Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Chiang Mai

Yesterday evening we headed down early to the Bangkok train station and squatted at a restaurant there periodically ordering more food and drink so we could have a table to sit at.  There was some sort of movie being filmed at the station and the peeps had brought their wardrobe, makeup artists, movie stars and floodlights.  Our waiter seemed very excited about it. 
At 6pm sharp, some music was piped over the loudspeaker and everyone in the crowded train station stopped what they were doing and stood up.  I have to find out what that was about - but it seemed very national anthem-esque.
We boarded the train at 7:35pm and I struggled mostly unsuccessfully to stay awake because I really like riding trains.  Unlike the two sets of three bunks we saw on Chinese trains last year, these cars had two seats facing each other, which at 9pm or so, the guy came around and converted to a bed.  Above this was another bunk that he unfolded from the ceiling.  Each had a blue curtain for privacy. 

Dag on train

Also unlike the Chinese trains, the lights were left on all night long.  We both slept well and in the morning, experienced the single most horrifying rendition of eggs, ham and toast of my entire life on planet earth.  I'll just have to post a photo later - you won't even believe it. 

Breakfast

Breakfast

Of course, I ate it all up.  We took a Songthaew (a pickup truck w/two benches in the back) to the hotel and got cleaned up.

songthaew

For some reason my feet and ankles have swollen to the point where my calves kind of just continue right on down and then there are toes - very elephant-esque.  I had been feeling sad for having missed the Elephant trek but NO MORE!  I just gave Dag a piggy back ride today and we called it good!  Actually, we also booked an Elephant trek and bamboo rafting dealie for tomorrow.  Touristy, I'm sure, but it will make me feel better about the whole Narita Airport debacle.

Today we walked around Chiang Mai checking out temples and learning that no one really just wants to chat and practice their English.  All of these conversations led to the person in question telling us about this "special market" where "only the Thai people go - no tourists" and we should definitely check out this one shop:  Imperial Fashion!  After the second guy told us this I was like - yeah, uh-huh.  Despite our suspicions, we walked by the market anyway and it was really just a street filled with stores selling plastic furniture and mufflers.  

Not a market

It wasn't two seconds after we spotted the Imperial Fashion store that some guy was chasing us down the street trying to engage us in "conversation"  Hah.  Anyway, the temples were gorgeous.  Check back here in a couple of weeks for photos! 

IMG_9784

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Tile detail

We also found a little restaurant to have some Green Curry Soup which was spectacular.  It was like the green curry you'd get in a Thai restaurant in the US but thinner and served with rice which you spoon into the soup instead of the other way around.  Aaron, since you've been begging for food details:  It had chicken, thai basil, thai eggplant, coconut milk and as a condiment, fish sauce with thai chiles.

Lunch

When we left the hotel this afternoon, it was blazing hot and humid - to the degree where you can't do much more than shuffle your feet forward in the general direction you want to head.  Suddenly, the wind came up and black clouds darkened the sky.  On our walk home, it started to rain and within about two minutes it was like we were standing under a waterfall and our little umbrellas were pretty much useless.  We caught a ride back to the hotel and I'm still drying off.
Tomorrow when we get back from our excursion we will be able to meet up with our tour guide.  The next time we are all together as a group will be Friday night's overnight train to Bangkok so I presume we won't meet most members of the group until then.  It's a bit weird as they've had a week to bond with each other and we'll be the newcomer/outsider types.  Good thing for us that Dag is so charming!
 

5 comments:

Aaron said...

Leslie, the green curry sounds delicious!

Baby Boy D said...

Elephants

Leanne Bernhardt said...

Ok, before you leave be sure to take a ride in a Tuk-Tuk (and close on a price with the driver before you get in :) Are you going to Phuket --- the real Sin City (not that I would know of course :) Have fun! I can't wait to see pictures.

Dan said...

I must remind myself, envy is a sin, envy is a sin, envy is a sin, envy is a sin envy is a sin envyisasin envyisasin envyisasinenvyisasinenvisasinenvyisasin except the whole swollen legs thing... that doesn't sound fun at all. Otherwise, envyisasin....
keep having fun- Dan

UL said...

be careful out there and stay dry!