I now understand why folk rave about Thailand’s night markets, the Sunday market in Chiang Mai was fantastic. Some of the delights I sampled included a custard steam bun shaped like Kermit the frog and a very yummy coconut puff pastry. The only dampener was the afternoon’s rain; we got absolutely drenched.
On Monday evening we visited Chiang Mai Night Safari. My heart was very sad to see so many tigers in captivity. Also the size of some of the cages were appalling. There were 4 baby cubs in a pet shop sized cage – not good!!! :o( The adult enclosures were slightly better and they seemed relatively happy. Not a family show though, we saw 2 white tigers mating. :o)
Apart from the tigers, the actual night safari was enjoyable. You get up pretty close to some of the animals such as zebras, deer and a giraffe even stuck his head into our tram as she was hoping to be fed carrots or bananas. I was pleasantly surprised that the Asian tourists adhered to no flash photography, but one stupid westerner did pat a deer. Grrr!!!!
Yesterday, we caught the bus to Tha Ton and then a long boat to Chiang Rai. It was a pretty journey down the river, passing some hill tribe villages and riding some small, thrilling rapids.
Info: Buses run every 1/2 hour from Chang Phueak bus terminal in Chiang Mai to Tha Thon, taking just under 4 hours and costing 90 baht. The public boat from Tha Ton to Chiang Rai leaves at 12:30pm every day, costing 300 baht. However, off season it will only runs if there are more than 4 people. We ended up renting a private long boat for 1900 baht.