After our time playing with the elephants I was on a super high! We still had time in Chiang Mai and this group just keeps moving. Some of us visited a really cool 3D art museum which brings taking photos of yourself to a new level.
Our tour guide brought us to visit a village outside Chiang Mai to have a traditional Thai Khantoke dinner in the home of a local family. The patriarch invited us to place a flower in the spirit house before we entered the home. Many places have spirit houses outside them to keep bad spirits out of the homes. People must offer the spirit house food, drinks, flowers and other gifts as well to bring good luck.
Our host then invited us upstairs to his home and we saw pictures of his family. Then we sat and he had us put some odd ingredients in a leaf. So we did. Then he told us to chew it. So we did. The we spit it out because that’s what you do.
After that experience we ventured into the garden. He had an herb and a leaf for everything! Stomache issues, bleeding, headaches, muscle aches, allergies, impotence, you name it. He had so many interesting and helpful plants. He even had his own rice paddy field.
After our tour his son and granddaughter offered us an appetizer. Meanwhile grandma was rolling cigars for us. There was a family of 14 living on this land and everyone was involved in welcoming us.
We ate a delicious authentic Khantoke dinner which was a large round tray that had several small dishes to share with friends. The food was absolutely amazing and everyone enjoyed the dessert and tea after dinner.
On our way back to the hotel some of us were let off by the market and the Chiang Mai stadium to watch the Thai boxing fights. Yes. I actually signed up for this one and was talked into sitting ringside! I’ve never been to a fight before so if you’re going to go, get front row. So the Muay Thai fights are 5 rounds, 3 minutes each with a 30 second break. We watched 3 fights and the third fight was a Thailand girl vs. a British girl. The Brit won so we were happy and left after that fight. The scariest part was when they would lean on the ropes in front of us and seriously looked like they were coming over brawling. My adrenaline rate was quite high I am sure!
Saturday morning we were up early for travel back to Bangkok. We had a lovely tour of the Wat Po temple known for the golden reclining Buddha. This is also the place where monks live next to and they teach Thai massage. It was very hot and humid walking around the grounds but we enjoyed taking photos.
I even have a vertical panoramic photo of me in front of a pagoda.
So we cooled off on a wild 45 minute speed demon long tail river boat touring some of the canals around Bangkok.
Our last free day before heading to southern Thailand included a visit to The Jim Thompson house. He was from America and built a beautiful home here in Bangkok with lots of antiques and artifacts. He also brought a lot of the silk trade to America. He disappeared in 1967 and no one knows whatever happened to him.
We visited one of the giant malls, did some shopping, had another massage (they keep getting better) and had lunch. Also we had time to fit in a fish spa where little fish nibble on your feet for 20 minutes and you try not to laugh too much.
We said goodbye to some friends who will not be joining us on the second week but all promised to keep in touch with our whatsapp and Facebook. I am enjoying my time and travels in Thailand so much. This is definitely what the runaway widow needed to do to help get through the loss and memories of this month. There is plenty of time for reality and grieving when I get home.