I have spent the last week or so in luxury. Staying at the River Ping Palace in Chiang Mai, eating really good food and dining with ex patriots, as well as getting more massages than I can remember (slowly getting over the ticklish feet). I also went to the highest point in Thailand on a one day get-in-get-out of bus tour. The national park it was in was really beautiful and the pagoda's at the top were really nice with gardens that my friend said are Disneyesque. There was a part that I felt uncomfortable with, we saw a small hill tribe that lives in the national park and it felt like there were just standing around for us to take photo's of them and such. They didn't ask for money or anything like that, but I just felt that it was a bit demeaning for both parties involved. I took no photo's of them. I also went with Giles to a temple that his friend from London painted murals in after traveling the world for 8 years and then spending 3 more living in Chiang Mai. I made my way from Chiang Mai to Nong Khai (about 14hr bus ride) and spent the night. The next day I rented a bicycle and headed to a sculpture park only to realize when I got there that I forgot my camera. The sculptures were really interesting as they are a mix of Buddhism and Hinduism, plus they are made of concrete and really tall. While there I met a family that showed me where the sculptor's mummified body was and then took me out to lunch. They also took me to the border and invited me to visit their restaurant if I come back around that way. Right now I'm in Vientiane, Laos so I can get a visa for Vietnam. Not sure how long I'll be in Laos, the visa is for 30 days but I might not stay that long.
River Ping Palace
Mural painted by Giles' friend