I’m in Chiang Rai for my birthday this year. I’ll update this post with photos once I get around to putting them on flickr, and probably add some more links to information about the various places I went to.
Woke up not too late, went downstairs for the complimentary breakfast (we were in a nice hotel). Instead of the usual american style breakfast, I decided to go for the thai one which was fried rice (in the usual thai style – you get a tiny bowl of chopped chilli floating in their own juice to use if you want to add it. I haven’t worked up to the chillis, but I do add the juice and a few seeds). Served with chicken, and a fried egg on top. Quite tasty.
We spent the day driving around to various tourist destinations. First up was the spectacular estate of the king’s mother. We walked through the gardens, a portion of the house and the museum set up to commemorate her life.
From there it was on to the border, where I picked up a souvenir for my sister (keeping what it is a secret for now 😛 ) and did the usual touristy thing of having my photo taken under a sign saying “northern most point in Thailand”.
For lunch we were at the golden triangle (point where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos meet). We went to a restaurant recommended by our driver, but the meals were so small Dad and I both had to order a second one 🙂
On the way home we stopped at the long neck village, although it’s really more like a zoo. I had my photo taken more as an excuse to pay the poor people some money than any real desire to remember it.
Forgetting that sorry end to the trip, we ended up eating dinner in an open air restaurant in the middle of the night markets – right in front of a stage where some locals were alternating between traditional thai dancing and singing. Very enjoyable.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at Swensen’s – I’m so glad I haven’t seen one of these stores in Brisbane or I’d be spending far too much money there. Damn that ice cream is good 😀
I finished up the night with an oil massage. Unlike the Thai massage that I tried last time I was over here, what they call an oil massage is much closer to what the western world knows as a massage. I went to the place within the hotel we were staying and curiously they didn’t have any massage tables, instead using a room from the hotel. This meant that I was lying on a bed with a Thai girl clambering all over me for an hour – and as an added bonus it was a hell of a lot cheaper than any other massage I’ve ever had 😉
All in all, it was a bit of an unusual birthday by western standards in that there was no cake, and nobody sang Happy Birthday. Still, I had a lot of fun and it was memorable. What more could you ask for? 🙂