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Reisverslag Sukhothai and Chiang Mai flowerfestival
10 februari 2014
Sukhothai and Chiang Mai flowerfestival
Not only temples, elephants, nature and the good weather make Thailand a pleasant place to stay, the food is also a big contribution. It was time to find out how these delicious plates are made, so I did a cooking class. We could choose four dishes to make by ourselves. I made a green curry, chesew with chicken and vegetables, hot and sour soup and springroles. First we went to a food market where they explained about the spices and vegetables that Thai people use. Then it was time to prepare our own dishes. All I can tell is that Thai food is very easy and quick to make and that the taste was just delicious. The only problem is that a lot of the ingredients aren't available in Europe, but we were told how to replace some of them with European ingredients.
The cooking school was very close to the sunday night market, it was just crowded! But again a nice opportunity to practice one of our favorite sports overhere; trying all the nice streetfood dishes. Of course we already had dinner, but there's always space for an interesting new dessert (A).
The next day I went to Sukhothai. My first plan was to go there before I would go to Chiang Mai, but I wanted to stay together with my friends, so I skipped it. Now we all went our own way, I still wanted to visit this ancient temple complex. I went there by bus, a 5,5h drive. The next day I did a cycling tour. Two other Dutch girls also joined. Our guide Mem, an enthusiastic Thai woman showed us all the places we wouldn't go to ourselves. We saw the countryside with it's rice fields, farmers splitting the rice, fish farms, teak wood factories, fishermen catching fish from the river, women harvesting snake beans from the fields, artists desinging Buddha statues from bee wax and pig heads to worship the spirits with. We also visited the Sukhothai historical park where Mem told us about the different building styles of the temples and the different meanings of the position of a Buddha. A sitting Buddha that holds his hands on top of each other meditates and a sitting Buddha that touches the ground with the fingers of one hand represents the status of enlightment. She also talked about the Buddist history, how prince Siddhartha Gautama became the iconic Buddha that's central to the Thai Buddhism. In the complex, there's one big sitting Buddha that impressed me very much. People stick small pieces of gold to the hands and nails of the statue to thank the spirits if their prayers were heard. After this great tour that I would highly recommend to everyone that will ever go to Sukhothai, the girls took me to the 'Feed the fish' place where you can feed tons of big catfish. They almost jump on the brigde to catch the food! Then I took some pictures in the historical park during sunset and had dinner with the girls together.
The next day, I took 'a day off' at the swimming pool of a local hotel before returning to Chiang Mai on Thursday. In Chiang Mai it was time for something I should have done earlier this journey: a traditional Thai massage. It was a whole experience. The masseuse used her whole body to fold me in different kinds of positions to stretch the muscles. She also used her underarms to put pressure on different body parts, sometimes it might have hurt a little bit, but when she was finished I feld as new.
That evening I went to a Muay Thai boxing match with a couple of people that I met at the hostel. Another wow experience... there were vijf rounds in total. Women, kids and men fought eachother in the ring. We saw three knock outs and one was by a straight kick in the nose. During the break, they blindfolded around eight fighters and they tried to punch eachother on the back, hilarious...! I enjoyed watching the fight because of the whole atmosphere around it, people cheering and screaming, betting on who would win...
I actually returned to Chiang Mai for a special reason. During this time of the year, Chiang Mai is covered in flowers because of the flower festival and I really wanted to be part of this. Before enjoying the colours of the festival, I rent a motorbike together with Samanta, who I also met in the hostel. We had such a great day driving the motorbike around town to see several temples and random places we passed by. We also visited the Thai art and cultural centre, very informative. Then we visited Chinatown with it's millions of useless products, but therefore it's Chinatown in the end. We ended up at the best spot to watch the flowerparade from and to take many nice pictures. The sphere was just so nice, happy and smiling faces all over, people in traditional clothes, beauty queens showing their skills on the floats covered in colourfull flowers... happy moments! To make the Thai scooter experience complete, we reached the night market while I drove the motorbike with two people in the back. We even ended up on the highway desperately searching for a gas station, great fun.
The day after was a relax day in the park. The Thai people enjoyed their free sunday afternoon under the park trees while their kids jumped trampolines. And you maybe won't believe, but all of a sudden one of the Dutch girls I cycled with in Sukhothai stood in front of me, her friend enjoying a Thai massage in one of the tents that were set up in the park. No way, what a small world! We played cards in the shade of a palmtree and chatted about the experiences we had since we left Sukhothai. Back at the hostel, there was a bunch of people about to go out for the night. We went to the Blue Bar where we played table football with a shity football that wasn't even round anymore, haha. But hey, proabaly the Thai way. At the bar, we met a crazy Thai girl that took us to Yellow with a tuk tuk.. eight people in a tuk tuk..! It's possible apparently! The tuk tuk did a wheely as it had to accelerate, because of the amount of people in the back. Yellow was a club with party music and we just let it all out there. Great party night out, great end for my visit to Chiang Mai ;-)
I'm currently writing this from the bus to Thaton, a city in the upper north of Thailand at the border with Myanmar. An American guy recommended me to go there. He teaches children English in a town in between Chiang Mai and Thaton. In Thaton, there is a temple with nine different levels and from the top, you can see the woods of Myanmar for it's just two miles away. It's maybe also a place do to some tracking to hill tribes. I also liked the fact that you can go to Chiang Rai by long tale boat. It's a three to five hour journey over the Kok river. I'm looking forward to it!
So, I again uploaded new pictures to the dropbox and you can reach them by clicking on the following link;
12 februari 2014 20:13 | Door: Ilse
Klinkt allemaal heerlijk. Wederom genoten van een bijzonder reisverslag.
15 februari 2014 23:11 | Door: Sophia
Hoi Danouck, wat ontzettend leuk om jou op deze manier te volgen. Fijn dat je zo geniet! Ga zo door en kijk uit naar je volgende verslag.
18 februari 2014 14:50 | Door: Evan Robets
Ik blijf me verbazen wat je daar allemaal aan het doen bent.En daarbij van het ene en het andere evenement mag mee maken.Het zijn een hoop indrukken die ons althans mij hier toch wel een beetje jaloers maken.Je komt altijd de juiste mensen op de juiste plek tegen en je ziet de meest exotische gebeurtenissen en maakt ons daar deelgenoot van wat je elke keer op een mooie manier verwoord.Wat op zichzelf ook al plezant is.
Blijf genieten en snuif alles maar lekker op.Foto's zijn mooi.Eigenlijk is alles mooi.Kan niks anders zegen als take care and look after yourself.Ina en Evan