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sometimes the teenagers have to lead the way!!

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Melbourne, Australia
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sometimes the teenagers have to lead the way!!

Well it is now our second day in Chang Rai and after our huge bike ride yesterday (50kms) with Mr Bee and his team, it was back to town, a quick swim and a shower and we were both feeling alive again. We had visited the White Temple, Buddist Prayer cave, ridden an elephant and taken a boat ride back to CR.

We are staying at Laluna which is quite nice and a pleasant 10 minute stroll to the cbd. We stopped at a nice massage place and both had the most wonderful leg and foot massage before heading to the night markets, quick bite to eat and then a Tuk tuk back to hotel which cost 60b.

After a great night's sleep, it was down to breakfast and we met up with Frank and Kath again who are on their 22nd trip to Thailand. Lots of stories to swap before we went our separate ways. I hung around for another cup of coffee which I was secretly hoping was going to taste a little better than the previous day!!

No plans set in concrete for the day so we walked downtown and by that time teenage son was thirsty so into the Lotus Bakery for a quick iced coffee and for some strange reason he also ordered a fresh lemon juice. I am sure you now get the picture with the milk and the lemon starting to curdle in his stomach but as all mothers will tell you, 14 year olds know best!!!

So after a quiet sit, we have now devised our general plan for the day, so over to find a tuk tuk who will take us around town for the day. Well Mr Annat was just what we needed, a tour guide driving a tuk tuk!!.

Our first stop was where the Emerald Buddha has once resided, stunning building and lucky enough to witness a procession of about 500 young boys/men who were participating in a pre novice monk ceremony. They all looked so young and serious with the exception of one young chap who was dancing around and pulling faces at the crowd. I suspect his days being a monk may have been limited because at one stage he had his robes hitched up thigh high whilst dancing around the courtyard!!

Off then to the Mau Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park which was stunning with the main Pavillion being a visual overload. Young female assistant decided that she would accompany my son around on personal tour providing a historical perspective of the pavillion. As a good mother I lurked in the background not only tapping into the history but making sure no phone numbers were exchanged!! After 2 hours we were back in the care of Mr Annat our tuk tuk driver.

Onto the Doi Tung memorial which provided a lovely view and a hilarous photo opportunity of a dog asleep curled around one of the symbolic elephant statues right next to the donation box. My son loves dogs but was still a bit wary after being chased on our previous day's bike ride!!

Back into the tuk tuk and we headed out to the Black Temple. Wow, this is quirky and a must visit place if you want to see something different. Certainly the black side of Buddism but a visual feast of artwork, sculpture and a real insight into the local artists colony which is obviously flourishing in CR. This definately is a must visit if you like to see something right outside the box for creativity.

By now it is 3 pm but decided to drop by the Hilltribe Museum which we both found extremely interesting. The slide show that operates throughout the day is well worth a look and provided a great insight into the different hillside tribes from various locations and how they found their way to northern Thailand.

Back into the cbd for some well deserved food and a booking for the following morning with Mr Annat to take us travelling further afield before heading to Chiong Khong later in the day.

We raced back to Laluna for a quick swim and then we headed out for dinner with Frank and Kath who have a favourite restaurant just down the street. Bit bland for my liking but son got to try deep fried frog, which I don't think impressed him that much. He is rather an adventurous eater but i think he prefers his frogs croaking happily in our backyard pond. Dinner was also punctuated by traditional Thai dancing which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

Time for Frank and Kath to head to bed as they have an early morning trip but we both headed into the night markets for a final look before we head to Laos. My son has a list of "must have videos that he must buy before we head to Laos.

Overall a fabulous day with lots of laughter, sightseeing and education along the way. .This is our third Mother/Son tour we have done through Asia over the last 5 years and I have cherished every minute of it.

Italy
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1. Re: sometimes the teenagers have to lead the way!!

I'm loving your report, loads of info and you can tell you have a great relationship with your son. Am looking forward to the Laos report.

Wyong, Australia
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2. Re: sometimes the teenagers have to lead the way!!

G-Day millsie,

Good luck with that coffee.......we gave up years ago, we take our own 3 in 1 mix.

I think where they're going wrong is.... they're after the same taste as KapePur (Asian Palm Civet Coffee) but, they're using the wrong part of the droppings.

So instead of roasting the beans of only the sweetest fruit, Laluna offer something that tastes like.....shhhould another great day for you and son.

