17.12.2012 - 17.12.2012 27 °C
Not sure what to do today, we went for a fresh fruit breakfast and a 7-Eleven ice-coffee, to make a plan on what we were going to do for the rest of the day.
We decided to go out of town and then later on, a trip down the river.
We bargained with a taxi driver who was trying to get us to go and see monkey shows and elephants that paint pictures (not our scene at all) and in the end got a good bargain if we we were to go to the craft factories where he then gets petrol stamps from the factories for taking us there.
Our first stop was the silk factory, seeing the whole process from the moth to the larvae to the silk to the product. Great educational stuff for Olivia.
Then on to the jewellery and emerald factory... seeing as diamonds and gold don't do anything for me, the girls trying to sell the jewellery obviously got the gist and moved their attentions to Olivia can you believe it, who was 'ooing and aaring' at the most garish shiny bling in the place....needless to say we didn't buy anything, other than a lovely simple piece of Jade for a necklace. With Carlos relieved that our Visa card was not smoking, we moved on to the Silver factory.... now Silver I DO like!
After a few more stops here and there and a refreshing honey icecream from the honey shop, we agreed that we'd had enough of factories and were ready to go for our cruise on the river.
We said goodbye to our lovely driver Udon, a soldier in the Thai army when he's not being a tour guide (he even showed us his pistol in the glove compartment of the car - was that just to make sure we didn't step out of line?? I don't really think so as he was so genuinely friendly)
At the river cruise jetty, we decided to get a private boat rather than a shared one, which would mean having to wait until more people turned up.
Leaving the city behind, we headed North up river and sat back and relaxed awhile, carried along the cool waters of the river Ping. Enjoying the ever-changing river bank scene. Teak houses, wooden huts, rural greenery and smiley-faced kids diving into the water from the jetties and playing on homemade wooden rafts. We even passed a bottle with a message in it, but were unable to grab it as we went by.
We stopped at a local farmer's riverside garden where they grow jasmine rice and a variety of herbs for use both in medicine and cookery...the guide rushed much too fast for my liking, but later we were able to sit down enjoy a snack of fresh watermelon, pineapple and some freshly picked star-fruit followed by a refreshing lemon-grass juice.
After a quick look at the place where the movie Rambo was filmed during a snake fight and some old farming tools (in the same breath), we headed back down to the boat with a full tummy and a few mozzie bites.
The sun was going down as we arrived back from the country into the city.
We walked to the night market and went and had some delicious Indian street food in a small food court in the middle of the market
Lots of sights and smells, but Olivia was mostly taken back by the drag queens (lady boys) who put on a bit of a show ... she really couldn't work them out.