Chiang Rai, thanks for the memories.

I wrote the following post last week on our way to Pai, just forgot to post it. Luckily this gave me the ability to add some pictures. Enjoy 🙂 With my mind on Chiang Rai and the Chat House, I have to say its the first time I am a little sad to be on the road again. I can’t believe how much the people, the experiences and the especially the jungle have had me love every second. In fact, we are probably going to come back round christmas time, to spend time with the first set of people that gave us a family feeling while on the road. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They had showed us what we really wanted to see: a glimpse into the local life of Thailand. And it was as close to the real thing as a traveller could get. They took us to cook food in their bamboo huts by the rice fields, we trekked through the jungle and spent a night in a Lisu hill tribe village, bathed by a magnificent waterfall, danced at a temple fair (even though it wasn’t at a temple) and watched local muay thai matches. All of this was topped off with a lot of rice whiskey, learning a few things in thai (like mai pben rai) and even some local Lisu language from a guy called changki-san, in a smoked up bamboo hut. DSC00922 DSC00947 DSC00926 But it wasn’t all just about what we experienced with locals. We also had the pleasure of s pending a lot of time with some quality travellers. Dave and Caz made our sightseeing tour, the motorbike tour and the bamboo cooking class a great experience. We laughed a lot and got a long really well, while also having very in depth conversations with a lot of Leo/Chang Beer, and of course more rice whiskey. IMG_2407 The day they left we were lucky to meet a lot of other people (Beaucoup des Francais) to talk to, and decided to plan a 2 day jungle trek with Kai. All those people (you can read about them individually in Julie’s post here) shared an unforgettable night in the Lisu village, on carpets under the star sky in candle light. We played a Lisu version of Duck Duck Goose.
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Once it was dark a guitar was used to play Ronan Keating – Nothing at all, we all sung an amazing acapella version of Hotel California, and I played my flute to the 1st verse of My Heart Will Go On, but noticed I didn’t have enough notes to play the chorus. We had great food together and there was a whole lot of food made just for the three vegetarians.
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We slept in 2 different bamboo huts on beds that were covered with mosquito nets, and washed ourselves with cold water from a bath while standing on a soft clay like floor. All around us were 2 other little villages, and a lot of jungle.   DSC00878 DSC00879 DSC00896

On day 2 we trekked to the waterfall, next to which I got to meditate. From there we marched a little bit until we got to some bamboo which was perfect for cooking. We had some great soup and omelette, all cooked in bamboo and served from a big banana leaf bowl. After that we walked back to where we started, on the way passing the most incredible sceneries. Once we arrived we went for a 38C bath by the hot springs to relax our muscles.

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Thank you all for such a great experience, thank you mother nature for providing everything that surrounds us. I feel like the luckiest person in the world. And thank you Julie for being such a wonderful and loving travel companion, we wouldn’t have found the chat house without your love for researching. Now we are on our way to Pai. I wonder what awaits us there. We have heard great things about it, and are very excited about our Xhale Yoga retreat to begin on November 3rd. Until then we will do some more exploring, most likely on motorbikes, but lets arrive in Spicypai backpacker hostel first. (Actually, we arrived and were told our booking ws void so we changed to one across the road.)

Adios Chiang Rai,

-Dennis

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