Anyway, on with the blog posts about the Thailand trip.
After the elephant center and hospital we continued on towards Chiang Mai and stopped by a natural hot spring on the way.
This area is obviously where the geysers rise up and spray out of the ground. There's an area near there where you boil eggs. They sell you eggs here with a little basket which you hang into the hot water to cook. We had duck and quail eggs. The quail eggs were really great!
After that we went and had a soak in a large private room. We rented one for the boys and one for the girls that were next to each other. The girls kept throwing cold water over the wall at us, so a sort of battle erupted over that wall. Like I said before, we had a great group who were fun to hang out with, so we enjoyed ourselves.
After that we continued on to our homestay near Chiang Mai. Our homestay was in a little village and was my favorite part of the tour. There was a family there who had a sort of family complex of houses and huts and such. The boys stayed in one room and the girls in another but we only slept in those rooms. We spent all of the rest of the time hanging out, doing activities or being entertained by our hosts.
We arrived at the homestay well into the day, so we just threw our bags into our rooms and then joined our hosts for a great dinner and entertainment. Local musicians played for us as we feasted on some tasty food. The music was interesting, but as you can hear below it might not be for everyone. They played for maybe 45 minutes or something. The food, like nearly all of the food we had in Thailand, was tasty. Afterwards, they showed us their instruments and had us each play some small bit on each one.
After the temple visit, we rode around the countryside near the village for a while enjoying the natural scenery. We went to a local mushroom farmer and did a little tour. And we selected some mushrooms for our host to include in our lunch which she would cook later.
Those are plastic bags that the mushrooms grow in. Inside the bag is a nutrient mix and mulch for the mushroom along with their spores. They grow sideways out of holes in the bags and are harvested from there. When they're harvested, new mushrooms grow and go out of that same hole and this repeats until the supply of spores and nutrients is exhausted at which point new bags are placed in here.
Thailand has a lot of dogs. Everywhere you go, you see dogs on the sides of the road or on sidewalks, sleeping like this fellow here. In some areas, the Thai also like to put clothing on their pets, so if the animal is owned by someone, you often see some clothing on it, whether it's a dog or cat.
Eventually we went to a local school where we helped teach English for an hour or so. We then went outside where football and volleyball were played with the children.