building is so detailed. Mosaics, and murals everything in gold. Remarkable! We also went to two popular temples, Wat Po and Wat Arun. Wat Po has a massive reclining buddha with mother of pearl feet bottoms. We also stopped in at the massge school and got an hour long massage for about $14. Not a bad day at all! We hired a boat to take as through Bangkok extensive canal system. It was a good way to see how people live. Bangkok is a huge, dirty, traffic riddled city. It is also turning into a very modern city. There must be lots of money around because there are many beautiful new condos being build and shopping malls a plenty!

We then head north to Ayuthaya which is a city with many ancient ruins and temples. We visited 9 temples in one day. I negotiated long and hard for a tuk tuk (sort of like a golf cart, motorcycle attached to a gold cart?) to take us for four hours to the ruins outside of the city. They were very impressive. We saw standing buddhas, sitting buddhas, reclining buddhas, gold, stone, jade, headless, armless, head in a tree with roots growing around it (my favourite) buddha#s and much more. The day was hot and amazing! We then hopped on an over night train to Chiang Mai. 15 hours later we arrived, only three hours late! Our guesthouse has a pool and we pretty much got a bite to eat then lounged around. Since then we have done tons. We went on a fabulous one day trek where we; rode a beligerent elephant (everyone else's followed along dociley, not ours, all was fine for the first 20 minutes when we had bamboo and bananas then it all went downhill once that ran out! We laughed a lot!) We also went river rafting, we pretty much played bumper cars with every rock possible (still laughing), we then left our rafts and moved onto a bamboo raft, equally funny. We ate a delicious lunch then went on an hour hike to an incredible waterfall (I was the first one in of course) Then we head to the Karen Tribe Village where the long neck woman live. This was quite upsetting. They start at five and extend every five years. The thing weighs about 8-10 kilos. They must never take it off or their necks will break! We then stopped at an orchid garden and butterfly park. The day was fabulous and we met lots of great people. Yesterday we went to cooking school. It started in the market then moved to the garden to pick herbs and vegetables then into the kitchen where our dynamic instructor Mam taught us how to cook Pad Thai, spring rolls and curry. We each had our own ingredients and stations. All mine turned out amazing! YUMMY! We have also spent quite a bit of time exploring the huge night Bazaar. Lots of fun. Tomorrow we head to Myanmar (Burma) I am super excited! It turns out one of my closest childhood friends brother lives there and he is picking us up at the airport! Small crazy world! That#s all for now... the adventure continues....