Have been trying for hours to get our required ETA for entry to Sri Lanka. Very frustrating as you need this done online to get a 30 day visa on entry. These are renewable twice. Should be a simple process to fill in and submit but one section would not respond to our typing so hours were wasted. Will try again in a day or two. Although Sri Lanka is technically not in South East Asia we are going to explore it as it has a residency visa scheme for retirees called My Dream Home. In effect it means you after a few conditions such as lodging $15,000 US in a Sri Lankan Bank you can get a 2-year residency Visa renewable ad infinitum. Something worth checking out as living cost are fairly low there. We will report back!
With Tourist glasses affixed we ventured to the closet Wat to us Wat Prah Singh that houses 700 monks. Lots of tourists but the older part had some stunning murals reputed to be amongst the best in Thailand. Having seen them we agree! The inside of the same older building had a fabulous guilded Budda Foot and the whole inside was our cup of tea, understated, aged and decorated in a low key manner.
Feeling a tad fragile after a minor bug I looked around for a Red Taxi Truck to take us up the mountain to Doi Suthep. Erica negotiated with the driver and we got one there and back for 500Baht or $19.25 Australian. We had been there on our previous trip but other than the long staircase up to the place we both have no memory other than a vague one about bells! Long winding drive and when we arrived Erica’s knees proclaimed no to the steps so we took the inclinator.
Doi Suthep has been transformed since we last saw it with myriads of mainly Chinese tourists filling the place. The bells were still there in large numbers and the gilded Stupa looked fabulous. We snapped some pics from the viewing deck of a storm sweeping across Chiang Mai. Pretty spectacular. A must for Buddhists when visiting Chiang Mai (and Tourists too). Took a pic from the open back of our taxi truck on the way home and you can see the mountain range in the back groud were we had just been. You can see by this “Street Cam” that it looks like a road just about anywhere in the world.
Noticed than in convenience stores and supermarkets in Thailand there are no analgesics for sale. (Paracetamol or Ibuprofen). Even in Chemists there is only a tiny section compared to large displays seen in Australia. The only conclusion I can draw is that either Thai people do not get headaches and fevers or that they suffer in silence. (Or maybe Australians use too many?) More research needed here.
Interesting article in The Bangkok Post yesterday that listed the percent of overweight or obese persons in Asian Populations by Country. Anecdotally we had observed that Malaysian Women were fairly heavy and the statistics bore that out as they rated highly at 48%. Took a pic of the chart for you statistic buffs and it makes interesting reading.
Have booked for an Expats breakfast on Friday to find out first-hand what it is like to live in Chiang Mai.