A Travellerspoint blog

Only a consonant in the difference, but a world apart.

From Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai

sunny 33 °C

Yesterday was our last day in Chiang Mai. We promised the kids we'd take them to the zoo and so we did. It was surprisingly devoid of tourists which was a nice surprise. Not content with one Giant Panda, Chiang Mai zoo has three of them. They must be a dysfunctional family as the three of them (Mum, Dad and daughter) have separate enclosures. Along with the pandas we got to see a plethora of other animals, everything from a jaguar to a wild boar. If you're a kid it beats being dragged to a temple, which funnily enough is exactly what we did to them following the zoo.

Chiang Mai is famous for the Buddhist temple at the summit of Doi Suthep. It's quite a jaunt to the summit and when you reach the top there's still a few hundred steps to climb before you reach the temple itself. If you think of the biblical tale where Jesus drives the merchants from the temple, well by jiminy, he'd have his work cut out getting rid of all the traders around this one. They're all over the place flogging everything from roasted corn to hand-carved soaps. While myself, Joe and Rosie checked out the inner sanctum the rest of the family watched the Muay Thai boxing on the T.V. in the waiting area outside.

This morning we took the express bus to Chiang Rai. Whilst waiting on the bus I decided to go for a smoke outside. There were 'No Smoking' signs everywhere but a Buddhist monk beckoned me over and both of us sparked up. In these here parts you're safe enough with a monk on your side. The journey to Chiang Rai was pretty uneventful save for when we nearly alighted at Chiang Rai Bus Station Terminal 2. The driver seemed disinclined to tell us that we were still about 20km from our actual destination - Terminal 1. Nevertheless we've made it here. There's a small-town feel about the place. Think Ballina or Drogheda in 33degree heat. Our accomodation is more An Oige youth hostel than five star hotel, but its clean and functional and serves our purpose. In any case, we're heading for Laos the day after tomorrow.


Posted by goldenmaverick 08:10 Archived in Thailand Tagged zoo chiang doi suthep rai

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