Chiang Mai - Tak - Mae Sot: Delightful - Part 1

Chiang Mai,
3 April 2010
Dear Family and Friends,

I needed to “get out of the house.”  And since I had always been curious about a small town called Mae Sot in the northwest of Thailand, I booked the short flight to the northern city of Chiang Mai and “got out.” 

With an inspiring assortment of ancient, contemprary and hilltop Buddhist temples, gardens, mountains, rivers for rafting, elephants for riding, snake farms, orchid farms and a crowded night market for bargaining and souvenir hunting, Chiang Mai is one of the busiest tourist destinations in Thailand.

I stayed at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel (busloads of Israeli package-tourists – a couple even brought their own matzo for Passover).  In the lobby-lounge I met Dennis DiCesare from the North End of Boston.    
Dennis is an ex-pat who lives in Chiang Rai, a city in the far north.  He works for Analog Devices; his business territory is Southeast and South Asia.  How refreshing it was to have a conversation in fluent, fast-paced English, even if our accents and vocabulary are “Baahston” and “Noo Yawk.”
In Chiang Mai I also met Yuphres, 31, a young Thai woman and her friend Som O, 27.  They have been friends since they met at a university in Australia.  They speak excellent English and didn’t mind my New York accent, although I did have to remember to slow down.  Res was a helpful guide; Res and Sam O were charming dinner companions.
I didn’t mention it to Res at the time but we visited temples I had seen at least once before on my previous trips to Chiang Mai. (Who can remember the names?)  Yet I always find the Buddhist temples to be artistic, peaceful and even beguiling. 

Our dinner was at a delightful outdoor restaurant called the Lemon Tree.  What could be more delightful than a delightful outdoor dinner with two young and delightful Thai ladies?
End of Part 1

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