Tuesday, 18th March 2008
I woke up early to the crows of the rooster near our chalet. Gas Stove almost threw a shoe at the rooster for making so much noise at wee hours in the morning. I liked it here as it reminded me of my late grandmother’s old house in Balik Pulau, Penang.
Like they said, early bird catches the worm. I was glad that I woke up early to watch monks doing their rounds collecting alms. I could have waited at the nearby temple’s entrance to get better shot of the monks. Sigh. I didn’t make known of my wishes to Dave. However, I managed to get this shot of the monk giving blessings to the owner of Baan Yu Pen Sook when he gave some offerings to the monk.
We had appetizer before we have breakfast consisting of sticky rice with custard made by the owner and helped ourselves with some coffee. There was a comb of bananas on the table. According to Dave, this particular species of bananas if taken 3-4 pieces everyday, men do not need stimulants such as Viagra. Yuin said he’s very confident with his sexuality and he didn’t need any help. The other two gentlemen had a piece of banana each and were teased non stop by the girls.
After everyone had their coffee, we walked to a nearby stall for breakfast. Stir fried minced pork (can be beef and chicken also) with basil leaves and a fried egg. It’s called Phad Kebao Kedao– I think! We were made to pronounce this breakfast the entire trip. Lol! If we have problems of ordering in Thai, this will never go wrong. So everyone now, Phad Kebao Kedao…. Phad Kebao Kedao… Phad Kebao Kedao….
As soon as we finished the awesome breakfast, we headed for the border market in Laos checkpoint via Mekong River. This time round, we took the speed boat. Mekong River is vastly huge so there is no problem of getting stranded on the sand. We reached the border quite swiftly and got down to buy some souvenirs at dirt cheap prices. There was nothing much but I could see some products are actually from China.
After goofing around taking pictures, we took a ride on the speed boat towards where the Mekong River divided Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. Hence, the name “Golden Triangle” is coined. A casino was built on the bank of river at the border. Thailand does not allow gambling dens to be built in Thai soil. Hence, they leased the land on Myanmar to build a casino. Well, I guess when one loses way too much money in the casino – he can always commit suicide by jumping into the Mekong River.
We made a brief stop at Mae Sai, the border between Myanmar and Thailand. Gem stones are fake here so, beware. Crystal necklaces and bracelets priced from RM5 onwards! The girls spent on necklaces and other accessories as they were too irresistibly cheap! You can get whatever you want here at a fraction of a cost.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we visited the White Temple. Construction is still under progress. This temple is a contribution by a famous local Thai artist who wanted to pay tribute to his hometown. The temple is all in white with shiny silver pieces to add to its elegance. There were unorthodox artistic paintings in the walls of the temple, a sea of crutching and held out hands emerging at the entrance to signify hell, coupled with elephant tusks sent chills down my spine. As beautiful and peculiar as it may be to others, I find temples should stick to orthodoxy simple designs and not contemporary art. Maybe I am just an old fashioned girl.
The hot Tuesday afternoon was made bearable when Dave treated us to some coconut ice creams and sweet baby pineapples. We gobbled up the sweet tasting coconut ice cream with gusto. Yuin, after eating too much coconut based dessert the night before was suffering some stomach cramps and nausea. He somehow didn’t show he was suffering and still managed to kid around with us. Memang macho habis habis! Haha!
We were taken to the Rose Garden to have home made pies, cheese cakes and enjoy a cup of refreshing rose tea. You can have a slice of heaven here! They serve meringue too; much to Alex’s delight that he ordered two slices of meringue for himself. Some of us ordered two slices of cheesecakes and meringues each. I could see Dave shaking his head at the sight of us trying to kill ourselves with so much calories in a day!
As if he knew how to read our glutton minds, he told us what he already knew where to take us to pig out for lunch tomorrow. Tom yum kueh teow!
We made another brief stop at a lake to feed thousands of fish. Buddhists believe in accumulating merits. Thais would buy live fishes from the market and let them go free in this lake. This gesture would add merit to their lives and hopefully, could improve their karma.
On our way back to Chiang Mai, we stopped by a hot spring. Locals sell you eggs to be boiled in the sulphuric smelling boiling water. We changed our minds to go to another hot spring for bath the next day and substitute with another mindless shopping spree at Baan Tawai.
As soon as we got to Royal Lanna hotel, we decided to go for Thai massage. We went to this centre nearby our hotel to check it out. We paid 250 baht each for an hour of massage. It was not as good as the one I had in Hadyai many years ago but much, much better if were to compare to the one I had in Pattaya where the masseur almost dislocate my joints and internal organs with her terrible skills and non-stop chatting while massaging people. I chuckled when my ex boss almost suffocated as the girl trampled on her small frame.
The night ended with a dinner of pork Samurai burger at Mc Donald’s and some shopping at the Night Bazaar. I simply adore the Karale Night Market with its diverse things to offer.