We locate one of two tourist offices in town in order to ask for a multi-day trekking trip.

No way. Not anymore. It is difficult for tourists to walk, it is too hot, the guide has gone to teach children. Everybody drives a car and makes pictures next to it. It is too difficult to ride a bicycle. There are no trees on the mountain. Well. I'm happy for the children of course.
Next we try to catch a bus following directions from the same lady. Long walk ends with us having an iced coffee, walking again, catching a bus, explaining where we want to go, the whole bus discussing it, voting to take us to the bus station where we get directed to a songtao. It takes a long time for the songtao to fill up. We also get a hand-drawn plan how to come back. On the plan are two parallel lines that depict the highway and next to it a dot that depicts us. We have to wave down a songtao going towards the city.
The goal is art gallery that is about 20 km out of town. The whole way everybody laughs but we don't get the joke. When the city is long gone out of sight we are ordered to get off in the middle of nowhere. There's the gallery. Painted trees. Two young men sing with a guitar. Quiet and peaceful, no-one pays any attention to us. In the cellar we find a photo exhibition about temple murals. It takes some time. In the bigger house there are colorful abstract paintings, wooden sculptures, skinny lions walking up the stairs and a whole floor full of envelopes with all kinds of drawings and other artwork that a group of artists has sent each other. Really cool. Admission is free but you can put money in a box. The toilet is an attraction in itself. Later we sit above the river, drink coffee and eat ice cream and cookies. Leaves fall on the roof making noise. Idyll. Three American bicycle travellers finish their picnic behind the house.
It starts to get late so we go and take the position shown on the plan we got. We get to stand there barely 15 minutes when a car coming from Nan turns around and a guy asks if we want to go to the city. Two young people from Bangkok have been here during their holidays. They have to reach the capital today but it is still no problem to give two tourists a lift to the city. That was easy.
They drop us off in front of Wat Phumin so we go to have a look. Inside are all the murals from which we just saw details with explanations. Outside three posters offer three different founding years with hundred years apart for the temple. Anyway, it was founded a long time ago.
Back in hotel the girl there calls a taxi driver for us and bargains the price for going to a national park on the Lao border and coming back a few days later. Internet says that some people have been there before.
We cycle to have dinner under a peach-colored sky. In the restaurant everyone comes to ask where we are from.

back in the province
into the forest

Add a comment

Email again: