For a moment... Corny!!! :)
I have been uber busy for the past few weeks hence the silence. I apologize for those who were trying to reach me while I was away.. *sheepish grin* I could not answer phone calls... too expensive and I am too much of a cheapskate. :)
Just a run down of stuff I have been doing, well the fun stuff anyway. :)
I was in Chiang Mai, Thailand from March 4 to 8, I did not drop by Bangkok and I do not regret it one bit because Chiang Mai snagged my heart. I love it soh much I think it is now my most fave city! :) *sigh* Thinking about it now makes me want to fly there now.
On my first day, I got there at 5pm already. A bit too late to do anything so I just went around the Night Markets (yes, this is in plural form) and had my most fave and most missed coconut! Sweetest coconut juice where art thou? :) I started searching for pasalubongs and of course the quest for pickled mangoes began. This is (aside from the coconut) my fave food in Thailand. Surprisingly, pickled mangoes is not so big in Chiang Mai as it is in Bangkok. I found no pickled mangoes in the night markets. They had assorted preserved fruits but no pickled mangoes. It was during this time that I learned about the Flight of the Gibbon (this was featured on Amazing Race Asia with Marc Nelson and Rovilson which was enough to get me all excited!!!). Needless to say, I signed up right away for my last day in Chiang Mai because the following day I had to attend the conference already. After a yummy noodle soup dinner, I went home to get some rest. I also told myself I will not leave Chiang Mai without experiencing Fish Spa. :)
That night, I found out that the conference was not to begin until the afternoon so I decided to go to the Flight of the Gibbon the following day!!! I was so excited! It was 3 KM worth of zip lines and hangging bridges and rappelling! I have not done something like that before and it was so exhilarating! I met a Slovenian and a Swedish girl, a couple of Canadians and Brits that look like Middle Eastern! We all had a grand time! :) After the zipline adventure, we had lunch at one of the houses in the village and then we went to see the waterfalls where I hiked and hiked until I was panting like crazy... Boy, was I out of shape. I hate climbing!!! Of course I looked mindlessly happy in the pictures. I'm a pathological cam w&*^#.
After this, I was pooped but I had two hours to kill until the conference so I decided to go to the Wellness Center at the hotel for a sauna. It was soh relaxing! After a nice warm bath I went to the conference venue but I found out that the registration was literally just a registration and I was to come back after two hours for the welcome cocktail! I had two hours to kill and I wanted to maximize my stay so... I went for a Fish Spa for one hour!!! :)
It was ticklish at first but then after a while you get used to it. The fishes are called Gara Rufa (yes, like that actress who walked out from a talk show) and they were originally used in Egypt. After the Spa I saw wonderful improvements on my feet!!! It felt smoother... I wish the Fish Spa would be as cheap as it is in Chiang Mai. A Chinese friend whom I met at the conference told me it's cheaper in Bangkok... Next time I will be sure to try that out too! :)
After the fish spa, I went to the welcome cocktail... and then I saw a spa there and started craving for a body scrub, a massage and a royal bath *hehe indulgent brat!!!*. So... When I got back from the Welcome Cocktail... I went to the hotel spa and got myself a Tom Yum Body Scrub, Tranquility Massage and a Tom Yum Bath (yes they made me a human Tom Yum soup! Who would have thought the prawns are pampered like that! ). I had a nice long sleep after this! I loved the massage, this is the first and the only massage that I have every truly enjoyed in my life! I long for a massage like that to this day! *sigh!*
After this it was serious work and a series of conferences that I attended. After the first day of conferences, I went to the Warorot Market to look for (still!) pickled mangoes and found the mangoes... Along the way I discovered the Elephant Safari and signed up for a trip on my last day. I also discovered a designer and promised I will come back. I bought my mangoes and cheap cherries and went back to the hotel and then off to the conference banquet where we had a feast, a cultural show and got to fly our own hot air balloons!!! How cool is that?! After the dinner, I was pooped! I just transferred photos and then I was off to the Internet shop to chat with the people in the Philippines. :) Missed home already!
After chatting I went back to the hotel to rest early as I had to talk the following day. After my talk, I listened to other people talk some more and after the conference, I went to the mall and bought three pairs of the same shoe of the same color (only one color was available) of the same size! The sales lady was baffled but was happy to sell all the shoes. I got sandals by Scholl with arch support for my mom and then my sister said she wanted a pair too and then I figured I wanted a pair too so I can rest my aching feet after wearing heels... :) I also got myself a DQ dipped cone! Fave! I got some Wacoal stuff because they were sooh cheap there! Also I got something for my heels that I have, to this day, not found yet... I wonder where it went. I saw it the day i unpacked and then lost it forever... Darn.
On my way to the mall I saw the most tender moment of a dad and a kid. The dad was a caucasian European with his wife and three kids. The youngest (and cutest) looked exactly like him with big round clear blue eyes, blonde hair and he was very schleepy already. He looked like he was two and the older brother is four and the eldest girl is I think six. I digress. The father had huge biceps and he carried in his arms so tenderly and lovingly his little boy who was slowly falling asleep and he gently kissed his forehead...*sigh* That, I think is the most tender moment and I wish I could have captured it somehow. I have the scene play in my head on demand at times when I want to think of a nice moment. :) It's one of my happy thoughts. :)
After shopping, I went back to the spa because the massage was so great, I had a foot massage, and Indian Head Massage, Body Wrap and a Rose Petal Bath. I love that the spa has better service than The Spa and it's way cheaper too and it was in the hotel so after the treatments, I go back to the hotel and laze around. I was checking out the following day though, so after relaxing, I had to pack my stuff. I had to wake up really early the following morning too for the elephant safari.
The Safari was beyond words. At first there was a show and then I got to ride the trunk of the elephant. I thought that was the closest I will get for a ride but no. I got to ride the bare back of an elephant!!! I am afraid of heights but the photos looked amazing hehe! It looked like I was having the time of my life. As if that is not enough, I also have a photo sitting on an elephant 's lap and got sneezed on *major eww!!! Good thing I had alcohol in my bag!*
After the Elephant Show we went for an Ox Cart Ride to the village and went shopping for stuff. At least the other tourists went shopping, I just looked around as I was on my last few Bahts hehe... I think I had only around three hundred Baht left. :) After the shopping I went for an Elephant Safari. I crossed the river and climbed a mountain on the back of an elephant driven by a Mahut (elephant trainer). I also had my photo taken feeding the elephant sugar cane. That was fun! I was laughing because the elephant kept on asking for more!
After that long safari, I had a hearty lunch with a couple of retired Brits who were not snobs, perhaps because they were not from London. They are from Kent, yes, the hometown of Becky Bloomwood *hehe!*. They were very nice. :) After lunch, we went for a bamboo raft ride that I got to drive btw. My darn camera ran out of battery though! Boo!!! After the safari, we went to the orchid farm and because I did not have battery anymore, I could not take pictures anymore.
I got back at the hotel at around four pm and I was going to leave for the airport at around six pm so I decided to walk around and check the other shops nearby and then at quarter to six I went back to the shop of the designer whose clothes I adored and bought some pieces for my sister and for my self after this, I ran to the hotel and off to the airport I was.
When I got to the airport there was DQ again. I wanted a medium cone but I could not buy it because I was one Baht short!!! Darn!!! :) So I got the small cone. When I got to Bangkok it was boarding time already so I did not even get to visit the shops! Boo... Then it was time to go back to Manila again and as always, I could not wait to get back.
I always miss Manila after a trip outside. Nothing beats my Philippines.
That was just my trip to Chiang Mai!!!
What a mouthful! I will write about the other stuff next time... Too tired already. :)