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EN CHIANG MAI

Chiang Mai, Thailand


Hola a todos!

Despues de 12 horas de bus por fin hemos llegado a Chiang Mai esta mañana, cerca de las 6 de la mañana. Lo primero: correr a dormir al novotel. El pobre Carlos estaba destrozado (me parece que ya no somos tan jovenes para estas patoaventuras). Mañana nos vamos hacer el treking dichoso, caminatas entre 2 y 3 horas cada una, vamos a "manejar" elefantes (o ellos a nosotros, vayan ustedes a saber) Vamos a dormir en una cabaña (quien sabe con cuantos bichos alrededor) y nos subiran a una balsa para pasear (gulp), seguro que estaremos bien, seguro que sobreviviremos (yo ya me anote en la palma de la mano el telefono de emergencias por si acaso).
La verdad es que Tailandia ha sido una enorme sorpresa para mi, todo lo que he visto me ha parecido sorprendentemente limpio, ordenado, vamos, casi casi diria yo que muy occidental, sin que hayan perdido su escencia.
Aun nos faltan algunas semanas por aqui, y no puedo hablar mucho, pero al menos puedo deciros lo que hasta el momento me ha parecido.

Asia no es que me haya encantado, no es el amor de mi vida, pero he visto tantas cosas que me pensaba estabsn perdidas o que ya no existian como por ejemplo lo amorosos que son los adultos con los niños, ambos: hombres y mujeres. Hacia tanto tiempo que habia dejado de ver que un padre cogiera y estrujara a su hijo y le pegara dos besotes en los cachetes como si se lo quisiera comer. Las cosas que he visto en Europa son diferentes; en Inglaterra les llevan de compras o peor aun, les dan una tarjeta de credito, un movil y ...apa...dejame trabajar tranquilo. Y casi lo mismo se repite en Italia, francia y Belgica.
En España, la mayoria de la gente que conozco vive para trabajar, para comer dicen ellos, y tanto trabajan que ya ni tiempo tienen de sentarse a comer a la mesa con sus hijos, cada uno come cuando y como puede, y lo que puede. He visto, por ejemplo, como un padre cogia a su hija de ambos brazos y la sentaba de manera violenta en la silla de la terraza de un bar mientras le gritaba, en medio de la calle, que se callara de una puñetera vez y que le dejara en paz, la paciencia simplemente se les ha terminado.
En Mexico, desgraciadamente aun puedo ver a niños de hasta 8 años trabajando. De repente se nos olvida que son niños y nos parece normal que nos limpien los zapatos, que nos sirvan los tacos o que nos limpien el coche mientras vamos de shopping.

Viajabamos De Yogiyakarta a Yakarta en tren, y recuerdo ver niños, muchos niños; niños jugando en grupo, corriendo desnudos, riendose mucho, mucho. He visto niños trepados en bardas altas, sentados mirando pasar los trenes; nos decian adios y nosotros les correspondiamos.
Hemos visto niños nadando desnudos en el Rio Megkong, saliendo de Vietnam, jugando con los bueyes de agua o con vacas, sonrientes, siempre sonrientes.
He visto a hombres en Camboya abrazar a sus hijos en medio de un mercado nocturno, corretearse con ellos, hacerles cosquillas y reirse juntos.
Y tambien he visto niños hechos hombres, pidiendo dinero, hechos una piltrafa ya desde antes de crecer. Eso lo hace solo el dinero, y los mismos padres.

En fin, esto es parte de lo que he visto, entre otras muchas cosas, y en este poquisimo tiempo he aprendido mucho del mundo, de otros seres humanos, y sobretodo, mucho mas sobre mi. Es increible, vivir con uno mismo y no conocerse del todo. Que cosas! No?

Bueno ya os contare como ha ido todo.

Espero que no nos olvideis, ahora si que ya no he visto ni una letra del: Campos, Chuspy, Luisa, Tania, Paula y toda la gente que nos sigue...
Haber si dais señales de vida eh??

Un besazo a todos!!

Noemi

permalink written by  Noemi y Carlos on July 18, 2008 from Chiang Mai, Thailand
from the travel blog: NUESTRO VIAJE POR ASIA Y ALGO MAS...
tagged ChiangMai

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ESTOY DESTROZADA

Chiang Mai, Thailand


Hola a Todos!

Adrianita, lo primero que me encuentro es tu nombre en este blog y no sabes la alegria que me das, yo pensaba que ya te habias olvidado de mi, y eso si que no te lo perdonaria en la vida! jajajaja Agradezco muchisimo que con expreses tus sentimientos y pensares, eso me anima mucho a seguir adelante con esta aventurota.

