Chiang Rai and Chiang Saen

My last trip inside Thailand before my departure in under two weeks saw Todd, Felicia, Pascal and myself drive up north, to Chiang Rai and Chiang Saen, for the weekend.

On opposite outskirts of Chiang Rai, we visited the Wat Rong Khun, designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat, and the Black Magic Village, created by Thawan Duchanee.
In Chiang Rai, the Lebanese eatery seems to be closed, resulting in us opting for an excellent pizza at some Mediterranean style restaurant. Part of the problem here was my taking the PS2 on the trip and Pascal and myself, sick as we are, finishing God of War II before going out in search for food.

We also ascended both the mountains Doi Tung, with remnants of chedis (stupas) a mere 1100 years old, and Doi Mae Salong, where we enjoyed tea in one of the many Chinese influenced villages.

Outside Chiang Saen, right on the Mekong river, we hopped on one of the boats shuttling between Laos and Thailand and also visited the rather grand Hall of Opium, one of the better museums in Thailand, on the history of opium growth and use. Quite surprisingly, harm reduction isn’t looked down upon here.

Not carpet burn

Moving into the last stretch, I got all excited last week, about to play Singstar Abba on the PS2, turning a corner on the moat, when my bike slipped away from under me. Luckily, no car was at my back, meaning I survived the incident with only scratches and bruises.
Yes, I was totally sober. Which is exceptional in itself.

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Pascal turned out to have inherited Ben’s PS2. So, I got myself some mics at Central Airport Plaza, only to find that getting any version of Singstar in this town is a near-impossibility. Guitar Hero and Rockband everywhere, though. So maybe I should specialize in those…

Om nom nom

A few weeks back, a few of us had what probably is the best Sunday brunch in town, at The Chedi. It’s probably also the most expensive Sunday brunch in town. Then again, the free flowing mojitos make up for a lot, even though the food is excellent to begin with.