I had done some readings regarding temples in Chiangmai and was overwhelmed with many names of the wats mentioned. I somehow never jotted them down and relied upon our hired faithful and knowledgeable driver Ah Dee.
He first stopped us at Wat Chedi Luang, which i deemed a must-go if you were to visit temples in Chiangmai. It was an old temple with intricate craftings and architecture. The inner of the temple is grand and yet sirene. I would had snapped more photos if not because of family members wanting to move on to other places.
This trip was specifically planned for my wife, who wanted to participate in the massive Yi Ping event held annually at Myojo University at Chiangmai.
Lots of efforts and studies were done, including speculating when the event at Myojo University would be held. As a norm, a massive event for local Thais will be held near the actual Yi Peng day, while another opened specially for Farang would be held about 2 weeks after the actual Yi Peng day. To prepare for this, I had planned to arrive 1 day before actual Yi Peng day and leaving only 2 days after Yi Peng, but that is only so much one could planned as in this year, the organiser had decided to have the ceremony for local Thais to be held about 2 weeks before actual Yi Peng day but left the actual day for celebration by Farang. Feeling disappointed? For sure, end up wife was the one who consoled me that it was OK to miss the Myojo University celebration.
We were soon to find out that she was absolutely correct, as on the actual Yi Peng day it self, there was a massive celebration near a bridge at Chiangmai town and trust me, the crowd was massive, this was a Yi Peng cum Loy Kratong celebration where ones let go off Lanterns as well as Crating (boat) at the river.
We stayed at the strategically located Centara Duangtawan Hotel where the walk to the bridge took us less than 10 minutes. We saw the crowd started building up by 8pm, where lots of people heading to the bridge, passing by our hotel.
Along the way to the bridge, there are peddler selling beautiful Kratongs, Lanterns (Both plains and some with designs such as Angry Birds, Bears etc). There were also hawkers selling bags, shirts . Along the road were restaurants and also small pubs.
We reached at about 8.30pm, where the place was already so crowded, managed to find a place for letting go Lanterns
It has been at least two years since we last visited Cameron Highlands. People around saying it is no longer cooling like previous due to over development, thus we did not put high hope on getting chilled.
It is indeed not as cold, especially when you were on the street during day time. Somehow, when we reached our room at night, it was getting cold. Wife had to put on sweater to sleep. One thing for sure, Cameron Highlands undergo massive development in recent years, with new hotels and new attractions such as Lavender farms, strawberry farms mushrooming.
This time round, we visited the Sg. Palas Boh plantation as well as Lavender Farm.
After a winding ride downhill from Cameron Highlands, we en route Bidor to get some Petai and biscuits at 品珍 Restaurant. We then continued on trunk road and drove about 40 minutes before reaching 福成 Restaurant at Slim River.
I knew this place thanks to a good buddy of mine Robin and had been patronising this place for years, long before they shifted to the new shop today. The 老板娘 is very friendly and approachable. I surfed through net to find that many people had written much positive comments about this restaurant.
As we just had river prawns at Tanjung Tualang two days ago at 联芳 Restaurant, we had decided to scape them today. Instead, we had ordered Clay Pot Tapah, my long time favourite. With some mandarine orange skin 果皮, ginger and of course the fresh Tapah fish, i can easilly finish two big bowl of rice with this dish alone.
After the morning breakfast, we took a cab to Hangzhou railway station, where we bought our train ticket to Xi Tang, via 嘉善南. It was during this time I felt every single penny worth I spent on my Deuter 55+10. Hangzhou railway station was an old station, there was this part where we had to lug our luggage down staircase, Yes, no escalator. Without it, it was just impossible for me to manage 2 trolley bags (We still brought 1 trolley bag with us).
After about 30 minutes train ride to 嘉善南, we took a cab for RMB 100 to reach Xi Tang 平桥. I knew very well at RMB 100, it was on the high side (Our cab fee from Xi tang back to same train station cost us RMB 70), but at that time, I was more than willing to pay the extra. You just could not imagine the second we stepped out from the train station, the strong wind that greeted us was brutal, it was not something a child could bare. The cab ride took about 30 minutes, about 20 over km according to the cab driver, not that expensive if you think about it.
After the success in self-organized trip to Li Jiang, I started to get the thrill of organizing trips. Frankly, it is never an easy task. It entails endless nights of surfing travel web sites, travel blogs, hotel booking sites and of course, the forever reliable google maps. I have to say all these efforts pay off however, as with sufficient information on hand, most of the doubts one cast when touching into foreign land are cleared in advance, e.g. how much would be the taxi fare from Airport to Hotel?
It took us 5 hours to reach Xiao Shan Airport from LCCT. We already foresee the cold winter that welcome us, popping into the cab, the cab driver said today is the coldest day in this week, at about 2 degree celcius in a cloudy afternoon.
Always admired those people owning private pool, my dream finally came true…..not quite, but book ourselves a deluxe suite room at grand Lexis with private pool.
I must admit i was quite taken by Port Dickson, this time- mainly because of the Water Front at Port Dickson town, supposed the project was completed recently as everything was clean and well organized, for the lease there are Mc Donald’s and Papa Rich