Wednesday, 28 May 2008
Chiang Mai Province
Wed 28th May: Chiang Mai.
I am currently in Chiang Mai. It's fascinating city, lots of temples, they are called Wat's. There's this one (Buddist) temple called 'Wat U Mong', hehe, the culture isn't lost on me!
Oh yes, and to be polite, if you are a bloke, you have to say 'krap' on the end of every sentence. Marvellous, krap.
Have been to a rather good Thai cooking class, first we went to the market and had all the weird and wonderful fruit veg and meat explained to us. Then we made stuff Thai style, spring rolls, deep fried banana (surprisingly tasty), Thai noodles, , Tom Yum (hot prawn) soup, and green curry from scratch. Naturally being a 5th Dan in Wok Wielding I had to correct some of the instructors techniques but by and large they knew what they were doing.
Did the 'DH' mountain biking which actually had some cheeky uphill bits. Dominated it, some fairly technical sections, only one big jump which was optional. It was swelteringly hot under all the protective gear tho. Pushing a 3 tonne bike up a hill in that humidity is not fun.
Over the last few days I've been doing day rides on a dirt bike from Chiang Mai to places such as Samoeng, Pai (via Wat Chan, some good offroad stuff), the Doi Inthanon national park with huge waterfalls and the odd wandering elephant and so on. I've stumbled upon many a hill tribe village and actually had to enlist the help of a whole village to get me home after breaking down in a tropical storm 5 hours from home. We loaded the bike into the back of a pickup truck (see pic) already full of radish and farmers wives and then made the open air journey to Chiang Mai where they would hopefully sell their radish and I would return my poorly bike.
Going to Chiang Rai on Friday via a bus then we'll cross the border into Loas and follow the Mekong river via slow boat as it winds to Luang Prabang.
I have extended my flights so my return date is July 6th (just in time for the An v SA Test matches I hope!) not June 8th, this gives me time to see a little more of this fascinating place.