July 10th, 2004

Chiang Mai

Well, I had typed almost everything up when I hit a wrong button and deleted the entire entry. :P Anyway, our last day in Bangkok was spent shopping for souvenirs, then we successfully made it to the airport for our flight to Chiang Mai. Last night we walked around and looked at some of the wats (there are 300 in Chiang Mai even though it's a very small city).

Today we booked a car (and driver, of course) from the hotel travel agency. They took us first to an orchid and butterfly farm, which was pretty neat. We got to see the butterfly cocoons, which were twitching around while the butterflies tried to get out.

After that we went to the elephant camp! We got there just in time to watch the elephants bathing in the river, and then the elephant show. The most impressive part of the show was the elephants painting pictures! (The elephant soccer was pretty impressive too.) They trained the elephants to paint pictures of flowers. Pretty neat!

Next we got to go on an elephant ride (using a special elephant saddle!) through the surrounding jungle (in the mountains). It was pretty awesome, and a great value for the money (about $7 for a half hour ride).

After that we stopped at a monkey center where we got to play with a little monkey and we watched a monkey show. Apparently monkeys are used in Thailand for harvesting coconuts, because they can pick twice as many per day as people can!

Finally, they took us around to some factories, where basically they talk to us for two minutes and then we shop for overpriced goods. We didn't buy anything, and they took us back ot the hotel. It was a little interesting to see how lacquerware is made though.

Now we're back, and I guess we'll have to figure out what we're going to be doing tomorrow. Only a few more days!