Day 19 & 20 - More water works ;)

Trip Start Sep 27, 2012
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Trip End Nov 06, 2012


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Flag of Thailand  , Chiang Rai,
Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 19

We headed out on a private bus for a 6 hour road trip to Chiang Mai which included 2 stops.

The first stop was the Temple of Death....such a mystery how a place can be beautiful and scary at the same time! Dave said it was one of the top ten destinations used as a backdrop to wedding photos. The statues were lined with mirrors and some parts of the temples were still under construction....I watched as some workers applied each mirror by hand...amazing. Meera and I had iced cocoa...mmmmmmm ;)

The second stop was a cashew nut factory! It's was a bit of an eye opener about how complicated the process was to produce the lovely cashews we enjoy...The cashew nut with its shell is first separated from the fruit, this is then dried, the nut is then separated from its shell (the shell is really hard so they use a small machine). Dave mentioned the lining of the nit inside its shell is poisonous so it has to be then carefully cleaned and coated with a variety of spices as required. We tried cashews with coconut, chocolate, coffee, caramel, butter, honey, hot and sour, spicy, spicy soup ,white and black sesame seeds, salted and garlic fried ones!! I bought some coconut and black sesame ones for you all to try at home :)

We reached Chiang Mai at 3:30pm....had lunch and I had a classic Thai massage...it was really good...god these women are strong! I bought something akin to tiger balm there...the lady said its good for mosquito bites....I've got 5/6 huge bites so I'm hoping she's right!

We then headed to check out the night markets :) the products on sale were similar to Luang Prabang in Laos so I didn't buy much. Within the markets there was a transvestite show....I absolutely loved it! It was totally over the top with lots of music and costumes :D Reanna, Meera and Justien went to a nightclub after but I was so tired I got a cab back to the hotel with Lucy and Adam. Meera said the night life was fab though so maybe ill go out when we get to Bangkok :)

Day 20

Alicia, Meera and I went white water river rafting today! Our tour guide (Tira) was lovely...I really missed dad when I met him :) he drove us about 1.5hr outside Chiang Mai and the we met our rafting guide (Lan). The rafting was a lot of fun but we wished we could have done it for longer.

Next stop was an orchid and butterfly farm. Meera said her mum loves orchids and she really missed her :) we had lunch and Tira offered to take us to a silk factory. We saw silk worms, their cocoons and the step-by-step manufacture of a silk scarf. I bought a scarf from the factory...it's beautiful :) I was a bit sad to say bye to Tira....he told us a bit about his life and his kids (he has four kids and the youngest is a 4yr old girl :))

Sleeper train to Bangkok

We left Chiang Mai at 5pm and headed to the train station to get the sleeper train to Bangkok. Thai trains are very different from Vietnamese ones...it was open and the seats are converted to bunk beds when we were ready to sleep. This man walked around the carriage converting all the beds...every time he did so he would burp or make strange cat sounds lol. I called him Catman ;) we were all in fits of giggles every time he went past lol The journey was quite comfortable and we slept well :)
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