We had signed up for a tour of a local flower market and a longtail boat cruise up the Mae Ping River to a local farm. Our guide Montree met us at Smith Suites and walked with us up to the main road to catch a songthaew to Wararos Market.
We stopped and tried coconut sticky rice which was cleverly encased in a tube of something – sugar cane, perhaps?
Next, we caught a songthaew to Wat Chai Mongkol, one of the oldest community monasteries and temples in the area.
Montree had bought a prepackaged basket of of alms for the monks, and we presented it to them and received a blessing and had a cord tied around our wrists, and then we were sprinkled with holy water.
The temple was right next to the boat landing for our river cruise, so we walked right over and got on a longtail boat (covered, thankfully) with several other people. The boat captain was very informative along the peaceful cruise upriver, and was especially fond of pointing out large, lavish houses that rich families owned.
The farm was beautiful, and the same captain got off with us and gave us a tour of the plants and animals of the farm.
Then we were ushered to a large, open-air restaurant area and brought Khao Soi for lunch. This was my first taste of this noodle soup, and it did not disappoint! It’s a special dish of the north, and although it will be made a little differently everywhere you have it, it’s usually spicy, with chicken or pork or fish, noodles, crispy noodles on top, and a rich, slightly creamy curried broth.