Posted by: Larzizou | February 12, 2009

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Here starts another step of my journey.

Alone anew – and it feels good. I have made what may be a decisive decision : I will not go back to the New York for on-campus recruitment and extend my trip in Asia for five more weeks. I postponed my Bangkok-Hong Kong flight and cancelled my Hong Kong – New York – Hong Kong flights.

This is the second time I drastically revise my travel plans – extends the feeling of freedom to wuthering heights.

I am now seriously thinking about South East Asia. Although I was not too enthused about this part of the world, I will give it a chance, and worst comes to worst, I can still advance my flight to Hong Kong and investigate more of China, which I heard has inexhaustible supplies of mind-boggling sceneries.

So for now, going up north of Thailand to start my loop.

Chiang Mai is one of the most populated areas of Thailand. However, it is nothing like Bangkok – that is quite unique anyway – or the Southern islands. Even the backpacking crowd is slightly more polished, educated and a whole less abrasive than the screaming Irish drunkard one often (if involuntarily) encounters on Koh Thao shores.

Chiang Mai bands are pretty reptuable. Pretty amazing musical skills and technique.

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Full disclaimers rather amusing. Did they mean “No lady boy!” or “No! Lady boy” ?

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There are laws and rules. Here you can find both. Worth a read (click on it to upsize the picture). Tonight, I am successful successively with (1) a Thai Mireille Mathieu look-alike and (2) a chubby tiny local. When Thailand boasts so many gorgeous girls (and boys who pretend to be girls). Just my luck. As we exit Spicy I along with Mike (more on him in later posts) suddenly hear an enormous blast; stare at each other, both intuiting we are gonna be busted in an explosion instantly. But nothing comes. Takes time unload the emotional charge. Hard to describe, but it felt like a movie scene, you stare at your friend, knowing without communicating that you are thinking the same thing – death is gonna find you imminently – but nothing comes finally. But it was just a few Irish drunkard playing with explosives who end up being stick-beaten by police officers. G.od knows these morons deserved it.

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I finally opt for a one day trek, because even though I extended my time in South East Asia, (1) I am no fan of walking under the heat and humidity and (2) I only have about 5 weeks to go through Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Your average Chiang Mai trek starts with the butterfly farm tour. Looks like they are trying to (glue and) kill them all in here ! Next door is the Orchid farm. Yes, it’s nice. And worth five minutes of my time.

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After what I find my group for the day. A dutch family (the two parents, their two daughters and one son), and two English girls in their early twenties. Lovely.

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Then river bathing. Extremely slippery.

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Left to right, English homie, Portugues dude, Dutch chick.

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I am about to slip.

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Carefulness will not prevent one of our English companions to sleep all the way down and get not-so-severely bruised.

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This picture reminds me of Davalou at Iguazu. Look here. Stunning resemblance, no ?

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In the car, getting to our next adventure. The music choice is terrible – Thai Pop, or antiquated movies soundtracks.

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Chicken eating elephant dung. Apparently quite common here.

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We are not lucky (or rich?) enough to do one of these carriage rides.

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Our group.

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Trying to get through the river, to mount our dedicated elephants. Julia and Harriet smoking hot. NOT !

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What is better than one elephant ? Two ? No. A baby elephant. I wonder what elephant meat tastes like.

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The British, again. They broke their cameras and partly rely on my pictures.

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Indian tourists. An emerging trend.

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Dumbo and dumbo enslaved mum.

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The eldest Dutch teenager and I, on the elephant ; she’s sixteen and longs to be a doctor. Her parents try to put us together for the activities, maybe thinking that we are in the same age pool. We are not.

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Oh happy days !

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(echo)

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It probably does not show on the picture, but it’s rather surprising how the elephants manage to walk through such narrow passages. The alley must not be wider than 50 centimeters.

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More animal maternal love and games.

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I’ll never see elephants the same way. Look here for a comparison with much bigger Zimbabwean elephants.

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Finally, the visit of a not-so-authentic village in the valley; it has been recomposed for tourists to stare at them like monkeys in a cage. Harriet and Julia object to this and do not come along. We are told that this tribe is not actually from Thailand but Burma and fled it (and its poverty).

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Trying to sell all sort of artifacts to tourists.

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Unusual attire.

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Like brother, like sister.

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Baby are stylish too. Looks more Bolivian than Thai to me.

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Another view of the village.

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Bad boy, bad boy, what you gonna do, what you gonna do when they come for you ?

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Bad boy and his crew of nasty toddlers.

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After a full and filling day of trekking, going back to my room at Lai Thai. Not so comfortable or clean but cheap and hot water with karcher-like pressure.

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Responses

  1. It must be nice being able to travel around the world like this. Been reading for a little while now, nice pictures too(:

    Where are you from actually? I’m from Singapore. The post on Singapore is quite interesting, I must say.

    • Thanks for reading. Yeah, traveling has been a fantastic experience. I am from France.


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