Homer's Travels: Southeast Asia 2023 - Days Twelve, Thirteen, and Fourteen - Chiang Mai, Thailand

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Southeast Asia 2023 - Days Twelve, Thirteen, and Fourteen - Chiang Mai, Thailand

UPDATED 12-03-2023: Added photos.

Day Twelve (Tuesday)

Today we got up early to feed the monks.  Buddhist monks are not allowed to kill animals.  Each morning they leave the temples and walk the streets carrying a bowl.  People give them prepared food (including meat) in return for getting a blessing by the monk.  People often give them a favorite food of a passed loved one in the hope that the food will make their loved one happy.

The monks praying to the people who offer them food.
We returned to the hotel for our own breakfast before we were picked up once again and headed to a rice farm (more like a tourist rice farm).  Here we learned about various types of rise, fed chickens, picked butterfly pea flowers, made banana leaf boats ( or tried to) to make omelets in, and made blue rice (using the butterfly pea flowers). We donned rice planting clothes, got knee deep in mud, and planted rice.  After getting out of the muddy field we decided we weren't muddy enough so the Wife and I went down the mud slide into the muddy water pool.  The Wife took a second plunge before we took showers and put some clean clothes on.  All this was followed by lunch of an egg omelet, chicken, and the blue rice we prepared earlier.

We returned to the hotel for another rest before we drove up into the mountains to visit a Hmong village.  A little girl in native clothes, eight years old if I recall correctly, offered to be our guide of the village.  She did a great job explaining everything about her village and her native clothes.  Turns out there were a group of kids who shared the tour guide duties for the village. 

A beautiful temple covered in gold.
After the village we went to a Buddhist temple where we listened to chanting monks and enjoyed the view of Chiang Mai from the top of the mountain. 

Day Thirteen (Wednesday)

Our last tour day in Thailand took us to an elephant sanctuary where we walked amongst the rescued pachyderms and the water buffalo.  We enjoyed a vegetarian meal when we heard a bunch of elephants trumpeting.  The founder of the sanctuary, who had been on a trip overseas, had returned and the elephants were happy to see her.

A baby elephant sitting on another baby elephant playing by the river.
The rest of the afternoon was free.  The Wife got a Thai massage.  I decided not to partake as I have had a love-hate relationship with massage.  I love the idea of it but hate the feeling of disappointment I often have after it.

In the evening we were picked up and taken to a riverfront restaurant for a goodbye dinner.  The meal was a bit too fancy for me.  The food was good but just too fussy. 

Day Fourteen (Thursday)

After a lazy morning we went to the airport and flew back to Bangkok. We were met at the hotel by the parents of a couple of the Wife's students (they are in their thirties and forties now with families of their own).  They took us out for dinner at a very nice Thai restaurant.  The Wife caught up with her students and their young families.  I sat next to the father and he kept putting food on my plate or suggesting things for me to eat.  I filled my plate a couple times until I was full.  Fortunately this seemed to satisfy the father and he stopped piling on the food. 

The parents dropped us off at the hotel.  Along the way one of their granddaughters sat between us and sang Old MacDonald Had a Farm with the Wife. 

We went to bed and got up at 3:00 am so we could check out and go to the airport.   Our adventure would continue in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Photos can be found in my 2023 Thailand Google Photos album. 

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