We had so much fun in Chiang Mai that I couldn't resist posting about the trip, despite all the work items I could (and will) post about. We left for Chiang Mai on Saturday, after we had our last volunteer for the first wave arrive from Virginia. This brings our team total for these first six weeks to 13.
Chiang Mai is a city about 3 hours south of our home city Chiang Rai. It is very tourist-centered, as most signs, etc can be found in English and Thai, and surprisingly, you are just as likely to see foreigners as Thais in certain parts of the city.
I loved Chiang Mai and its bigger city feel, although I am very happy we are separated from tourist Thailand here in Chiang Rai. While there we did so much, including:
- learning meditation from a Buddhist monk
- Going to the walking market and the night markets to see the local products, including pirated DVDs and CDs, fake designer bags, tourist junk, makeup, clothes...
- Going to the tailors and helping Hudson and Todd pick out shirts and suit colors and materials. So fun!
- Eating a lot of Roti. If you don't know what Roti is, I feel so sorry for you because it is SOOOO good (see picture above).
- Visiting various Wats (Buddhist temples)
- Eatings loads of good, good food, including hamburgers and fries and burritos. :)
- Walking through the red-light district and seeing 100+ girls hanging out on the street (more on that to follow)
- And the highlight: visiting Tiger Kingdom, getting to play with baby tigers and chill with adult tigers. A once in a lifetime experience. And yes the below pictures are real. In case you are wondering, the tigers are not drugged, just trained as well as you can train/tame a tiger.