Luisilla. Como que andas de boda? Y ahora quien se murio? Digo quien se caso? Y luego se les ocurre casarse en Madrid con el caloron ese que mas bien parece que te metes a un horno en lugar de una iglesia y te cocinas en tu propio jugo jajajajajajaj Que asco!

Bueno, nosotros hemos llegado a Chiang Mai ayer, despues de 2 dias de treking; aunque a decir verdad no se si fue treking o tortura china.
Todo comenzo muy bonito. Vinieron a buscarnos en un transporte chachi, luego de 20 paradas en no se donde y para que, por fin llegamos a un lugar por alla, perdido en la montaña, y nos dieron nuestro lung, una cajita con arroz (siempre arroz por aqui) frito y comenzamos a caminar. Los primero 10 minutos estuvieron bien, pero al cabo de 15 yo ya no podia ni respirar, vamos que no se ni como llegue a la cima de la pequeñisima primera colina que pisamos. Claro que me bañe con repelente de antimosquitos por eso tampoco se me hizo tan duro, pero ahora que lo pienso no se ni siquiera si tuve tiempo de pensar que estaba en el bosque rodeada de bichos, creo que mi cerebro dejo de funcionar, era como Mafalda: concentrarse y no pensar.
Bueno, y asi pasaron unas cuantas horas, hicimos 3 paradas de 10 minutos cada una y llegamos al pequeño "pueblito" hacia las 5 de la tarde. Llegamos al Village de la gente "long neck" se llama asi porque las chicas se ponen desde los 5 años unos aros de bronce en el cuello, y no dejan de enredarse esas cosas hasta que se casan (que suertudas, no?!!) y total, que el cuello se les va alargando y los hombros cayendo, y ni que contarles de los aros que se ponen por debajo de las rodillas. Fui muy ingenua al preguntar si eso se lo quitan para dormir, la respuesta fue: No,nunca.
Y si no tienes dinero para comprar bronce? Ah, pues entonces, te perforan el lobulo de la oreja como de 5 centimetros o mas y te ponen una cosa redonda dentro.
Que lindos! No? Yo pensaba que tendria que darles un par de bofetones para que despertaran de su pesadilla. Pero no pude, Carlos no me dejo.
Luego cenamos un monton de arroz blanco con una ensalada cocida (guuuuuuuuuuua) que estaba muy buena y un poco de no se que caldo verde con unos trozos (que nunca vi) de pollo, Carlos fue muy suertudo, encontro algun pedazo nadando por arriba del caldo.
Yo tuve que coger mi plato para poder comer, antes de que las hormigas se lo llevaran todo, y como encima no habia mas luz que 3 velas a medio morir, pues a ves lo que yo veia: nada.
Y bueno, al baño???? Como la cancion mexicana dice: Me aguante hasta donde pude...y acabe llorando a mares...donde no me vieras tuuuuuuuuuuu....
Lo use hasta la mañana siguiente. No veia ni mi la palma de mi mano, como voy a encontrar el baño?
Dormimos en una cabaña de bambu: 2 chicas inglesas, una china, una sueca (que por cierto con ella hicimos muy buenas migas desde el principio porque nos conto que habia vivido en Mexico 4 años y le encantaba Mexico y los mexicanos. No estoy muy segura de que le gustara una como yo, pero bueno, hemos hecho el intento y ahora somos amigas, bueno y Carlos tambien, haciendo relaciones humanas para España), el Carlitos y yo.
Como no podiamos ver ni donde nos acostabamos la chica sueca, Maria, se encontro que habia tenido como almohada a un gato, y yo, que aunque habia tenido mosquitera, tenia 2 moscos dentro.
El desayuno no estuvo mal, y aunque la mermelada no parecia mermelada, ni la mantequilla, mantequilla. Yo me eche mis dos tostadas, comi sandia y me tome un cafe, de esos que a Carlos le producen arcadas. jajajajajaja
Volvimos a caminar durante 2 horas, y cuando al fin llegamos al rio, todas las chicas se volvieron locas porque por fin llegaban al lugar preciado del treking: Manejar elefantes.
Al principio, debo confesar, me encanto la idea a mi tambien. Pero sinceramente, despues de ver lo que vi, me he arrepentido mil veces de haberme subido al pobre animal.
Yo creo que los animales sufren junto a nosotros, los seres humanos; pienso que un dia tomaran conciencia de lo mal que los tratamos y entonces nos mandaran a la chingada y se rebelaran. Como tiene que ser coño!! Que malos somos, que mal nos portamos con la naturaleza y con los animales. Dios no existe, porque si existiera no permitiria que actuaramos con tal maldad, hipocresia y descaro de esa manera. No permitiria que se maltratara a la madre tierra como lo hacemos. No lo permitiria.
Un dia se nos va acabar lo que tenemos, lo que la tierra, tan buenamente, nos provee; y entonces nos va a llevar la chigada. Os lo digo de verdad.
Ahora si que no me vuelvo a montar en ningun animal y menos sacarme una foto, ni a disfrutar con el sufrimiento ajeno, ni por todos los trekings del mundo, ni por todo el dinero.
Despues del mal sabor de boca, nos dieron el lunch, os lo digo en serio, no podia ni tragar la comida, tenia un nudo en la garganta. Aun asi, pude echar un vistazo y me parece que habia arroz (oootra vez) verdura, tomate (mmmmm), pepino, etc.
Despues vino lo bueno, nos llevaron hacer rafting, creo que nunca me he reido mas en mi vida, claro que despues no aguantaba el dolor de estomago de reirme, pero de los demas, porque nos subieron a una balsa de bambu, y creo que mi juguete preferido fue la chica china, la sueca le gritaba enfadada: SIENTATE!!! porque ella se levantaba cada 2 por 3 porque se ponia nerviosa. Claro que si una sueca de 1.80mts me dice que me siente, yo tranquilita, me siento tambien. jajajajajaja

