We had an uneventful trip to airport and flight to Chiang Mai but it is surprising that some reception desk people (in Phuket) cannot seem to be able to divide the bill. It happened in Bangkok as well. The flight was great…. Less than 2 hours. Arrived in Chiang Mai to incredible heat.
Anyway after short taxi ride to our hotel….it was wow, another gorgeous hotel and they gave us gifts as well. It is so stinking hot we went to the pool to cool off and just hung out at the hotel. It was surprising that in this hotel, the lounge and the main dining area had no AC.
April 18…Joe picked us up right on time. Chiangran… meaning elephant. Used to be just rice fields when Joe grew up and the roads only 3 metres wide. Now no rice fields and the roads are mostly 2-3 lanes in both directions. We drive around “Old ChiangMai”. Most of the old walls are still there, surrounded by moats. Old Chiang Mai is about 4 square kilometres in area. It was built by king in 1296. It is 30 year younger than Chiang Rai but much older than Bangkok which is only 200 yrs old. White elephants are albino’s and are worshipped. Huge hospital… is a teaching hospital. Large university.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep( means temple, bone of Buddha, mountain & the name of hermit) is a temple in Chiang Mai elevation of over 3500 feet ….1300 metres. It is a “Royal” temple built in 1383 …. The road up to the temple was started by a monk that with help of people & no govt help.. in 6 months. You would not believe that it could be built …. By hand, in 6 months. Now is very beautiful road but very winding. Such an amazing temple. Lots of gold but mostly plated except 14 K on top. It was so so hot perspiration running into eyes.
Then went to jade factory. Did not know that jade comes in violet, red, yellow, white as well as black and the many shades of green
Then went to Wat Pha Lat..Buddhist temple a hidden temple and a tunnel. People would stop here (half way up to the temple) to meditate.
I like it here better than Bangkok cuz there is greenery…trees as well as middle of highways have many bougainvillea planted. The highways are not so hectic but still the skies are grey from smog. That probably protects everyone from more extreme sun…. I just cannot imagine.
We stopped for lunch at a place that is also an orchid farm. Strange to see that they don’t have the orchids in any sort of soil/medium at all. They also had a butterfly garden.
Now going to where make Elephant poop into paper. They also make paper from coconut husks, pineapple shells and horse and cow poop. The common thread seems to be the fibre that is in all. Also….. why cut trees down to make paper. I could not continue the tour of the facility cuz the heat got to me. Helen made it but we are both suffering from the same problem…. Caused from who knows what…. Water, heat, malaria pills for me…who knows???
We met up with David, the nephew of the people we stayed with in Guayabitos last February/March. He teaches high school here. We had dinner in a restaurant called Deck 1…. A pretty posh place, right on the Ping River.
Have not experienced Northern Thailand, this is fascinating, thank you again. Quite surprized at the amount of smog, makes me think of China. Sorry you are struggling with the heat, malaria pills made me quite nauseous, headaches too . I drank Coke while in Thailand, it kills everything and cuts down the effects of msg. Did you buy some elephant pop paper? Btw…have you heard anything about Jeanette? She flashed on my facebook stories, a picture of her in a hospital bed, no words I messaged her, no response. Take good care, stay cool..💜
Gail, your pictures are lovely and you are having all kinds of experiences but I can feel the heat and humidity seeping through your posts! I remember thinking I was going to melt when in Cambodia this same season a few years ago. Be careful…and thank you for sharing your travels.