Saturday, February 02, 2008

No time for literary flights of fancy - just an update

I last left you en route north from Trang to Chieng Rai via Bangkok and Chiang Mai. I'm now in Huey Xai, having crossed into Laos from Chiang Khong this afternoon (Sat Feb 2)

Bangkok was impressive, especially to one who had known it in days of traffic jams, pollution, incompetence and general disorder. Now as well as the skytrain, there's a metro - can this be a good idea in a city so close to sea level and so prone to flooding? Anyway they work a treat and help keep the roads clear and the buses that remain, smooth-running and relatively empty. Of course, the place was still dirty (check your fingernails after a couple of hours and see!). Jim Thompson's Thai House was still well worth a visit and the canal beyond now relatively clean and a major urban thoroughfare.

Another overnight train and we arrived in Chiang Mai and immediately escaped to Chiang Rai by bus. We found a secluded guest house by the river, run by hilltribes people, and started to unwind. Lots of good Thai food in the market - sit in the middle and order from a range of different stalls. The guest house also had a branch in the hills outside town in a hill tribes village and we went up there for two nights. I'll try and upload an image of the huge spider that was claiming squatters' rights in our bathroom. Unfortunately, the weather turned against us and it was wet and cold but still serene and calm.

Down now at river level and in the returning sunshine things are warmer. Tomorrow Jackie is heading for Luang Prabang by riverboat while I'm considering risking a trip into the northern hills before meeting up again. Maybe in Luang Prabang my literary muse will return but no promises!


Blogger Nigel said...

Wow it is great to be able to picture the crossing into Laos and notionally join you on the trip to Luang Prabang. The temples there are impressive and the French influence still evident with excellent coffee! I hope you do get into the hills because Celia and I would welcome some tips for a future trip!

Here 'tis only brass monkeys we are likely to see as the last throws of winter blow a touch wildly across the Orwell bridge.

Look forward to hearing about the next stage of your adventure. N

Sun Feb 03, 09:26:00 pm GMT  
Blogger celia said...

Hurumph... Nigel has got there before me.. that's the trouble with these IT types spend all their time on their computers! Thought you'd like an update on trees, wood and all. Heather and I put in 10 guelder rose last week as Margaret was given them for her birthday. The rest of the trees have arrived and hopefully going in on Friday. The OH workforce swung into action at the w/e and collected a massive amount of wood from Clacton for the Dragon much of it dry! I missed it all as had a w/e in Winchester with Nigel and virtually all his family, which was fun.
Another mission tomorrow to Flatford (weather permitting). I have a tennis elbow and Carl kindly gave me his unique and powerful treatment- he assures me it will be sorted in two more sessions..
how could you whizz through Thailand so fast?? Anyway hope you really enjoy Laos and make sure you visit Tania in Cambodia.
Love from Celia elbow says no more!

Mon Feb 04, 08:30:00 pm GMT  

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