Quick and fun trip meeting up with relatives
Trip Start Jan 21, 2013
7Trip End Apr 05, 2013
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Where I stayed
What I did
elephants, traditional performance/food
had another couple of good visits with Kim and her friend Jan again, at a movie and again for brunch on Sunday. Sunday night I went to a movie as part of the French foreign film week at the Emporium cinema. Saw:lePolis, in French with English subtitles (and mayb Thai too, i don't recall!) It was a rather depressing documentary about child protection workers of a French police force in Paris. Amazing actors portraying real life people including the kids. sat beside a woman from U S who works in Bangkok, she used to work for afgan embassy in Washington and then taught English in India Anyway we chatted for about half an hour after the:movie ended, good way to decompress. as itwas10:30 at night , and I had to catch the:Bangkok link to make my connection to thw airport rail link, I was anxious to get going as i had an early 8 am flight the next morning to Chiang Mai so would need to leave scuzzy hotel on the first airport train at 6am and be up at 4:30 am to do so. So i did, and bellhop! yes it does have bellhops but very rudimentary computerized checkin out system so takes forever toget it done... anyway bellhop carried my bag across the roasmin the morning, althoug 5:45 am, relatively busy already. quick flight 1.25 hours on Bangkok air to Chiang Mai and Barry and Lek were at airport:to pick me up. Took me to Leks house where my other cousin Rob and family were also staying after they all had spent a week on ko Chang. anyway that morning we went to Mae Sa elephant farm where we got hugged and kissed by them, watched them get bathed and do marvellous tricks like putting basketball in hoops and paint watercolour pictures of flowers and trees which for sale after and which looked like were done by a human. We couldnt get elephant rides though as they were all booked up to we went down the road and rented quads 3 for:the 6 of them:and i got to ride:with the guide. Bonus, no dust in the face as we were:lead! we had to suit up in orange jumpsuits like parachute jumping and were give mouth masks which none of us wore. we went up in the hills on a road carved out of the hillside, suitably rocky windynand rutted:to make it a challenging and fun experience. I wasnt driving but the others took turns. That evening after once again piling into Leks pickup- and went to a typical Chiang Mai bbq where we cooked strips of meat on a cone shaped steamer over hot coals doused in water. Vegetables were cooked in the water at the same time. Then I got to ride on the back of a scooter with Lek driving, Barry following on a scooter, as the rest were taking the truck driven by Oot, Lek's brother, to go shopping. So in order to relax in the heavy traffic, me holding onto tiny Lek, and to avoid any Linda induced traffic accidents due to nervous back seat scooter driving , I ended up closing my eyes! After what I think was half and hour zipping in and out of the lanes and waiting a bit here and there to make sure Barry was still following, we got back to Lek's place! The next day Barry and I hung around the house as the rest went zip lining which i will do at a later date when I don't spend 7 hours at it, which is what their plan was. Then after they all got back, we piled into truck again and went to a Northern Thai restaurant which offered floor shows of typical dances and clothing. We were seated on the floor with a table and feet lowered into a subfloor. Got home and did some more visiting, went to bed and the next morniing got up early and I got dropped off at the airport as they all were heading 3 hours to a nothern village to return vehicle to Lek's sister. So a rented van and driver and Lek and truck all went north. I spent the day at the Airport shopping mall which has a huge Lanna handicraft and clothing area, I also had a haircut and had time for a foot massage at the airport as my plane to Bangkok left at 7 p.m. I was booked into the Suvunabharmi airport hotel and I paid for pickup, but they weren't there when I arrived. No mixup, they were late as they were delivering a passenger to departure level. But the driver and driver's helpful spoke limited ENglish. Oh yeah there was a funny incident, someone came up to me holding a placard which I presumed was my name and said something like Linda? and I thought she was from the hotel, she had good English as she said she was Dutch, and she said she was helping her boyfriend who was waiting for me in another area, and they just thought two were better than one in locating me! Imagine my surprise when boyf (also Dutch I presume) comes and puts his hand out and says Pleased to meet you Dr. Bellalinda! Well I am neither a Dr. nor a 'Bella' Linda so I quickly realized they had the wrong person! we all laughed when I told them that's not who I was, and they apologized and later I saw them with the right person and they laughed and waved at me (while I was still waiting for the airport for my pickup). Anyway it was a nice diversion. Plane was great (Bangkok Air) with a nice hot meal even though flight only one hour and 15 minutes or so. Got to hotel, checked in right away and all was fine. This is the same hotel Rob and Leanne and daughters, and Barry and Lek, all diff dates, so hope hotel not confused with all the Ecklund's checking in! NExt morning I left for Nanning, China, via Macau. I tried to finish this blog in Macau airport but ran out of time. I am now in Nanning and will write about it in next blog!