Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 6- Mae Tang Trek Tour day!!!

We got up this morning, after a rough night's sleep- the bed is quite old and creaky here, so every move you make, tends to wake you up!  We had a quick breakfast before heading out on our full day's tour!  I was so excited for today, I also had trouble sleeping because of that!  Elephant riding, orchid farm, waterfall hike, Long Neck Village, Bamboo rafting, the whole works!!!!!!!!!!

We got on the tour bus and met two Canadians!!!!  They were both from Toronto, but one is living in Hong Kong and the other is planning to move there so that they can be together!  How fun!!!  Hi, Billi and Pi-Lin!!!!!  We got along so well, and had a lot of fun together!  Sad that they won't be in Canada so that we can all hang out again!  We took pictures of them and they took pictures of us, such a nice gesture so that we could have "couple" photos after we got home! 

We went to the Orchid Farm first, which was gorgeous!  Orchids here are EVERYWHERE, and in colours that I had never in my life seen before.  We also went through their butterfly farm, which for me, was a HUGE feat!  I HATE things flying around my head, and the size of these butterflies really freaked me out!  I got out of there as fast as I could (after I saw what Graham wanted me to), and waited for Graham until he was done snapping away!

We then got back on the bus and went to the elephant camp.  We walked through some countryside, rice fields and into the camp, and I was mesmorized!  Yes, I had never seen an elephant before!  There was a baby elephant and our elephants that we would be riding.  I did not like that they are chained up, and would have rather ridden on flat ground in their "natural" territory, but it was exciting none the less!!!!!!!!!!! Graham and I had a VERY stubborn fitting...who even after being coaxed with bamboo sticks, didn't want to move anywhere but to the ground at times!  It was a surreal moment and an experience to remember for a lifetime!

After riding the elephants, we got to feed them bunches of bananas and get up close to their trunks/faces!  They were so rough and their noses were so clammy and wet, but feeding them bananas was amazing!

After walking back to the truck, we had a VERY long and bumpy ride to the waterfall.  We were all very hungry and thirsty by this point (it was HOT), and were excited to stop for a lunch/drink break!  We had pad thai, wrapped and served in banana leaves and seaweed chips (tasted like sour cream & onion) for lunch!  I felt so hungry, I could have eaten 3 pad thai helpings, but we had to move on and I am TERRIBLE at using chopsticks! 

We did the trek to the waterfall, and part way into it, we knew the tour guy who booked it for us and told us it was "easy" had obviously never done it before!  It was an INTENSE hike, walking across streams by single bamboo bridges and being in flip flops didn't help.  By the time we were hiking, it had to be over 40 degrees, and the hike was a good 30 mins or more of winding paths along the mountains and uneven ground.  We had high hopes for it being GORGEOUS and well worth it, but we had heard it might not live up to the hype :(  I struggled 3/4 of the way through with getting very sore knees and legs, and felt weary being so hot, but Graham was VERY helpful and encouraged me alot by telling me how proud he was of me!

When we got to the top of the mountain and hit the waterfall, we were thrilled to see that everyone was swimming in the waterfall and cooling off!  We got into the water, which was FREEZING cold- how, I don't know, as it was 30 degrees or more for WEEKS, but it was refreshing once you got used to it.  After a good swim, and waiting for Graham to FINALLY get in the water, we took our trek back down.  It was steep and exhausting, but we did it!

We were then taken to do some white water rafting, and although it was only class 1-3 (which to Graham is like canoeing on a river, after Africa), it was a lot of fun for me, having never done it before.  We got to the last 1/4 of the river and switched to bamboo rafting, which Graham helped steer for.  The guide kept calling Graham "chief" and wanted to get our pictures taken with us after!

After having a snack and drink, we rode to the long neck village.  We found it quite sad, as it was more of a tourist trap then a real long neck village, but it was interesting to see how different the way of life is/was.  We played a lot with the kids, teaching them how to do "high fives" and kick a soccer ball around, which they seemed to enjoy.  The colours there were SO BRIGHT and the women all looked beautiful!  It was so funny to see that even in different cultures, MOM'S were still getting their kids in trouble!

We got home and exchanged emails with Billi and Pi-Lin, so that we could exchange photos after our trips.  It was so nice to meet them and have fun with travellers/Canadians that we had so much in common with!

I had a shower, got changed and went for a blow dry and style (why NOT when it's hot out and only cost $2!!!  Who wants to blow dry and straighten their own hair, when it can be done even better and so cheaply by someone else!?!?!?  I felt refreshed, clean and ready for a great night out with my HUSBAND! (That will NEVER get old!)

We went to the market for dinner and Graham had the most INCREDIBLE fish caught that day and hand selected at the seafood counter!!!  It was seabass with lemon, garlic and chili and the sauce was so good, we both could have DRANK it!!!!!!!!!  After sharing the fish, rice and each having a drink, we left satisfied, having paid $12 for the whole meal!!!!!!!!

We finished the night with a 1 hour foot, back, neck and shoulder massage with our same ladies and it was the best day we have had together yet!!!!!!  They did this CRAZY thing during the massage where they put their leg over your arm/shoulder and pull back on your shoulders in order to get your back to crack!  Graham hated it, but I loved it, as my back was SO tense that day!

What an AMAZING day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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