Ms Chocaholic with lots of opinions and an attitude

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Quick account of my 2 weeks holiday up north -- Part I

Chiang Rai
a little bit old news...but yes Ive been lagging on the blog updates since around December last year. my excuse is life has been busy....with lots you go:
so it started with a flight to first time there actually. quite a lovely town. we checked out the MaeFahLuang university...they have some new rooms built...meant to be a hotel type accommodation, but it wasnt available for rent yet! shame...we were hoping to stay there...really quiet atmosphere, great weather, and amazing view....well hopefully next time. visited a number of places...cant remember them all...but included a number of hills....lots of flowers.....a stop at orchard farm and bought some fresh tangerines; a road that cut through the middle of a small village, with whole family out drying coffee beans (I think this is the area where they used to grow opium); a thai military checkpost, alongside the Burma one, where soldiers from both sides playe 'ta-kraw' together -- we gave them some fresh pineapple that we had bought, plus a few other knick-knacks we had in the van.....kinda made my day to see the lovely smile from the young soldier saying his thanks to me :) that same day we drove to the Golden Triangle town of Chiang Saen....took a 15minute boat trip in the river for a glimpse of Burma land that projected into the river, made a u-turn and crossed the river to the other side and boarded on the small market on the Laos side. the market wasnt anything impressive...just stretches of small stalls selling souvenirs and tshirts at expensive price, with lots of caucasian tourists....but was quite cool to be at the Golden Triangle point where you stand there and can see 3 countries almost converging. was also my first time to Laos.....unless you count the time I was still some loose forming substance in my Mum's tummy :p
we went up Doi-Tung, saw the Queen Mother's house....a nice minimalist swiss style wooden chalet set amongst beautiful trees and flowers, with balconies looking out to all directions.
We stayed in Mae Sai (the border town to Burma), so one of the days we made a trip into the Burma border.......some temple there, plus a replica of Shwedagon....I found that quite strange that they'd build a replica like that....not sure what the logic behind it is....mind you the replica itself was pretty big...and apparently one of the pagodas (rather than all of them) are gold coated/plated..whichever you call it. then it was shopping time....lots of shops at the market near the border crossing.....i was amazed at how cheap all the silver/semi precious stones jewelry...while others went nuts with all the pirated products like tshirts and handbags.



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