Time for a new house

Time for a new house
Time for a new house

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Exploring Chiang Rai

http://picasaweb.google.com/kyotesue/Day7#

After breakfast this morning at the hotel buffet, we went for a walk across the river bridge north of the hotel . The early morning light was humid and misty and it didn't seem too hot for a change. We are in the mountains now. It felt like we really were in something foreign and magical. We walked along the Koh River and picked up rocks and watched people in their yards and dogs here and there. It was good to get some exercise and have a chance to explore on our own as well.

Back to the hotel for the group tour of the town, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phrae Kaeo. The gardens there were so lush and lovely and the buildings much more simple that in Bangkok. We then went to the museum “Baan Ono Kam” with a beautiful private collection of Thai artifacts. The sculpture was wonderful, especially the elephants.

We asked to be dropped off in town, on our own again, and Mo and I explored some and had good beer and pizza for lunch. The town wasn't too impressive, but easy to get around in. Back to the hotel by 2 to spend a couple of wonderful hours at the magnificent swimming pool. Palms, flowers, Thai skies. The water was surprisingly cold, but floating there looking up at the clouds surrounded with palm fronds and flowers was magical.

A short nap and then a bus trip to another resort for a Thai cooking lesson where we cooked pork soup (awful) and pad thai (great) and stir fry chicken. Dinner was another round of family style food with our co-travelers, that we are getting a bit tired of. Some of our travel mates are so piggish about passing the dishes, and there seems to be a bit of cliquiness going on, the down side of group travel. It isn't really that troublesome for Mo and I since we are pretty independent, but I can imagine it might be a problem for some people. We enjoy our own company more than most anyway!

We went to the food market before dinner and the night market afterward. Enjoyed the night life that seems to really start up in the country after dark in the markets. More Thai "stuff" including a paper dragon for my granddaughter and a few other small knick knacks, but most of what is available in the night markets seems cheap and made for big consumption. Lots of fake Rollex watches, and cheap clothes, and here and there a bit of art that is nice, but in the midst of everything else it is a bit overwhelming. It is also incredibly crowded, with thick throngs of people milling about on the streets, and lots of noise as well. The night markets are supposed to be one of the fun things to do in Thailand, but we weren't that impressed with them overall.