Bonjour mes amis!
Well that was a fun weekend! On Saturday, the Kids surprised me somewhat by a) agreeing on where to go, b) waking up in time c) working out how to get there d) remembering to take me.
So where did we go? We visited a beautiful and famous temple in the mountains surrounding Chiang Mai called Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. The temple was apparently built in 1383 which means that it is probably even older than Boy’s washing bag that was found in a draw covered in mould the other day.
According to legend, an elephant carrying a sacred relic (claimed by some to be the shoulder bone of Gautama Buddha) died on the spot where the temple now stands.
As you are probably aware, I love elephants and I am pleased that somebody had the presence of mind to build a temple for one.
We reached Doi Suthep by taking a Songtaew (crazy red bus with an open door at the back). Pro tip, if you’re in Chiang Mai and want to go to Doi Suthep, have a read of this helpful blog post that tells you how to avoid paying (relatively) lots of money to instead pay (actually) almost no money.
The journey there was hellish and expertly designed to make Boy go very green. The first part involved sitting in an open metal box in constant traffic jams for nearly half an hour breathing carbon monoxide. When phase one had been successfully implemented, the driver set phase two in action: driving up a winding mountain road at full speed. How we didn’t see the reincarnation of those delicious-looking pancakes and maple syrup, I’ll never know.
It was all worth it when we arrived. The Kids carried me up the 309 steps where we were met with a sign telling us that foreigners had to turn right and pay. The temple contains a lot of gold buildings, decorations and buddhas. Girl must have asked “do you think it’s real gold” at least three times but thankfully she didn’t try to steal anything.
The best part? It’s between the incredible view over Chiang Mai or the giant butterfly that was flapping around. The butterfly probably edges it, but only just.
We got back to the city quite early and the Kids were hungry. Unfortunately, they had already used up all of their decision-making capacity in the morning so it took a very long time to find a restaurant (Boy point blank refused to eat vegetarian, Girl point blank refused to eat anything else).
Their empty stomachs arranged an uneasy truce in the end and we then got a bit lost, which led to us walking around a part of the Old City we hadn’t previously seen which had lots of cool little cafes, markets and cheap guest houses. I thought I could hear Boy muttering “why the hell did we choose our accommodation before we arrived,” but you can never be sure what he’s saying. Anyway, all was made well by the magic muffins from Blue Diamond.
Amusingly, as we were wandering around, Boy got stopped by a group of young Thais in the street, nearly wet himself thinking he and Girl were about to get robbed, and then realised they each just wanted to say an English sentence to him. They were school kids.
The rest of the weekend was about chilling, something I am extremely good at.
Not much else to report except that, yesterday, the Kids and I were lounging by the pool, minding our own business and wondering whether it’s possible to tan under clouds (on the evidence of the Kids, it isn’t) when the serenity was broken by a loud female Aussie voice declaring “I’ve got a lot of nipple but not so much in the boob department.”