Saturday, November 26, 2005

AMAZING day

Two days ago we had an incredible adventure. We went to Doi Inthanon National Park and met some incredible thais. It all started when the guidebook said that it would cost 30 bhat to get to the top of the mountain but all the taxis and minibus' were charging 1000! We could not afford this and would not settle so we tried our hand at hitch-hiking. The first truck we saw we asked the driver ("Mr K") and his friend if we could all go in the back of his pick-up and for what price...And through broken English he not only let us ride with him but FOR FREE! As it ends up he was also a tourist to the park and all of us (Dan, Ori, his friend Michele and I) spent the day looking at incredible waterfalls, mountain-top temples and beautiful scenery. As if that were not enough, he also drove us back to Chaing Mai (over 60km away). To thank him and his friend we wanted to take him to dinner, but he drove us there and picked the restaurant, so we had authentic Thai food with Thais-it was great! They even wanted to pay the bill but we would not let them. That day was definitely the hi-light of the trip for me so far.

Yesterday we went to a forest monastery/Wat and that was very cool and peaceful. The temple was built in something like the 1300's. It is so interesting to see and touch something that is so old. We also went to check out a program that offers 10 day meditation courses. We read about this in our guide book and went to see if this would be a good thing to do. It is not religious but inward based, and in the Vipassana meditation style. This means no talking, contact, reading or writing for 10 whole days. You stay at the monastary and live very simply, meditating pretty much all day. It is supposed to be very difficult but also very rewarding. We are still not sure if we want to do this.

What do you think?
Is it a waste of our time or an experience that we should seek?

Yesterday we also went to a monk chat- that was very neat because we were able to ask the monks anything and they were able to practice their English.
Today we head for Pai with Ori and Michele, it is a very small city almost a village that is supposed to be very beautiful. The bus ride however is 4 hours of cramped winding roads. Well usually there is a trade-off.
We have pictures of all of our adventures but were not able to up-load all of them. Soon.

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