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Here we are! We have internet at our hotel in Chiang Rai, so we can catch up on the last couple days. Mostly it has been bumpy bus travel through the Thai countryside, but our chauffeur drives the double decker bus like a Formula One car, so I think we've made record time covering 1000km to the "Golden Triangle" the confluence of the Mekong River dividing Thailand, Laos, and Burma. We had a river boat ride and stopped at an island in Laos, but we didn't make the Burma crossing as they charge $10 US to give you your passport back. We just hiked up to a viewpoint instead. We've had some interesting pit stops along the way, most notable was our first night in Phitsanulok about 200 mi North of Bangkok where we took a pedi-cab tour of the city to the night market and I ATE BUGS! There's a reason they call them mealworms. :) Taste like pork rinds. I wasn't gutsy enough for the grasshoppers or beetles, but a German lady on our tour ate a cockroach! Also on the way there we stopped at Lopburi where monkeys live in one of the temples, and you hire a "bodyguard" - a 16 year old thai boy with a slingshot to protect you from the monkeys as you take pictures. Yesterday we drove another 200 miles to Lampang, and stopped for lunch at a town with a market selling live fish, snakes, toads, and rats on a stick! Didn't have any samples there. TOday we have a free day before we go to Chiang Mai for the end of the trip. I'm most looking forward to the elephant camp. Should have no trouble writing when we get there. It's nice to have a rest, and more time to get to know our fellow travelers. There are 40 on this tour, mostly retirees, but Nathan says it's like the Amazing Race - there's the newlyweds (us), the two young Indian girls, the black ladies, the grandma and grandson, the bickering couple, the gay couple...very entertaining! That's all for today. Postcards are coming!

Posted by nat-ali 01:30 Archived in Thailand Tagged tourist_sites

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