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Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong

Chiang Khong, Thailand

After a good night's sleep and a nice shower we realised we had sorely misjudged the amount of days we needed in Northern Thailand and to our horror discovered that plan B "sitting by the hostel pool" was thwarted by cloudy weather. So plan C "random daytrips" was called into action.

Day trip #1.
A cheap tour of Chiang Mai on a tuk-tuk. Won over by our driver brandishing a photo of his 3 beautiful children we proceeded to allow him to take us to every factory within the province. We enjoyed the jewellery, the egg shell boxes and the parasol painting. However things took a turn for the worse when we rocked up to an animal skin factory. Realised it was time to cut our losses when we actually began to consider purchasing a burberry purse made from the skin of a stingray. At this point we started demanding temples, and got taken to a temple 100 metres from our starting point- only it was three hours and six factories later. After a walk around the site we discovered a couple of young monks perched under a sign advertising "Monk Chats" so proceeded to sit down and quiz them with intellectual questions such as "is it true you can't touch girls" and the piece de resistance "what happens if you bump into one by accident?".

Day trip #2
Visited village tribes outside of city. Accosted by hoards of village children attempting to flog "beautiful" bracelets, goes without saying we all came home with one.

The Long Neck tribe came last- even after meeting them face to face- still not sure why anyone would want a giraffe neck or a long flappy earlobe.

Finally moved on to Chiang Rai- getting a little more off the beaten track. For anyone planning to go here would definitely not recommend day trip #3 to Mae Salong. Did we miss something? Promised by guidebook a mystical Chinese village set in the hills- were disappointed to find a crusty old settlement with the only Chinese influence being "poundstretcher" style Chinese Lanterns.

After racing home from disastrous 5 hour round trip to Mae Salong all very excited about finding ourselves and being at one with nature on impending "jungle retreat". Alarm bells started to ring when Colly and Tay found themselves clinging on to the back of a truck for dear life on treacherous mountain climb. After the jouney/near death experience to our destination we realised it wasn't going to be all hot springs and waterfalls as we found ourselves, in fact, a little too close to nature for our liking. After sleepless night spooning with iguanas and Leeroy's cousins we observed the Sunrise over the mountains at 6:00am and decided that this had definitely been out-doorsey enough for us and headed back to the comforts of the city at 9:00am.

Jumped on sweaty bus to Chiang Khong where we are waiting until tomorrow to cross the border into Laos.

permalink written by  Murph, Tay, Colly and Erin on April 6, 2006 from Chiang Khong, Thailand
from the travel blog: The Smug Adventures of Murph, Tay, Colly & Erin
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