OK. Here is the set performance, the kids are supposed to sing and dance around the camp fire after dinner. Well, at first I thought this is their normal practice after dinner, but in fact, this is a forced performance set by the tour organized. Can see the kids not really willing to perform, just try to finish the assignment. They are more interested in our candies and playing with our digital cameras.
VISIT AKHA & LISU TRIBES
STOP 2 on TRIBAL TOUR
On the Tribal tour, we stopped at an Akha & Lisu Tribal village.
THE LISU came to Thailand from Yunnan in China about 100 years ago and grow rice, corn and vegetables as subsistence crops and grow opium for sale. We did see a lot of Sweetcorn growing in this area.
They also sell animals such as pigs and cattle.
The AKHA group (the poorest in Thailand) have black caps covered with silver coins, worn by the women. It is rarely removed, is a conical wedge of white beads interspersed with silver coins and topped with plumes of red taffeta, dressed with a loose fitting black jacket with heavily embroidered cuffs and lapels, it is very colorful. They make their clothing from gaily-coloured cloth stitched into outfits trimmed with row upon row of colourful cloth strips
The man's clothing is of plain black pants and a lightly embroidered loose jacket.
He can have MORE THAN ONE WIFE IF HE PLEASES!
The Akha are farmers, cultivating rice, corn, millet, peppers, beans, garlic, sesame and other varieties of vegetables as additional subsistence crops. Domestic animals, including fowl, pigs and water buffaloes are also raised by the Akha for special feasts and sacrifices.
Their houses are on stilts, with a large porch and a steep roof.
Many Akha villages still grow opium, generally not of high quality, but it is a problem amongst the older men of the village.
Akha men and women produce various decorative items of bamboo and seeds. The men make crossbows, musical instruments, a variety of baskets, and other items of wood, bamboo and rattan and the women were selling jewellery they had made.
As soon as they saw my Tour Group arrive, they came running, eager to sell! Most of it was handmade jewellery.
THE AKHA'S WERE THE MOST PERSISTENT PEOPLE!
THEY WOULD NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER! .......
following us from the entrance to the village, right to the end!
Rent a Motorcycle for an authentic Thai experience
When you are in Chiang Mai you will immediately notice that everyone travels around on motorcycles. The traffic may seem overwhelming and dangerous - but I still highly recommend that you at least try to participate and mix in with the locals.
I have never ridden on a motorcycle in my life before coming to Chiang Mai - and the experience of learning and riding around and outside of town has been of the best I've had in Thailand. The notbikes are not hard to handle - some even come without a clutch - so it's just like riding a bicycle.
The traffic is actually not that bad - everyone is very polite as long as you don't try to be a showoff.
It costs about 150 baht per day for a decent motorcycle. I would advise against getting a shiny new one, because apparently you might be changed fees fo scratching the spotless surface when returning the bike.
The advange of being in control of your own transportation is the immense freedom you now have to go wherever you want. You can ride up to the temple in the mountains, you can explore more of the city - or you can even hit the highways and explore the surrounding areas. I promise you that you will be entirely on your own - all the other tourists arrive at the same time on their buses and tuk-tuks.
Mandarin Oriental Spendor
Le Grand Lanna is an upscale restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. It has classic Thai and Northern Lanna-style cuisine. The restaurant venue is set on raised wooden pavilions filled with precious Lanna artifacts. Visually stunning the teak pathways link the various dining venues. The restaurant looks upon a lush tropical garden bursting with hibiscus, tree orchids and pungent jasmine. A live piano player serenades you and takes requests.
Before or after dinner you can stroll through the upscale shopping arcades on the grounds of the hotel across the parking lot from the restaurant.
A Two Day Journey in North Thailand part I
When friends come and visit us in Chiang Mai it is usually in late November when it is nice and cool and the rains have ended. Since we are all now getting up in years a rough trek to the hill tribe villages and long walks through the jungle is not our idea of fun. However we all still want to enjoy the hill tribe people and the fantastic scenery on North Thailand. Believe it or not this can be done and still avoid most of the tourist crowds.
To enjoy a wonderful experience in north Thailand you will need to speak a little Thai however if you don’t speak the language the best way to go is to hire a guide. Since my wife is a Thai national and I speak Thai this is not a problem for us.
We packed up our vehicle and left Chiang Mai around 9 am by vehicle and visited the Hill Tribe Museum. This is a good starting point so you can learn about the hill tribe peoples, customs and traditions. To get there we drove on Hwy 107 toward Mae Rim and looked for a sign indicating a left turn, into Ratchamangkala Park. After turning, a few minutes' drive we came to the Museum, a pavilion near a large lake.
The daily lives of the various hill tribe peoples are illustrated through exhibits of photographs, agricultural implements, household utensils, artifacts associated with the various traditional religions, musical instruments, and ethnic costumes. Some exhibits include models dressed in complete traditional costumes depicting daily activities, such as a Hmong family having a meal or a Lisu man serenading his sweetheart. The museum is open on weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm, and a slide and video show is available from 10 am to 2 pm daily except Sunday.