In Pai, N. Thailand.
The last day in Chaing Mei we wandered into a Wat, and a monk was giving blessing of good luck to the locals. He waved us in and we also got the treatment. Chanting, water springles and a wrist band for good luck.
Landed in Pai after a 80 mile 4 hour bus ride over the mountains in a 3rd class bus. Wild ride and crammed with people. Wild and scenic jungle clad mountains.
Found the lovely Breeze Guesthouse for 600 baht (18 US), and it is luxury. On the river bank, just a block from the action. Pai (3000 pop) is a sort of Thai/bohemian/tourist hangout in a nice valley surrounded by tribal villages in the hills and mountains. One a weekend day it was crammed with Asian tourist, outnumbering westerners 10 to one. We walked to a village about 4 K out of town, and found that they had built sort of a tourist trap of souvenir shops next the the village, and vans full of Asians kept up a steady stream. But the walk between was full of authentic little shops, farms, and roadside alters to fertility.
The plan is to trek for 3 days, 2 nights in the mountains and visit more villages, but we are waiting for word that they have 2 more people to make it a 4 person expedition.
When we leave here we fly south to the beaches and islands of the Andaman Sea, most famous of which is Phuket.