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23 Nov 08 Do you remember Tahnat & Surapa? (We met them at a Loi Krathong parade in Chiang Mai--back a page.) On the right in this photo is Tahnat holding a discussion and answering questions on Buddhism, held in a building on a temple grounds, and live on a Chiang Mai radio station.
23 Nov 08 This was our vegetarian lunch at the temple after Tahnat’s live broadcast. (We can’t determine from our notes the name of the Wat.)
23 Nov 08 We’re inside the Royal Garden--wow, what colors!
23 Nov 08 On Tahnat & Surapa’s recommendation, we went to the Royal Garden outside Chiang Mai. These elephants are just outside the entrance gate.
23 Nov 08 This is a building dedicated to the beloved King of Thailand.
23 Nov 08 Here’s Lori with a couple of the statues just outside the building shown above.
23 Nov 08 This is inside the building dedicated to Thailand’s beloved King. What a shot to get! The upper half of the photo was very dark and the lower part, with Lori, was brilliantly lighted.
23 Nov 08 Steps leading up to the building dedicated to the King.
23 Nov 08 This couple, back in Chiang Mai, performed with puppets.
24 Nov 08 We went to a coffee plantation (again at Tahnat & Surapa’s recommendation), high in the mountains northwest of Chiang Mai. We drove our rented motorcycle on the slick, muddy roads up the mountain.
24 Nov 08 We went to a Hmong Tribal village high in the mountains northwest of Chiang Mai. These young children, in a classroom, had just washed, put talcum powder on and were having a snack. They were adorable and well-behaved.
26 Nov 08 Today we visited Lok Molee Buddhist Temple, first recorded in 1357; the present temple built 1527-1545. This entrance is just outside the ancient wall of Chiang Mai.
26 Nov 08 Wat Lok Molee has beautiful grounds.
26 Nov 08 These Buddhas adorned the base of the ancient chedi.
26 Nov 08 Lori on the Wat Lok Molee grounds.
28 Nov 08 We’ve crossed the Mekong and will go through passport control here in Houay Xia, Laos. In just a bit, we’ll start a two-day boat ride on a 110’ river boat (like the one partially showing in last photo) half way into Laos.
28 Nov 08 Yesterday we took a long bus ride to Chiang Khong, Thailand. This is today’s early morning view looking across the Mekong from Thailand into Laos.
28 Nov 08 This view looks down the swift-moving Mekong from the bow of the boat. Treacherous obstructions line the Mekong.
28 Nov 08 We’ve started our trip on the long boat. Today we’ll go as far as Muong Pakbeng, Laos. Here’s Lori sitting in the window at the section housing the huge diesel engine powering the boat. These 110’ boats are called “slow boats,” but they’re anything but slow--they move quite fast.
28 Nov 08 Lori with the boat captain. Today’s ride is almost eight hours, with short stops at about ten small villages along the Mekong.
28 Nov 08 A typical little village along the Mekong. There were perhaps a hundred fifty little villages along the first and second day’s ride on the Mekong.
28 Nov 08 The swift Mekong.
29 Nov 08 We stayed in Muong Pakbeng last night. This morning view looks from the village down to the Mekong. It’s very humid, especially so in the morning.
29 Nov 08 A big village between Pakbeng and Luong Prabang.
29 Nov 08 One of many stops along the Mekong.
29 Nov 08 Pushing from the bow.
29 Nov 08 At a small village this woman met our boat and sold a squirrel to someone on the boat. These long boats are the main source of transport for people and goods on the Mekong. Our boat carried over 100 people. We were the only Americans.
29 Nov 08 Boat repair in progress.
29 Nov 08 I took this photo and the next six at the same stop. Our boat unloaded and loaded supplies and people at a village. This photo shows a few of the hundreds and hundreds of small boats seen at the villages and along the Mekong. Each of these boats is powered by a small gasoline engine.