Hey everyone, how is life treating you?! Life is fantastic over here, just went to dinner with my cousin and my aunt, and it cost us 200 baht (nearly $7) for 3 meals and 3 beers. We spent the day on a tour, first we went to the butterfly and orchid farm, a little boring because I’m not really into the flowers. From there we went to an elephant dung recycling factory. Yep, you read right. They recycle elephant dung into paper and use it all across the world. That lovely handmade paper you’re using might actually be made from elephant dung… Then we went up into the Thai mountains, to visit the hill tribes. We visited the ‘long neck’ tribe and the ‘big ear’ tribes. You’ve probably seen pictures of them… Extremely interesting, they roll coils of brass around their necks by heating the brass up over a fire and then wrapping it around the neck. The first put the brass on at about the age of 5 and change it a few times through-out their lives. Apparently, legend has it that many many years ago, whilst all the men were out hunting, a tiger came into the village and bit a woman on the neck, causing death. As a result, the men put gold rings around their wives necks to protect them. Eventually it became a thing of beauty, to have a long neck. Nowadays the rings are made from brass, as gold is so expensive. If the women take the rings off their necks have no support, so if they move too quickly, they snap they’re necks and die.
We also went to the Elephant Camp just out of Lampang. Very full on, Tasha and I caught the bus to the park, trying to communicate in English, Thai and sign language can be very frustrating, i wish I understood thai!!! the elephant park was amazing. It is the only place in thailand where elephants are actually trained, there are lots of parks around thailand, but they are just show cases for tourists. We saw a show on what the elephants are trained to do, mainly to do with logging. Nowadays they aren’t used for much, as legal logging no longer exsts in thailand. After the show, Tash and I went on an elephant ride, very bumpy!!! Trying to get back to our guest house was tricky. We waited and waited and waited for the bus, but it never came… eventually, the girl who we were waiting with called her boyfriend or husband or something, and he came to pick her up, and they offered us a ride. so imagine us two ausssies in the cab of the pickup truck, with about 6 or 7 guys in millitary uniform, carrying rifles in the back of the truck. they got out halfway home, and our host let us off at the bus station. Tash and i have decided they were park rangers. for our own peace of mind…
We also went and spent some of the day at Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang, the most spectatular temple in Northern Thailand. Very beautiful, not sure i understood everything though. it was surrounded by walls, standard practice around here. there were about 7 seperate temples in the ground, with many images of buddha. One of the temples, the biggest and most famous one, is sort of like a tomb which apparently enshrines ashes from the neck of budha…. In any case, the area was beautiful, very peaceful and quiet.
Last night we stayed at the ‘riverside’ guesthouse, it was beautiful. Made from old teak, our room looked onto the river. We had a little verandah that overlooked the river, complete with couches to lounge around on. It was owned by a farang (foriegner), possibly Dutch, we’re not sure. Transport has been fun. Bangkok was taxis – it costs about $3 AUD to get everywhere. Chiang Mai was tuk-tuk, very different experience! And Lampang, where we are right now, is little pick up trucks with two rows of seats in the back (I cant remember the name of them). People just pile into these things, its amazing. Travelling with our packs can be interesting, Mine has gained about 4 kilo, Tasha’s has gained even more.
We’re about to head off for the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, very different from here. I am not looking forward to the 10 hour train, but oh well, everthing is an experience!
luv and kisses… bobbi!!!
p.s. if anyone can suggest places they’ve been, or have heard about in Southern Thailand, India or China, let me know so i can work it into the itinerary. Also, if u want to meet up with us somewhere, please let me know!!!