We are up and ready to go by 7:30am. This is when our tour group is supposed to pick us up. I know things usually run late here, but when 8:00 rolls around and there’s still no bus I’m a little confused. I could have sworn he said that they’d pick us up here…but maybe we were supposed to go back to the booking office?
It’s our last day with Mountain Trek! We’ve got just a short day of hiking in order to make it to Kyoto at a reasonable hour. We’ll have one last meal together tonight, and that’s it. Some people have even arranged to fly home tomorrow morning! I’m really happy that Dad and I added a couple of extra days on either side of the trekking trip so we could see more of Japan.
I wake up from a deep sleep to the sound of my alarm at 5:37. It’s been ringing for 7 minutes without my noticing. I’m so comfy and warm! I don’t wanna get up, and although I have the choice to sleep for another hour, I know It’ll be worth my while to wake up.
We get up early to catch a van that will take us closer to Laos. We won’t actually reach Laos for 2 more days, and will be traveling mostly by boat, but today we take a van further north-east in Thailand. The van fits 10 people so we share the space with some other groups of people. There is a group of girls (3 American and 1 Canadian), a German couple, an older French guy, and a younger guy who looks Scandinavian, but I don’t know for sure where he’s from. It’s a quiet ride to the hotel.
Doi Suthamp Temple is the most famous in Chiang Mai, so I have to see it. We wake up relatively late and go downstairs for our delicious croissant breakfast creation. I am set on seeing this temple, which Ilona has no desire to visit, so instead of dragging her up 300 stairs (we’ll get to the stairs) and instead of missing it, I choose to go alone. As directed by the front desk guy downstairs, I hop into a tuk tuk that takes me to the Chiang Mai Zoo, which is right at the bottom of the mountain heading up to the Temple. From the Zoo I get in a big red truck/bus crossover thing that is another form of taxiing in Thailand.
*A post I am not proud of. This was written before I knew how terrible animal tourism is. Before I learned to make educated decisions about which activities I choose to engage in while travelling. But this is in fact what happened, and erasing it won’t change it.