25.04.2007 38 °C
Today I write from the lap of luxury at the Four Seasons resort, one of the Top 10 hotels in the world, and the second we've visited on this trip (including the Oriental in Bangkok). We arrived Chiang Mai Tuesday afternoon and being day 10, have exhausted our laundry supply, so took them to the drycleaners for $4.00 for the whole load. Then Nathan went to the well referred tailor to order a suit, which he'll get tomorrow, after his final fitting. We didn't have much else on the agenda, so explored the vicinity of our hotel and the largest night market in Thailand, but were too late after dinner to make it back. Tom's friend Gordon Wilson, who retired here, met us at the hotel and took us on a driving tour of the old walled city, and went out to Mushroom Suki, a chinese style mushroom-fondue-progressive course dinner. We begged off the night market because we had an early wake-up call today to go to the elephant camp. It was fantastic! We had an hour ride through the jungle, saw the babies and juveniles in training, and watched the performance which included about 30 elephants playing a harmonica chorus, playing soccer, and painting pictures, of which I bought a couple. Then we stopped off for lunch at the Four Seasons, and are waiting for the shuttle back to town. A couple tidbits from Monday night I forgot to mention. We had dinner at one of the most famous restaurants in the country, Cabbages and Condoms! I had a delicious seafood curry served inside a coconut, and we got free condoms with our meals. (part of the family planning/HIV prevention campaign in Thailand). Then when we got back to the resort, my uncle Mike was playing - a Thai Elvis impersonator named Mike Hammond! Tonight we may see a demonstration of Muay Thai boxing and a drag show at the night market, but we have another early wake up call tomorrow to give alms to the monks at the temple. Running out of time!