Ya Carlos les dara su version de los hechos, esta ha sido mi experiencia, podria contarles muchas cosas, pero mejor quedamos cuando volvamos a vernos y entonces, los que me conocen, sabran que hasta se los dramatizare y todo, no puedo evitar manotear y gesticular mucho cuando hablo, y ni que decir cuando me rio...me escucha todo dios! jajaja

Le mando un beso a todos y seguimos en contacto!

Noemi

permalink written by  Noemi y Carlos on July 20, 2008 from Chiang Mai, Thailand
from the travel blog: NUESTRO VIAJE POR ASIA Y ALGO MAS...
tagged ChiangMai

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Treking near Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, Thailand


After Bangkok we headed to Chiang Mai to do a jungle trek...

At the Riverside cafe in Chiang Mai:


Bugs from a street vendor cart - I passed on these:

Our trek started on elephants:


Then we hiked for about 4 hours climbing 1500 vertical meters:


We stayed at a LaHou village in a traditional Thai house:



The next day we hiked down the mountain through a different route:








Then we finished up with a white water rafting trip:

When the river guide gives us instructions he spooks the others and they decide to not come:



permalink written by  soloshell3 on January 9, 2009 from Chiang Mai, Thailand
from the travel blog: Solomon and Michelle's Southeast Asian escape
tagged ChiangMai, Trek and ElephantRiding

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Something new To Try, Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, Thailand


Pie in the sky Chiang Mai finally doing the laundry Chiang Mai its good to ask why Chiang Mai� buy a lady get a guy Chiang Mai�These area all the names our group thought up to help market the city in the States because, in the words of Tony the Tiger, its grrrrrreat!

Chiang Mai is a blast and a half and during the course of the last few days our group got a much needed massage, completed an amazing race, visited a wat , and spent a morning at a Burmese children's school. And of course many amazing Thai meals along the way. (Note: Chiang Mai's time was cut in half by a 2 day visit to a rock-climbing and caving area which will be covered in a separate entry)

The economic powerhouse of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai's atmosphere is more relaxed than the massive-city appeal of Bangkok, with a mixed appeal of riverside live-music bars, beautiful temples, a sleazy sex-tourist district, numerous open-air markets, rooftop lounges, and noticeably cleaner air than its larger city cousin. Our first activity upon entering the Chiang Mai's fray (Chiang Mai literally translates to 'New City', the northern Thai area was recaptured from the Burmese only three hundred years ago), was embracing a much needed massage after three days of trekking to the Karen-tribe village. It was awesome.

The next day (Feb 1st) we were off to visit Wat Suan Dok, a magnificent temple built hundreds of years ago highlighted by the ridiculous 300-some steps (I lost count) to climb up into the main temple area, adorned with a massive golden Buddha (but beware the wandering elephant, for it expects bananas).

