Well well well, it’s our last day in Chiang Mai before flying off to Kuala Lumpur bright and early in the morning. Myself and the Kids are very excited about going to a place that has real pavements but we’re also a little bit sad to be leaving the land of red curry behind (for now).
I keep hearing the Kids exclaiming that the month has “flown by.” Well, when you’re regularly sat on a hotel bed for 17 consecutive hours (often facing the Boy-stinkified pillow and with the iPad firmly locked away in the safe), time doesn’t exactly resemble a Boeing 747… but, I admit, it feels like yesterday that Girl and Boy were frantically packing, throwing away belongings and panicking in Boy’s apartment in Prague the night before the long journey.
Anyway, we’ve been making the most of our remaining time. Saturday was, unexpectedly, rather exciting. Faced with the prospect of walking ALL the way to the Old City again, something in Girl finally snapped and she insisted on hiring bikes. Boy turned pale but, seeing the dangerous look in Girl’s eyes, hesitantly agreed.
There’s a reason Boy was so frightened. Cycling on the roads of Chiang Mai is basically madness. Scooters weave in and out of cars the size of small houses, rules don’t exist and nobody can see anything anyway because there are so many exhaust fumes. Helmets? Don’t make me laugh.
Even worse, I was actually riding with Boy. A frightening, wobbly experience. Somehow we made it all the way there and then, shock horror, Boy’s chain fell off. Boy proceeded to stun us both by actually fixing the problem himself, even more impressive considering the chorus of loud tuts interspersed with “you need to ask someone to help you.” I think Girl was secretly quite proud. I was just like “don’t touch me with your greasy hands you hairy monkey!” but I’ve never been one to mince my words.
Another important observation. Boy ate pancakes for two different meals on Saturday, meaning his meals-with-pancakes/day ratio since Friday is 1.2.
On Sunday we visited my favourite place in Chiang Mai so far. By accident. The Kids had grand plans of visiting a hidden temple in the jungle called Wat Pha Lat. Apparently you have to walk for just under an hour up a forest trail fighting off mosquitos and snakes before arriving at beautiful and historic temple which is practically untouched by tourism. Unfortunately, you have to actually find the trail first and even Google Maps wasn’t enough to help the Kids with that.
However, in the process of trying to find the trail, we took a short cut through the grounds of Chiang Mai University. Amazing. It felt like we had instantly left the city and were instead located somewhere deep in the countryside with a beautiful mountain backdrop, huge green, tree-lined spaces and a lake. I particularly liked the elephant-shaped hedges and Girl was so enamored with the ice lolly stall she had to go twice!
So, next time we speak, the Kids and I will be in Malaysia. Boy has been fending off growing pressure to throw himself at the mercy of a Thai barber before we leave. I think it’s a battle he is unlikely to win, but I really cannot wait to see the result. Luckily for him, growing hair is something for which he has a unique gift.
Until next time!