Chiang Mai

Right: The long climb to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Impressive but very touristy.

The bus ride up to Chiang Mai was extremely uncomfortable and hot, the windows wouldn't open and there was no air conditioning despite the fact that I had actually bought a ticket for an aircon bus. The driver seemed to fancy himself as a F1 racing driver tearing up the middle of the highway whilst oncoming traffic took evasive action. At the station I'm beseiged by touts and tuk tuk drivers, against my better judgement I go with one and find that my guesthouse (Topper GH) is surprisingly agreable. I immediately signed up for a three day trek in Doi Inthanon National Park

Doi Phra That Suthep

Muay Thai and Sadism show

Stepping out in Chiang Mai I was immediately greeted by a shirtless bloke wearing lipstick who offered to share his dinner with me. I declined and carried on my way. Chiang Mai is a popular destination for sex tourists as well as those who get their kicks above the wasteline. I passed a sign which read Kickboxing and Sadism show so I wandered in for a look. It was quite a spectacle.

The kickboxing was one thing but what was really freaky was the entertainment between bouts. It was a firebreathing act followed by the same guy dripping hot wax onto his tongue, he juggled knives and swords and as a finale he took out a knife and started cuting his tongue, nose and parts of his face. Certainly not for the squeemish.

Fortune Teller

Killing time one afternoon I was detained by a couple of Indian fortune tellers. The prognosis was pretty good, apparently I had loved twice before and would find my next love in Australia and the 29th of May would be a very lucky day for me. One of them showed me a list of prices for various services (200B, 500B, 700B) Apparently for 200B he can tell me my mother's name. I informed him that I already knew my mother's name and therefore such an exchange was unnecessary. With that I gave them a few Baht for the entertainment value and took my leave.

Below: Phamahathartjedi Napapolbhumisiri & Napa Maetaneedol,
Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai Province.