More Culture in Chiang Mai

This week we have savoured more of the cultural delights of Chiang Mai. We went to watch a play by The Gate Theatre Group called 'The Gin Game' by D L Coburn. This is a two-act, four-scene play about a woman in her twilight years, Fonsia Dorsey, who enters a "home for the aged" and is for a while saved from melancholy by the crusty charm of Weller Martin. Weller encourages her to play gin, but becomes increasingly infuriated when she keeps winning, until his pent-up rage and her continuing needling, build up to a terrible confrontation. The play was very well acted and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

We also went to a concert given by the pianist Bennett Lerner. This was the first of a series called 'Bennett Lerner and Friends Present Noctures and Barcarolles' - featuring the music of Gabriel Fauré and his contemporaries. At this concert, he was joined by the Thai violinist Tasana Nagavajara, who is the leader of the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. Bennett Lerner played the first three of the Fauré Nocturnes plus works by Chabrier, Tchaikovsky and Brahms (the latter two were for violin and piano). We were so fortunate to be able to attend this wold-class performance for only £3!!

On Sunday we went to the Pong Duet Geyser (rather aptly named given the smell of the sulphur!). The underground temperature of this geyser is between 176°C - 203°C and it shoots out of the ground to between 1 and 2 metres in height at an amazing 90°C - 99°C. (See photo above) Our intention was to stay at the resort, but, although they said we were welcome to stay, the restaurant was closed for refurbishment and the spa was closed. There was one pool open, but the water was so hot that David almost lost a toe testing it! We decided to carry on to Pai. On the way we came across the bridge over the river Pai - also built by British prisoners of war, but not as well known as that other bridge.

The Bridge over the River Pai built by British Prisoners of War in 1942.

Enjoying a beer as the sun goes down over the River Pai.

In Pai we stayed at Ban Tawan (The House of the Open Door). Our room overlooked the river and seemed an idyllic setting. Unfortunately, just across the river was an all-night disco with a thumping base; added to which the people in the next room to us spent most of the night arguing very loudly. I was very irritated, but even more so when David managed to sleep through the lot!!! We did, however, manage our swim in a hot spring at the Pai Hotsprings Spa Resort. (See photo).

Our holiday in Thailand has now come to an end and I am actually writing this in Bangkok airport as we wait for our flight to Amsterdam. We have had a great time and, as usual, Glynn has been the consumate host. We will miss Chiang Mai - especially the massages we have enjoyed at the 'Nimman House Thai Massage for Health and Relaxation' - a most wonderful experience!

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