Buddha on the hill
Had a right old moan about the hotel yesterday in the blog. Just to be completely clear about it, it's a great place and completely deserves it's 4-star rating on TripAdvisor. My gripes are just because it doesn't wok for us.
Looks like we will head towards Chiang Rai, with various stops on the way. Ideally we would stay at a Chinese village (there is a large Chinese community in Northern Thailand) for their New Year celebrations (30-31/Jan), though maybe we are a bit late on the booking front. From Chiang Rai we will be able to get a cheap flight to Bangkok.
Today's mission was the big Buddha on the hill. We missed the temple on the hill in Chiang Mai but this time we emerged triumphant. I always feel elated when we actually achieve plan A, though one of my trip resolutions is to learn to change plans when they turn out to not be worthwhile. It's all about the voyage, not the destination.
The way up to the temple complex is next door to out hotel, so after brunch (still haven't found a place that does breakfast out here so we had to get a ride into town) we all headed back and started uphill. Had a long breather at the temple complex as the kids were really entertained playing, and then headed up for the final leg to the big white Buddha. Buddha provided us all with ice creams for the way back down to the hotel pool. It was freezing but most of us were brave and had a dip. We wanted massages but it had got a bit late (we needed an early night) so we decided to postpone them until tomorrow.
I have noticed 2 things about the kids that really get the Thai's attention (and most Asians). One is seeing them painting or writing, presumably kids here don't start school until 5 or more and before that don't pick up a pencil. The other, weirdly, is seeing them play. In fact we haven't really seen many local children this age, and never any groups of them playing. Still, we never really have to do anything much to attract attention - simply being Westerners means the Asian tourists whip out their cameras and start shooting.