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 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!
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.
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.