February 9, 2014
After a nice breakfast we are ready to spend another day with Jermsak. He is here to pick us up right on time at 8:30 am. We have the same comfy van as yesterday. We first head north for about 45 minutes on a country road passing through villages and seeing rice paddy fields. Then we approach our destination CHOUI FONG TEA PLANTATION. It was established in 1977. We walk among the tea bushes examining the tea leaves. The sprinklers are operating. The scene is so picturesque. There's a shop where we sample a few kinds of tea that I'm interested in buying. I end up with a bag of Jin Xuan Oolong tea and a bag of Green Tea-100% natural tea leaves sealed for freshness until December 2015. www.chouifongtea.com Cost for the 2 bags is 200 baht. I would have bought more but I'm running out of space in my luggage and we still have Myanmar and a lot more of Thailand to see yet! It's very peaceful here.
|Founders of the tea plantation|
|Store, tea tasting|
|My favorite kind of flower-the rose|
|You can see the roof of a house here|
GOLDEN TRIANGLE Gorgeous views of the rivers all coming together in this spot-Sob Ruak, Mekhong. Forming the border of Thailand, Burma, Laos. We take the obligatory picture by the sign! We spend quite a nice amount of time here. Instead of a lunch Jermsak buys us some fried bananas and sweet potatoes-very good.
|The beloved Princess is coming to different towns and here she's giving a graduation speech. Vendors selling balloons for the graduates.|
|Flower bouquets being sold too.|
|Flags for Thailand, the royal family, and the Princess|
|King Mengrai the Great memorial monument|
Dinner AEKOCHA Can't remember the cost of the tuk tuk. What I do remember is the way there was much longer and more expensive than the tuk tuk called by the restaurant to take us back to our hotel. Hmmmm. Any way, this place is packed. Very little English spoken but there are pictures in the menu. I point and order baked rice with pineapple-khao op sap-pa rot 70 baht. Hot pan beef-nua kra-tha 150 baht. Mixed vegetables and shrimp curry-kaeng liang koong ? baht. Glass of wine 50 baht. Singha beer ? baht. This dinner was the bomb! It was so yummy and the service was outstanding. I guess I know why this place is packed. Mostly locals but I think I saw a few other people who looked like tourists??
|Mixed vegetables and beef curry|
|Hot pan beef|
|Baked rice with pineapple|
I thought 3 nights, 2 full days would be more than enough time but I was wrong. I could easily have stayed at least 2 more days here. I didn't get to see the BLACK HOUSE, the BUDDHIST CAVE TEMPLE WAT THUM PHRA, the SATURDAY MARKET for local handicrafts, WAT PHRA KAEO, WAT PHRA SINGH, WAT KLANG WIANG, and probably more. It may be a smaller city than Bangkok but there are plenty of things to keep you busy here. Of course there's also just relaxing by the nice pool at the BAAN SOONTREE. I discovered that I really love this part of Thailand. Maybe it's because I live in a small city like Buffalo, NY-well really we live on 3 acres south of the city in Colden which is the snow belt area of western NY. Because we're older now and retired we have found that we like to move slower instead of rushing from one thing to the next. The fast pace of Bangkok was ok in a small dose but it was not my favorite part of Thailand. My daughter, who was raised in our small town of Colden, is a big city person at heart. She loved Bangkok. She loves living now just outside of Hong Kong. She loved living in Chicago. But she's in her 40s. Maybe that makes a difference?? I don't know. All I know is that I loved our time with Jermsak and wished I could have had some more time to get to know this city better.
Tomorrow we fly to Myanmar/Burma. How exciting! I'm eager for our next adventure to start in a new country. So far we are loving SE Asia much more than we expected.