The 'Secret Activity' ended up being The Amazing Race: Chiang Mai. We were set-off in three groups to complete a dozen tasks as fast as possible and return by a set time to the hotel. After grueling hours of beer, sweat, and tears, The Pimp Daddies (Jeremy, Taylor, Emily Long, Mackenzie) completed the challenge first (albeit using questionable strategies), the Tiger Paws (Shannon, Jack, Katie, Emily Maeder) completed second (completed every task perfectly),
and then the Buddha Bellies (Colin, M.E., Will, E'Beth, Sam, Audrey) finished last, although (coincidentally perhaps?) they seemed to have feasted the finest that afternoon. The race involved a mix of learning about the city with visiting various places all around Chiang Mai from temples to a mall to a restaurant and more. By placing exploration in competitive circumstances, it created an inventive twist to get many of us exploring the city and interacting with the locals.

Children are the best. Yes I know there are many parents reading this who may say otherwise, but I'm talking about the younger, cuter sort. The group taught at a Burmese school this Wednesday. Some of the older students practiced their English by interviewing some of our group, while the rest (and most) of us played and drew pictures with the children. The older students were surprisingly good at English, and displayed a real drive to learn the language, while the younger kids were, well, typical kids and a lot of fun.

All-in-all, Chiang Mai is an awesome city that I wish I had the opportunity to stay in longer. The dynamic nature, fun, chillaxed people, amazing temples were a great experience for everyone, and a welcome breather from trekking, although now we are off to Laos, tune in sometime soon for the next post!

Here is a picture at the Chiang Mai Elephant Santuary of an elephant painting a self-portrait of himself....really.

Here is a picture of the Ratchadameon Sunday market, its still early so there arent many people but this place gets really crowded

Funny grafitti



permalink written by  JohnJack_Crestani on February 6, 2009 from Chiang Mai, Thailand
from the travel blog: I Meet the SouthEast
tagged Thailand, Elephant, ChiangMai, JackCrestani and Johncrestani

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Cimbing and Crawling

Chiang Mai, Thailand


I am a dirty man. In the happiest, sorest and most satisfying sense of the word. Caving on your stomach through tunnels barely wider than your body, in 100-degree putrid heat, and with little underground streams and bats occasionally paying visits, you would be just as dirty. Pepper it all up with some 300-foot rock climbing and rapelling, and you'd be cimpletely pooped.

During my Pacific Discovery tour group's 2-day break from Chiang Mai, we went to and stayed at Chiang Mai Rock Recreation Center, where we climbed, caved, roasted rice cakes, played games, and camped out.

A combination of chess and pull-ups, climbing is alot of fun, and something I enjoy dearly. Strategizing each succession of grips, clenches, and footholds combines thinking and tests your physical limits in a game where theres a clear goal, reaching the top. Thats me over to he left rapelling (descending) down one of the walls I had just scaled. If it wasnt so damn expensive of a hobby, I would definately treat myself to more climbs, more often, in more places.

We also did some rapelling into caves, loads of fun. Pretty scary though when the difference between life and falling to your death depends on how tightly you hang onto your rope as you slide down it. I prefer hanging onto at least something, alhough the 'motto' of the camp was, Discomfort=Growth. The more you put yourself into uncomfortable situations, the more growth you undergo as a person. And the more discomfort people go through, the more they turn to 'comfort' items as a reaction, such as the 'Pizza and Beer' meal our group mandated after 3 days of trekking in the wilderness. Embrace the awkward/discomfortable!

Caving was a trip. A 3-hour trip that only got deeper, hotter, wetter, and putrid-er. But we managed to embrace the discomfort, and look at how we ended up! It was a great experience, with most people agreeing never to try it again, while yours truly wanted to holy-mole deeper until I eiher found gold, dinosaur bones, or both. Calcite from the limestone formed these caves, similar to the ones in Kentucky and Tennessee. he calcite becomes slightly acidic when mixed with water, and underground streams of this acidic water form along the grooves in the rocks and eventually form large (or small) caves, slalagtites, bat dung ecosystems, etc. We crawled through spaces barely as big as our body, treaded water through underground streams, and monkey-crawled through mud and rocks. Bats even flew in our faces; One got within a foot of my face, while another actually smacked into a girls head! To say the least, after we exited the cave, we were spent, our knees all rightly bruised up, but still in good spirits.
The victory picture!

