Thursday, November 18, 2010

Driving South from Chiang Mai

We woke up this morning and packed up our bags to head back south to Kamphaeng Sean.

Our room at the hotel in Chiang Mai.

We loaded up the van and drove a few minutes to a market called Kaad Phayom (sp?).

Buying some treats from a street vendor before breakfast.

We ate at a place that was guaranteed to be good according to Sukanya! When in Thailand she said you should look for eating places that have the bowl symbol on their sign. They have been given the symbol by a guy who used to work for the Shell oil company. Apparently he used to try food during his travels and give them the soup bowl symbol if he liked the food and service!

See the bowl on that sign?

Gary and Sukanya deciding what to order ;) I think Gary's just looking at the pictures.

After eating we walked around the food market for 30 minutes. It mainly consisted of meat, fish and other various foods.


We loaded back into the van and headed south to another market that had a lot of carved wood stuff and other handmade goods. This was my favorite market ;)

A little vehicle driving around the market.

The market was on the south end of Chiang Mai and called Baan Tawaii. We bought a few things there. I think everything was made in Thailand so that was cool. Some were even handmade. Shopping was pretty cheap and you are able to barter for everything. After shopping for about 2 hours we headed south again. We stopped at Lampang for lunch. Grant and I had a traditional northern Thai dish. It had yellow curry with one chicken leg in it, noodles and crunch noodles on top - very good!

We have all been perfecting our chopstick skills eating all this noodles and rice ;) If there are no chopsticks you use a spoon and a fork to push the food onto the spoon - that's how Achi's family does it anyways! After eating we continued to drive south.

In northwestern Thailand it's pretty hilly. It has lots of mountains around 2000 meters high (can you tell some of the journaling was from Grant today? :) The drive from Chiang Mai to Kamphaen Sean took around 8 hours but it was pretty with all the mountains around.

We chatted about sugar cane on the ride. Sarewat is a sugar cane researcher and we saw some fields on the drive (along with lots of rice fields too!). Sarewat said they only get one sugar cane crop per year unlike corn where they get 3 crops a year.

We also learned some new words again on the way home ;) 'Mai kow jai' means 'I don't understand.' I remember this one because it sounds pretty similar to 'my cow died.' heh heh. Another thing we learned was 'nik noi' which means 'a little.' We have to use that to tell them we don't need so much food!

The drive back south took about 8 hours. Achi and Jing were waiting for us to eat supper. Achi is 22 and going to school about 30 kilos away from where we're staying. She's studying pharmacy.

A little funky colored frog who joined us for supper.

After supper we walked in the dark behind the eating place on campus to check out the 'healthy garden.' It had about 20 different workout machines. Very different and pretty cool. The brand was called SonSport? After checking that out they dropped us off where we were staying to get some sleep for the next day!

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