Wienglakor Hotel in Lampang, Thailand

Note: This was written Monday evening (1 day ago). I just found wifi to upload it at our hotel in Chiang Rai. It is the Phowadol Resort and the wifi doesn’t work in the room, just the lobby, which is disappointing, but doable.

Here I sit, in Lampang, Thailand at the Wienglakor hotel. It is supposed to be one of the best in town. It is fine, but a little rustic. No swimming pool, and the air conditioning is really noisy. It reminds me of the hotel we did a day stop at, in Chiang Mai on my last time to Thailand. It’s funny, the last time, the hotel in Chiang Mai that was similar to this was the lap of luxury for the trip. It was a very rugged trip, though. The air conditioning was very noisy, and didn’t work very well, but it was air conditioning! And there was a western toilet and electricity and a real bed! Of course, it was just a day stop for a couple of hours. At lunch today I was telling our fellow “smart people” (what Nok calls us, since it is the Smartours), about my last trip. And they asked if it was with Intrepid. And I had forgotten who it was until they said that, but yes, it was with Intrepid, through Adventure Center tours. I will have to look up Intrepid when I get internet and see if it still looks the same. I still have not found a wireless connection, so I am just typing this on my computer and will upload it as soon as I can.

I am actually quite surprised by the lack of wireless access. And if there is any, it is really expensive, like $1/minute. There are places where there is free wireless, but few and far between and never where both me and my computer are at the same time. When I was here in 2001, there really seemed to be as much internet access as there is now. I know that even in the backwoods places we went, if it was any sort of a village at all (as opposed to a camping place or the like), there were internet cafes, and they were cheap. I do think the choice of hotels has a lot to do with it. If I were picking our hotels, I would not pick one that didn’t have wireless (and there are plenty). But since we are with the tour, we go where they take us. And the hotels are just fine, it’s just frustrating to not have wireless (when I know it is out there). The last time, I could find internet, no problem. But to find an inexpensive international phone was almost impossible. Now, with Skye, it is practically a moot point. And since Sean is with me on this trip, I don’t have to worry about calling him.

There is a person on our tour that has a Blackberry something or another phone and he did something to use it in Thailand and he is making calls right and left. I’m not sure how he is doing the international calls, but he makes them a lot it seems. It seems it might be expensive but I will have to ask him. Maybe it is included in some plan he has like unlimited data and phone. He is certainly on it for the internet plenty. And surprisingly, the reception is pretty decent. He had very few times he couldn’t get a signal, even today when we were traveling in the mountains, with almost no houses (and those didn’t look like they had electricity, much less internet). Heck, we lose voice cell when I’m talking to Sean and he drives down Maples Road by our house!

Buzz was looking up everything (just like I would)! We had some sesame/honey treats and he wondered where sesame seed plants looked like and he googled it. There, I said googled. I sort of hate that term. I prefer “searched”. But it is getting so common that it is basically synonymous with “search”. (wow, I guess that is how you spell synonymous. It looks weird to me, but I didn’t get a spellcheck error).

Nok has been giving us treats to try. We had some Roti, which is strings of spun sugar, like spaghetti, wrapped in a thin, tortilla looking wrap. It was delicious! Quite a treat. We’ve also had sesame/honey bars that I love and that you can find everywhere. And someone found some Happy Panda cookies that are good. And we had rice paper (thin, crispy rice sheets) and cooked coconut in the inside shell, that you could drink the milk and eat the meat and it was soft. Also, some really good, slightly sweet brown rice cakes. And Thai Iced tea, which is red and milky. And Thai coffee! It is really so good.

I have difficulty eating Thai food. I know it is weird and makes me seem provincial, but it just have unfamiliar smells and tastes and it doesn’t seem good (or right) to me. And it is frequently so hot! It’s not that I don’t like any of it, but I don’t like most of it. Sean however, is in hog heaven. He loves it! I am glad, since he doesn’t get it too often. Oh, we had some Pomelo (or is it Pemelo? That is how it was spelled in our grocery), a fruit similar to grapefruit. It was very, very good. I do love all the fruit! We don’t get a lot of tropical fruit at home.

Well, this post is going all over the place! I was going to write about what we did, but instead I’ve written about everything else. I think I’ll end this here and start the next post with our last couple of days.

And if I am lucky, I’ll find a place to upload it from my computer sometime soon!

~Susan Mellott

Becky Carleton, a librarian at the Johnson County Library in Kansas challenged me to name ten pieces

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