Day 32 - Tessa's tour
Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
105Trip End Jan 09, 2013
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We started with our day with the hotel breakfast. We had arranged that a somtam, a friend of Khun Nee, would meet us at 0900 to take us around for the day.
Our first destination was a mountain top temple called Doi Suthep. We took a winding road up the mountain through the dense jungle typical of the area. You can just imagine happy tigers, pandas and elephants loving living here. It's a little sad the strain people have put on animals in the area in modern times.
It takes over 300 stairs to reach the temple
The temple was a little different to the temples we saw in Bangkok with its own local flavor. It was really another stunning temple to visit. The temple had a large number of Buddhas, with many different designs and lots of gold, as per normal.
The setting on top of the hill gives a birds-eye view of certain areas of Chiang Mai. We stopped for some refreshing iced drinks and tea, before making our way down to our waiting driver and heading off to the next stop Baan Tawai. This is a very interesting shopping area
, which has great charm, an is a mix of industrial and typical retail. It's difficult to describe as I haven't seen some like it in SA. It's like an industrial market with charm. Lots of exporters and manufacturers around the area. We did some serious looking and shopping before a delicious lunch.
We headed off for the most exciting part of the day - to go view Tessa's old school and meet some of the people she worked with. It was wonderful to see that many of the people were still at the school - American Pacific International Kindergarten
Kun Ladda was very kind and took us around the school to see the classrooms and the layout. The school is very well organized and the facilities exceptional.
For Tessa's parents and me it was a really special experience to meet the people who made her Thai trip so great, and get a better understanding of what makes the Thai people so special. Our experience of them has been very humbling - they are exceptionally kind, friendly and helpful. Also to see the school and better picture what Tess did during that time was great.
Khun Nee, Tessa's friend and old teaching colleague who has been super hospitable, jumbled us into her car and we went to see Tessa's old flat. We managed to arrange to see one of the apartments like Tessa's which were not being used.
Kun Nee then spoilt us by taking us to the magnificent and newly opened Royal Gardens, opened in honour of the king. The gardens are centered around a beautiful temple. Being late we got a motor wagon to take us around the gardens. Lynne wanted to move the gardens to South Africa she loved them so much. They were segmented areas which showed off different countries traditional gardens.
To finish the whirlwind day we went to a special fantasy garden restaurant, hosted by Khun Ladda. It was a gorgeous restaurant in a fantasy garden setting. It was very unexpected and kind that Khun Ladda took us out, she is a really interesting lady. Being the headmistress of an international school, you have many foreign teachers, so to host us was a great honour and shows how much she must think of Tess. Wonderful.
It was a very special day for us all..