#2 Thailand, Jan. 8, 1990

Dear Everybody,

The little one-day tour that I took was to Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand, which is 8,000 feet. We drove all the way to the top (beats walking!) while interacting with the other tour members—a French couple and a teenage Thai girl. We stopped in the town of Chom Thong on the way back to eat lunch. The tour leader announced that we would be having “fleid lice.”

The next day I walked around some more, bought some casual clothes, a book called, “What the Buddha Taught,” and a cookbook. That evening I signed on for a ‘special’ dinner—a northern Khon Toke. A van came and got me, along with four other tourists. The dinner was at the Chiang Mai Cultural Center and was a ‘tourist special,’ as it turned out. There were hoards of tourists, and a mediocre dinner, but a program of Thai dancing followed the dinner, which was quite interesting. Then we adjourned to an amphitheatre where we really enjoyed a program of hill tribe dancing. Some fireworks followed and then we were taken back to our hotels.

 

 

 

 

I tried another excursion the following day, which turned out much better! The group was composed of three very blond young Swedes, two very blond young Danes, Freddie Kee, a Chinese young man from Singapore, and me. When the van came to my hotel to pick me up, the five Scandinavians were already in the van, their demeanor very quiet and subdued. After

 

 

I got on, we stopped for Freddie Kee; what a sparkplug for the low-key blonds and me! He was so animated and personable—what a difference he made in that outing!

It was very pleasant and interesting to observe the rural scene. We drove quite a ways from Chiang Mai to visit several hill tribe villages: the Meo, who are also called Hmong, the Yeo, and the Akir.

 

I bought some hand-embroidered pillow covers, a hat and some tamarind for cooking. We went north all the way near the border to Chiang Rai.

 

 

 

This area is called the Golden Triangle since it is where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar (Burma) all meet.

 

 

It is also where the opium trafficking flourishes, although we didn’t see any signs of that!  It was a really fun day, made much more so by having Freddie Kee on board!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day I again hired a tuk-tuk to visit five wats: 1) Wat Phae Singh, 2) Wat Suan Dok, 3) Wat chedi Luang, 4) Wat Chiang Mai, and 5) Wat Jet Yot.

 

 

 

In one of them a young Western woman bawled me out for taking a photo of a woman at worship. Since I wasn’t using a flash and the woman couldn’t see me, I felt that I had caused her no problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Museum of Chiang Mai was interesting, although not very big.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thailand seems very conversant with beauty; their temples, public buildings, and museum artifacts are surprisingly lovely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another tour the following day rounded out my Chiang Mai touristing. Another couple and I went to see the elephants at Chaen Daeo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We walked across a hanging bridge for excitement!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thirteen elephants performed for us, creating poses with each other. The show was wonderful—elephants are so enjoyable to observe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afterwards we visited Chaen Daio Cave, although I’m not terribly keen on cave visits. Still, it was kind of an exotic cave. We ate lunch near a beautiful waterfall.

 

 

 

After lunch we were treated to a display of orchids at an‘orchid farm’ that was superlative. Clearly this is the right place for them to thrive. If I lived here, I would try to grow some orchids!  There was a butterfly farm that we visited, too.

Some butterflies were really big and exotic looking!

When I got back to my hotel, I went for dinner to the French Le Chalet restaurant, which was run by an Austrian. I enjoyed duck pate, coq-au-vin, strawberries, a lovely red Bordeaux wine, followed by really good coffee. What a treat!

I’ll be flying back to Bangkok tomorrow.

Carol

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2 Responses to #2 Thailand, Jan. 8, 1990

  1. Freddy kee says:

    Hi Carol

    This is Freddy kee from Singapore. This must be a long while, I lost all your contact. It great to find you here. Guess what, I’m actually in Thailand now. Where do you live now, will be great to catch up for a meal.

    Cheers

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