You must try to see the Town Clock (at night) before you leave. This is another piece from the mind of Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple creator Chalermchai Kositpipat.

Have fun millsie and son

Colorado
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for Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai Province
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3. Re: sometimes the teenagers have to lead the way!!

Millsie:

So delighted to read your report. It sounds like it has been a fabulous few days. What an incredible opportunity for you to travel with your son.

I loved the story of the errant monk. He may be better suited for another occupation...perhaps comic?

And how charming that your son received a personal escort through the art and cultural park.

I have always thought the Black Artist compound was very similar to native american art in the western U.S. It turns out the artist has a home in the western part of the U.S.

Enjoy the remainder of your trip and thanks for taking time to share it with us.

Safe Travels,

Broder

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: sometimes the teenagers have to lead the way!!

inaspin, just home and trying to get all by trip reports done at some stage. Unfortunately office work is first on the agenda, husband has been extremely busy whilst son and I away and he had no time for the office!!.

If you head to Chiang Khong, drop by Bamboo restaurant and you will get a good locally grown Arabica coffee. They also make their own home made bread which is rather nice especially if your guest house does not provide breakfast. We grabbed a coffee and bacon sandwich before heading to laos.

Probably the best coffee I had for a few days. Hotel in Luang Prabang, the coffee was horrible, I hate that stuff that has condensed milk in it and they tell me it is black. Saffron down by the river does a good brew, however not open every day but perhaps it was because of Phi Ma festival.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: sometimes the teenagers have to lead the way!!

How can we contact Mr Annatt???We are looking for someone to take us(or a tour to the Golden Triangle!

Colorado
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for Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai Province
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6. Re: sometimes the teenagers have to lead the way!!

I am not familiar with Mr. Annatt, but if you are looking for a guide, you can go to the link at the FAQ section on the top right hand part of this forum page and click on the link "finding a tour guide." If you scroll down to Chiang Rai, you'll find suggested guides.

Once you locate a a couple that you want to consider, place his or her name in the upper center "search" area of this forum page. That will pull up past reviews other TA members have written regarding the guide.

If you are looking for particular suggestions for a guide, let us know.

Safe Travels,

Broder

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: sometimes the teenagers have to lead the way!!

We found Mr Annatt on a street corner opposite the night market. I asked a couple of tuk tuk drivers but got a pretty unsatisfactory response so I just kept walking till I found one that I liked.

I think it was just the luck of the draw.

Broder's suggestion is great as you will be able to use someone that comes with references/reviews.

Colorado
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for Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai Province
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8. Re: sometimes the teenagers have to lead the way!!

There are tuk tuk and taxi drivers readily available at the night market, the White Temple and the clock tower areas. If you prefer to not plan in advance for a guide or driver, you can always try your luck there. However, do be aware that many of the drivers in the Chiang Rai area do not speak English very well, so if that is important for you, booking a guide in advance would be a good idea, as you may not be as fortunate as Millsie.

Wyong, Australia
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9. Re: sometimes the teenagers have to lead the way!!

Hey millsie, good to see you back safe and sound.

I'll be looking forward to your trip reports.

I'm sorry you missed Vang Vieng, we have a room booked at Vansana for five days. I was hoping you'd give us some inside info.

I really want to know if you enjoyed Chatrium as much as we have in the past. I'm sure all this will be answer in time.

In the meantime welcome back home millsie and son.

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: sometimes the teenagers have to lead the way!!

broder, yes definately agree with you and think it was just a stroke of luck that we found Mr Annatt. However we did keep moving down the line till we found someone and to be honest he was a real gem, we just wanted transport but his commentary was an absolute bonus.

Inaspin, yes back at home and already planning next trip as we missed so much. The main purpose of our trip was to meet up with our friends from germany who we have not seen for a few years so to spend time with them in Luang Prabang for over a week was great. They had already been to Vang Vieng and Phonsovan and for this trip it was great we got to see them but also celebrate New Year.

Yes loved the Chatrium, stayed their twice. Had a room overlooking the river and saw an incredible thunderstorm the first night. Our last night of our trip was spent at Chatrium and after shopping in MBK for most of the day went back for a swim and relax before heading to the airport. Lovely hotel.

Will get my trip reports done at some stage, just got home from Anzac day march, son playing in the band.