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Sawasdee. Will you...?

We were lucky enough to be able to visit Thailand several times, for work, it's true, but one could always find a weekend or two to run away from it all. One place we were fortunate enough to visit was Chiang Mai. It is a very special place for us, not only because of its beauty, but more so because it was on the flight going there from Bangkok that Yoga actually proposed! Well, nothing can beat that, I guess... As a token of remembrance, we engraved the travel date and flight number 9-6-2001 TG100 on our wedding bands.

CM_Elephant_Ride_JW_on_River.jpg (61882 bytes)

We started the day with a visit to an elephant training camp. The highlight of the day was a majestic elephant ride, which took us into the jungle, the river, and back to the camp through another thicket of tropical trees.

CM_Elephant_KS1.jpg (59744 bytes) Kean Sim, a colleague who traveled with us, treated the elephants to some bananas for snack.
CM_Elephant Standing1.jpg (61215 bytes) The elephants also put up a show for the visitors. Here, they stood up at their mahoots' mark.
CM_Raft_KY-JW.jpg (61942 bytes) Next, we traveled down the river again, but this time not on an animal's back, but on a bamboo raft. To complete the drama, we put on some traditional farmer caps.
CM_Ox-cart_KS-ST-KY2.jpg (62493 bytes) We needed to get back to where the car was, so an oxcart became our vehicle of choice this time. Trust me, it was not as dangerous as Yoga tried to make it look here. Kean Sim and Sin Tean, another fellow traveler, joined him in the bumpy journey.

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After lunch, we opted for something less physically trying, so we visited the Hmong village, a northern Thailand tribe that still kept some of their old-fashioned ways of doing things. The whole team posed in a local house-turned-museum with Sin Tean wearing the traditional outfit.
CM_Orchid Garden KS-JW-PW-KY.jpg (62319 bytes) To mark the finish of our very short visit, we went to an orchid farm, where we were welcomed with a unique Thai greeting-a bud of orchid for each of us. Kean Sim and Dodo accompanied Yoga in the picture.