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November 22, 2004
Jody writes:

See our Chiang Mai pictures.

I'm bloated. We've just completed a Thai cookery course at a place called Thai Chocolate (there was none of the sweet stuff in sight - 'Thai Chocolate' is a slang term for red chillies in Thailand). We cooked and ate six meals in seven hours, finding space for two plates of fruit in between. It was a lot of fun and the other eight people on the course felt just as sick as we did by the end.

Amy's currently getting her hair chemically straightened, which leaves me with some time to kill. Best of luck to her - she went for a trim a couple of days back and the Thai lady hacked about four inches off.

We went elephant trekking yesterday, which was a giggle - though we were slightly worried when our driver hopped off and disappeared, leaving the elephant to lumber on unguided (he returned a few minutes later). Our elephant was a stubborn beast and refused to move at times. We later learnt that the small elephant that had been following us was our elephant's calf and the reason she refused to move was because she couldn't see her baby.

After a bumpy hour on elephant back, we made it to one of the famous Chiang Mai hilltribes. Hilltribe trekking is one of the main reason travellers come to the city, but we can't be arsed with it. The romantic view is that the hilltribes are small societies of natives, untouched by modern civilization. But, judging from other traveller's stories and the hilltribe we visited, the reality is that what you actually visit is a series of salesmen and women in silly hats intent on flogging you tat. Though some of the goods are made locally, much of it seems to be imported from the mainland and Burma.

I spoke to a couple who had just returned from a hilltribe trek and they weren't impressed. They visited the Karen tribe (famous for their longneck women: see this picture I've found) and although the longneck ladies greet tourists, everyone else in the tribe slouched around in tracksuits.

We also took an hour-long ride on a bamboo raft with three other people and a couple of guys who were employed to steer. We enjoyed taking in the beautiful scenery and the ride was very slow and peaceful other than the instance when we ran into a fallen tree and almost capsized.

We leave Chiang Mai and head for Krabi in Southern Thailand on Thursday. After all this rushing about we're planning to spend our final three weeks in Thailand exploring some islands and lazing on beaches.

posted at 5:39 PM | link

4 Comments:

  • I'm loving the bite-ometer. Amy what perfume are you wearing? The mozzies are getting a feast.

    By Blogger Big H, at 6:00 PM  

  • ah - the delights of Thai Chocolate!!
    yes, i remember the bloatedness... nasty. was it still run by an australian woman? she gave me some marmite, bless her - hadn't seen it for seven months!
    also - where is amy having her hair done? i had mine done at the salon right next to Thai Chocolate...
    btw - don't get your laundry done at the woman opposite, she ruined some of our stuff..

    anyway, take care, berg xxx

    By Blogger The Berg, at 4:56 PM  

  • I rode a couple of elephants back in the day, but i am sure i was pretty liquored up!

    By Blogger Big Cuz, at 8:06 PM  

  • Berg - I don't know who runs Thai Chocolate, but I guessed it was run by a Thai guy called Tub Tim who lead the group.

    Amy's hair was done in a posh salon for older ladies, next to an even posher hotel. It looks very nice.

    By Blogger Jody, at 1:23 AM  

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Jody and Amy have finished their 10 month adventure around the world, that began Nov 2, 2004, and ended Sep 2, 2005. They're back home in London now, doing normal things, like going to work and drinking tap water. You can see a map of what was their planned route, but we didn't quite follow it.
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