(Skip over this next part if your not into politics)

The camp was run by a Princeton graduate, I finally learned a bit about the Thai coup that happened late last year. Thai is split between two political parties, the Reds, based in the north, and the Yellows, based in the south.
The Reds are the party of the nouveau-riche, the police, and many people in the north especially around Chiang Mai. They are the new guard, business-friendly and might be compared to the GOP in the US. They were the ruling party until late last year, until they were forced o forfeit their presidency because of major money scandals, an undermined police force, and dissatisfaction. he president was also the richest man in Thailand, but was wracked by corruption scandals and abuse of loopholes.
The Yellows are considered the old guard party and represent the south (around Bangkok), the military, and the King. They took power late last year after some very symbolic non-action by the military in letting the Yellow protestors (most of the protestors on both sides were hired) to take over and shut down the airport. Bangkok airport is the only international airport in Thailand, and being very dependent on tourism, this affected the economy greatly, with many travelers jumping at the chance to cancel their trips abroad altogether because of he already sorry state of their home economies. It will be interesting to see how the politics in this country develop during the year.

(End of boring political part)

At the end of all the hoopla, camping and outdoor activities, I came away with new loves of climbing and caving, and some great times around the campfire with all the camp leaders and my Pacific Discovery friends. Here are some more pictures for everyone to check out. I will be in Laos for the next week or so, with absolutely NO internet access (it is one of the 10 poorest countries in the WOLRD) but upon my arrival in Saigon in 7 days, I will fill everyone in. Thanks for reading!

The name of the camp was Crazy Horse, aptly named after this distinctive looking rock that crowns the mountain from which all the climbing walls and caves run around and under.

Some of that beautiful cave light. This is NOT the cave we went caving in. This cave is like a walk in the park compared to that one.

Me pooped, lying on a bamboo mat, after climbing and caving.



permalink written by  JohnJack_Crestani on February 6, 2009 from Chiang Mai, Thailand
from the travel blog: I Meet the SouthEast
tagged Rockclimbing, Caving, Thailand, ChiangMai, JackCrestani, Johncrestani and Crazyhorse

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Backpackers, Tigers, and Temples - Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, Thailand



Yes, they let you chill with tigers here. Gotta love Thailand.

We arrived in Chiang Mai Tuesday evening and finally were greeted with a scene full of foreign travelers. I guess we finally picked up the typical backpacker trail. We met a guy named Adam, an Israeli living in LA, who was alone and decided to check into a guesthouse with him. The following night we met tons of traveler's out at night - some with really interesting and crazy stories. One in particular - a 24-year old Brit who was on his 11th month of travel and had visited, among others, Iran, Iraq, Ethiopia, Somalia (stowed-away on a cargo freighter), and Sudan. Sounded like a "how can I get myself killed fast enough?" kind of trip. But he had some incredible stories about people he met there. Maybe next trip, Dad? HAH.

Chiang Mai is the second biggest city in Thailand (I think), but compared to Bangkok it seems like a small suburb. It is easily walkable and dotted with old Buddhist temples (like just about every city I've seen in Thailand so far). It also has rained a bit more here, which is nice because it cools down afterwards. Yesterday, we met a guy from Toronto and hired a taxi to take us around a few of the major sites/attractions of Chiang Mai. First we went to the Tiger Kingdom. There are a few places where you can hang out with Tigers in Thailand, but we heard that at this place, there was less of a chance that the animals were really treated cruelly and drugged up, and other nasty things.


Anyways - the pictures speak for themselves, I guess - it seemed a little crazy at first. We asked the guide bringing us into the dens if anything bad had ever happened to tourists here. He said yes. We asked him what, and he started laughing and said he wasn't allowed to tell us. Sweet. It was a really cool experience, once the fear wore off, but I think I'll just check that one off the list and not try it again.

We continued on to a lake settled in the midst of some mountain ranges, got lunch, and went for a swim. Chiang Mai is known for having great food, and although we haven't ventured or explored to much to find great places, even the little cafes near our guesthouses serve of very tasty Thai standards - curries, pad-thais, soups, etc. This is more of the Americanized-Thai variety, unlike the foods I was eating with Joe for the first few days in Bangkok - but that is OK by me.

After the lake, we visited a temple on top of a mountain that overlooks Chiang Mai, and got massages.

Today, we are going to head to a town in very-Northern Thailand and take a 2-day Jungle trek. And we are in the process of getting our Vietnam Visas, so it looks like if those com through, we will be squeezing Hanoi into our itinerary before returning to the southern islands of Thailand.


permalink written by  bhkann on June 25, 2009 from Chiang Mai, Thailand
from the travel blog: Ben's SE Asia Voyage
tagged ChiangMai

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