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Booking the remainder of my trip

This third day of the Songkhran festival in Chiang Mai, we again failed to stay dry, but escaped the fury a bit with a two hour river cruise, including a visit to an herb garden, and an expedition to the zoo. The zoo was unlike anything I would have expected, but showed how lazy the Asian people really are: most animal cages were accessible by car, and it was somewhat foolish of us to try to reach the aquarium by foot, but we were lucky to have a friendly Tai give us a lift with his pickup. We also witnessed the feeding of a panda bear, which is apparently a rather rare animal, or at least that's the way it was hyped to be. My favourite was the black panther in a cage with a leopard, in between the tiger and one of the very rare white Bengalese tigers. This tiger's skin is white and thus makes it rather difficult for it to attack in the wild. I described it as a evolutionary permutation with low fitness. Aline claims that these tigers are artificially bread these days, which makes it all the more peculiar.

We returned to the city for another round of splashing bveefore stopping over at Julie's Guesthouse, the place where I was to meet a lady running clothing and other support items to refugee camps. It turns out that this is a programme by D.A.R.E., in which her guesthouse participates, running the goods to the Burmese refugees living in Thailand. The clothing I had brought along are destined for people in Burma though (there is surely an equal need), so I guess my options are down to a single one: take them with me, skip the monestary, and travel the country myself.

So today I went ahead to buy my next two air tickets: I am flying out of Chiang Mai to Mandalay on the 20th, and I return to Bangkok from Yangon on the 4th of May. That will give me more or less 13 days in Burma (I am calling it Burma now, not Myanmar, since that is what the Burmese and the Thai people use) to get from Mandalay to Yangon, and having heard a bunch of times now that travel within Burma isn't all that easy, I figured out a way to do it: I shall spend a few days in Mandalay and meet some people, then hopefully find a student with good English skills to embark with me on the journey, meaning I will pay travel and hotel expenses for him/her, in addition to a flat, daily "wage".

Until then, Aline and I have 4 full days left in Chiang Mai, so the 1-2 day trek has once again risen high in my list of priorities. Tomorrow, we are going to cooking school, and there is also rock climbing, a go-cart track, and various other things to keep us occupied.

Thanks for reading along.