Indo China – Day 42

With it being a travel day, we were up at 7am to shower, change, and pack, before hitting the restaurant for breakfast. It was a typically simple meal, but as I’ve stated many times before, it did the job. Then at 8.30am and pretty much on the dot, we were in our private minibuses headed for the next stop on this trip, Chiangmai.

The first stop on this day of travel was at a pretty awesome Buddhist temple which was all white, and though you may think that’s enough to make it unique, the even more unique thing about it were the statues they had dotted around the place. They had demons, old men, old women, and other such ones you’d expect, but they also had Freddy Kruger, Pinhead, Batman, Hellboy, and my favourite, The Predator! The exact reason for this still escapes me, but I thought it was pretty damn cool!

We also went to a kind of wishing well which had a layered structure, and you weren’t meant to just throw coins in, you had to flick them with your thumb. The aim was if you got it to land in the top of the structure you’re more likely to have your wish come true, whereas the lower layers would make it less likely to come true. As others struggled to flick there’s onto the higher layers, I grabbed one coin, and with my very first try nailed the centre of the structure, though for the life of me I can’t remember what I wished for.

After that temple it was time for more driving, and then at lunch time we stopped at a local charity place that helped raise money and teach the importance of fighting the spread of aids by the use of condoms, and so it was called Cabbage and Condoms. The food was ok, and there was a mix up with the bill at the end, but it was for a good cause, and it had nice scenery. They also had the oddest bird I’ve ever seen in an aviary in the back, and it was a type of pheasant, or at least I thought it was, and the way it looked, and behaved to the other two different looking pheasants in its cage, was just odd.

We were then off again and the next stop to break up the trip was at a hot springs, which might sound like an odd place to stop in a hot country, but it was actually nice dipping our feet into hot pools for 15 minutes, and some of the group shared boiled Quail eggs that Chai had cooked in extra hot water pools nearby. At this point though we knew we were close to Chiangmai, so we happily got back in the van and sat back for the last hour.

At 4pm we finally made it to our hotel where we checked in, but this time we only had 30 minutes to relax as we were soon to head off for a group activity. We jumped back on the minivan, but only 7 of us decided to go, and we headed off for a 45 minute ride to the top of the nearby mountain to visit a temple with amazing views of Chiangmai. Once there it was a 350ish step climb to the top, but as my hip wasn’t feeling the best, Mollidy and myself bought tickets for a cable car to the top.

Once at the top it looked like many other temples we’ve been to before, but this one really did have some amazing views. Though that’s about where my enjoyment of this place ended, as there was just a bad buzz about the place, both spiritually and physically. The cable car was a great way to get up for people like myself who can’t manage the steps, but what it does is make a lot of noise. So much so that it’s hard to see it as a relaxing or peaceful place with so much noise around.

The next issue were the 6 to 8 dogs hanging around the top, which I’m guessing were temple dogs. Every single one was male, had facial and body scars from fighting, and generally they were just aggressive unfriendly looking dogs. I’m a big believer pets are a true reflection of their owners, and something told me these dogs were the way they were because of how they were treated by the monks. Just a hunch, but that’s what my gut said, and thus the bad energy I had felt early on started to make sense.

After about an hour there we headed back to the hotel, and so it wasn’t till nearly 7.15pm that we got back, and we were very hungry and ready to go for dinner, but the group seemed to not be 100% on the same page. As it looked like there was to be a delay in eating, Mollidy and myself headed off to do our own thing. There was a night market that started about 100 meters from our hotel, so we went there and quickly found a place to eat at.

The food was ok, but my main issue is what I ordered didn’t fulfil my expectation of what I ordered, so I was a little disappointed, but Mollidy really enjoyed hers. After that we looked through the night market, and also tried to find a place to change our Laos Kip into Thai Baht, but the two we tried wouldn’t do it, which was rather annoying. Though it was a nice night, and not long after that we headed back to the hotel and to bed.

Today I want to talk about travel doctors, as in the ones you need to see before heading to countries with possible dangerous diseases you could catch. Both Mollidy and myself went to different ones and got different advice, got charged wide ranging amounts for the consultancy and jabs, and even the mediation we got, which was exactly the same, we got different advice when to take it, and now to take it. So my advice is to do your research on what doctor you go and see, what shots you might need, and the costs involved, as you’d be amazed at the differing opinions.

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