Excursions, Chiang Mai
Interested in different kinds of Fruits and Plants not found in your country?
Then there is a good chance of seeing something entirely different in an Akha & Lisu village.
I saw a Longan Fruit tree, which was loaded with fruit, (in big clusters on the Tree), but not quite ready to eat. The fruit is not that big in size, about 1" diameter. We did get to peel this succulent fruit that was fragrant, sweet, and extremely juicy. It has a smooth thin leathery brown skin and a kind of translucent, white coloured, grape-like fruit inside, with a black seed.
They also had Dragon Fruit growing, which is like a Cactus, and it had a beautiful lemon coloured flower. This fruit is often in Hotels for fruit for breakfast. The colour of the skin is a beautiful bright pink/red, with translucent white flesh and tiny black seeds.
There also was the unusual plant which is in the photo. We were told about it, but as my memory is bad and I didn't have paper with me, I have forgotten its name.
If by chance you know, could you please leave me the answer. Thanks...
I visited Wat Doi Suthep on the morning of 18th June, which was a Saturday. On my songtaew ride up the mountains, I was pleasantly surprised to see thongs of Chiangmai University students trekking upwards by walking on the drain beside the road. Apparently, I was fortunate enough to witness a time-honoured tradition in which incoming freshmen trek to Wat Doi Suthep as part of their orientation to varsity life! The students were boisterous and in high spirits. It was awesome seeing them trudge up the mountains, holding hands or placing arms around one another and shouting cheers. Their energy and excitement was infectious. I would have alighted from my taxi and joined in their rousing parade if I weren't afraid of being perceived as a weirdo. Haha.
Readers who are visiting Chiangmai in June [that's when a new school term starts, i reckon], must simply ask around for the day of CMU students' trek to Wat Doi Suthep so that they can bear witness to this joyous and monumental occasion.
*Chiangmai University was established in 1964 and celebrated its 40th anniversary last year. Trekking up Wat Doi Suthep is a practice fondly adhered to by every new batch of freshies.
Baw song is a village near Chiang Mai that produces silk umbrellas and fans. The prices aren't that great at the factories! The stuff is cheaper in the night market! But it is interesting watch the making of different handicrafts. You will see lot's of umbrellas drying in the sun.
When I started enquiring about jungle treks I ended up in some supposed travel agencies that were more scams than travel agents. No question about group size and so on was ever answered - and people suddendly seemed to have forgotten their english. FInally, but it was merely luck, I stumbled upon Topper Tours, and things started to look bright again. Laura was very helpful and friendly - and answered all questions - eventually not only I booked a tour with her, but also had her organize my Laos visa and plane ticket back to Bangkok. All I can say is that, although marginally more expensive than other dodgy tours, you really get what you pay for with Topper.
Address: 7/1 Phrapokklao Road, Soi 5.