10 March 2013

Mae Ping River cruise

I started the day going west again and across the moat from the old city into what seemed like a much more touristy area along Tha Phae Road. I stopped for an early lunch at 'Taste from Heaven" a vegetarian restaurant that supports Elephant Nature Park with many framed photos for sale of the elephant herd. I had crispy fried tofu which was delicious!

After having nearly filled my daily quota of temples already I visited my first Chiang Mai bookstore - a smallish one called Bookzone, which is across the street from Wat Bupparam - it had a lot of really interesting local books, music and maps.

I arrived at the Mae Ping River and went south from the Nawarat bridge to look for the starting point of the river cruise tours. On arrival at the kiosk, I signed up quickly as there was a boat just leaving and they held it for me. 

 A leisurely two hour trip up the river and back, with a refreshment break at a herb farm before turning around. We saw a lot of multimillion dollar homes, all of fairly new construction, which were juxtaposed with the patched-up shacks which were themselves sitting on half-million dollar riverfront properties.

It was a leisurely way to spend the early part of the afternoon, although it felt much later than that when we got back to the dock. I zig-zagged my way back to the centre of the old city and the stalls were already starting to set up for tonights weekly market.

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