Monday, February 9, 2009

ChiangMai, Thailand

I have been in ChiangMai for 3 days now doing some sightseeing before heading to the medical conference. It has been fun to be a tourist and to relax. We got in Friday and after eating some good Thai food with the Nazarene Missionaries who are here Kent and Kathleen Pelton, we headed to see some sights. We first went to the botanical gardens by the palace where the king and queen live. I can't say I was real excited about this adventure, but they all enjoyed it, so I took pictures and kept walking. While we were waiting to go inside, Marsha was looking at some purses. She noticed some clothing on a rack next to the purses and starting looking at it. She really liked this handmade shirt and had taken it off the rack and was looking at it. Soon the lady who ran the store came out and informed Kathleen that it was her laundry and wasn't for sale. So Marsha couldn't buy the very nice shirt which we learned the lady made and it took her 4 months to make. She offered to make one for Marsha, but we won't be here in 4 months so we declined. It was quite funny. We also went to a Buddhist temple and to the Jade factory. We enjoyed a nice dinner at Duke's and then went to the Night Market and did some shopping. Saturday we got to see tigers, elephants, and a waterfall. The elephants here are pretty amazing. They are trained to play soccer, paint, and more. We enjoyed an elephant ride and our guide even got off and took pictures of us on the elephant, so we didn't have to buy their picture of us. The paintings of the elephants were quite impressive. One of them was an abstract artist, but the others drew very nice flowers. After the elephants, we went to Tiger Kingdom where we got to pet the tigers. We had our choice of age of tigers, and we went with the 6 month ones. We got to go inside the cage with them and their trainers and pet them, and lay down with them. We had to approach from behind so they didn't think we wanted to play, and couldn't touch their front paws or face, but otherwise we could pet them. Photos to come. Following the animals, we then went to a nearby national park and got to hike to see the waterfalls. The McCoys enjoyed the opportunity to do some bird watching and we enjoyed getting outside and hiking. They haven't had a lot of rain recently, so the water wasn't too high, but it was really pretty.