At last I have found time to update my blog! We have been so busy here in Chiang Mai and its environs that I have hardly had a chance to sit down and collect my thoughts! As well as doing the touristy things, we are experiencing life here in Chiang Mai.
Glynn has always been a member of a choir in whatever country he has found himself and here is no different. On Wednesday, Glynn and I went to choir; Sunday evening was madrigals and today, Monday, we will be joining the group that sings Broadway melodies!
In addition to singing, I have been with Margaret to water aerobics and hope to go again this week. This is all besides visiting a national park, a hot spring, trawling through the local markets, eating out every night and getting David fitted for a new suit – and we haven’t been here a week yet!
On Saturday, we went to Doi Suthep Mountain, which, together with Doi Pui Mountain, dominates the landscape over Chiang Mai and forms part of the 260 square kilometre national park. David and Harry climbed the 1 000 metres to the summit, while Glynn, Margaret and I drove to the top and walked to Chiang Kian, a village of the Hmong people, where we were to meet the intrepid climbers.
Whilst there, we looked at the fine embroidery that is a speciality of the Hmong women and visited the local school. Harry and David managed the climb in good time and we drove down to Doi Suthep village for lunch. There, David chose a dish that sounds like ‘Cow Pat Moo’ and has been eating it ever since as he can remember the name!
That evening, Glynn took David and me to his favourite Thai Massage parlour – the Nimman House Massage - for a one-and-a-half hour massage. I asked for a lady masseuse, but when I saw one of the muscular young men on offer I was nearly tempted to change my mind! My masseuse was very good, however, and I am glad I gritted my teeth through the pain as I felt, at least, two centimetres taller when she had finished!
Following the massage, we went to eat at a very interesting place called Sukontoa Restaurant which is a muugrata or cook-your-own restaurant. There are long tables full of an enormous variety of food which one cooks at ones table on a small braai-like contraption which is full of hot coals (see photo). The food was delicious; there is one caveat, however - if you take more food than you can eat, you are charged for the wastage – what a good idea!
On Sunday we drove out to Sankampen Hot Spring where we swam and lazed in the hot pool before treating ourselves to a foot massage. Glynn noticed that the price was different for farangs (foreigners) and Thais and he was able to argue with the man, in Thai, and get him to lower the price for us. We are continually impressed by Glynn's mastery of the language – he can even read it!!!!
After our foot (and lower leg) massage, we went to the hottest part of the spring and cooked a dozen quails eggs in the near-boiling water (see photo) which we ate as a pre-cursor to our lunch.
For lunch we drove to Tharnthong Lodges at Mai Kampong for a delicious meal, Glynn and I chose a soup, but David had …. Yes! Cow Pat Moo!!!!