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Saturday November 20, 2004
This is Chiang Mai calling again. Things are well here. Today we moved over to our new hotel and we are pleased with it. It's smaller but nice and clean. Nothing to complain. Hey, the television reception is better so now we can see the channels better but still not understand what happens :) Okay, okay, we actually get some English channels and even a German channel.

Yesterday, we had a great day. We visited the Maetang Elephant farm and had the opportunity to ride those puppies. First Catherine and I sat on one by ourselves and after the elephant show, Catherine and I went on a 40 minute ride with one of those monkeys, ehhh elephants. That was pretty cool. We got some nice pictures and movies. We also went on a ox ride, had a nice lunch, went bamboo rafting (not that exciting) and visited an orchid farm. All for the price of about 30 dollars and that included an hour drive to the farm. It was a lot of fun. Walking around, surrounded by those creatures is quite impressive.

We have been quite impressed how things are organised. The whole trip yesterday was very well put together by the farm. As soon as an elephant dropped something on the terrain, a person who removed it pretty quickly. There were no bad smells and in general we have seen hardly any bugs with the exception of mosquito's. We were both impressed with the buffet lunch we received. It wasn't the normal bad buffet food you would expect on such a trip. It was good food.

Thailand has impressed us in a positive way anyway. It's not a 3rd world country. Sure traffic can be hectic here. Certainly less organised. Yesterday the van that brought us to the farm was for a few seconds driving on the shoulder of the other side of the road but we were never in danger. Traffic is hectic in general. Lots of bikes and tuuk tuuk drivers on small roads. No wonder some houses look dirty. It must be from all the exhaust fumes.

We also did some more shopping today despite the fact that my back pack was completely over loaded during our move to the new hotel. Which is why I bought a new back pack :) A smaller one that I want to use as hand luggage on the plane. The old one I have, can be attached to the big back pack so it looks like it only 1 back pack.

Monday we will be moving again. We will be flying to Phuket and folks, you pronounce the PH as P and not as F. We will be staying at a resort on a beach called Karon beach which is about 10 kilometers from Phuket. That resort is called "Karon Beach Resort". This will be start of the beach part of our vacation.

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