Hospitals In Chang Mai are Da BOMB
Chiang Mai Travel Blog› entry 8 of 15 › view all entries
Tuesday night, eva and I made a surprise tour of Rama I hospital in Chang Mai. I have to thank eva for this one as this one was her "idea":)
Just arrived in Chang Mai, we were on our way to chabad to pick up our first real meal in over a week and a half. Joking about something I cant even remember anymore, we were already in a nutty mood when we saw HIM.... THE McDreamy.
Mind you , this was not a flesh and blood version of the man with perfect hair, but rather a life size cut out of the steamy Dr. Didnt matter. It was a familier face, and eva and I were overjoyed. "Lets take a picture!" said Eva....and off we ran.
I made it...eva, on the other hand was too overcome with Love and Adoration and literally fell head over heals onto the side walk.
(It could also been that the sidewalk was uneven and she triped, but neither of think that anything as mundane as a sidewalk could make Ms Simons fall to her knees)
Pain and suffering followed and after we got to chabad and iced her foot, it was decided that we needed to visit the hospital to make sure Eva's foot wasnt broken (she couldnt walk on it).
I have to give a lot of credit to the Rabbi at the chabad house. He was very helpful, and really went out of his way for us. We disturbed them in the middle of a quiet moment (they were eating dinner by themselves...I dont think they get a lot of down time, the CH is very busy all the time) and they didnt blink a single eyeball between them. Doctors were called, tuk tuks were summoned and off we went.
Now, no one likes going to the hospital- especially in a forigen country...but the Rama I hospital in Chang mai is amazing!
We walked through the door and attendant was with us immediately. Eva was promptly placed in a wheel chair and whisked away to get checked...blood pressure, x rays, the works. Our Doctor spoke english very well and was calm and friendly. (He also dispensed free advice about my ailing intestines). Pain meds written down (you dont need a prescription around here!), films returned.
Good news! No breaks- just stretched ligaments (which has kept eva limping and using a cane ever since).
Sign out, pay (33$ for the WHOLE thing!), and then we got into "flag down a tuk tuk" mode.
No need...the front desk had an ambulance drive us back to our Guesthouse.
In and out in just about an hour.
I'd be happy if it took that long just to write my information down back home!
No cameras, no photos, no guide books, no tours. If you want to get out your only option is to walk it and do so with out any travel aides (maps, tuk tuks etc).
Thats what I did yesterday on shabbos. It was lovely.
First we went to chabad where we had a very nice meal. Singing (better than BKK) ensued and the rabbi spoke nicely.
The lady who tried to set me up in Chang Rai was there and kept half an eyeball me the whole time ([probably to make sure I didnt drool when I ate).
after the meal, eva and I tip-toed into a 5 star hotel and hung out by the pool for a while (very niiiceee:)
Once we were done with the sun, eva went home to rest her foot and I was off and running. Its very freeing to walk around with out ANYTHIGN on you. not even money.
I walked for hours. Covered a good half of the old city. Towards the end of the day, i found myself out side the old city sitting by the Moat which surrounds the origial city plan.
I was the only white person around which was awesom. Somehow, i had walked by this area a bunch of times in my search for all things "
chang mai" and missed this spot that was entirely...well, thai.
Sitting on the edge of the reflecting pool (moat) i watched the world pass by for a long long time.
Behind me was a man selling food to feed the hundreds of fish that life in the moat... locals came to by bags of food...throw it in and watch the fish go nuts eating.... a couple of kids just off of work from 7-11 came to sit next to me. They fed the fish too and passed a bottle of Lao beer around...
to my right was a big poster tacked up on a bamboo frame about mosquito prevention... A man passed by weighed down with all manner of bamboo brooms and feather dusters.... a true traveling sales man. People wizzed by on motorbikes, tuk tuks and cars....
the sun went down and turned the water gold and then pink.
I only left because I promised eva I would meet her at the chabad house at 7...
It was all very zen and I owe it all to shabbos.
Gut Voch people!
Hello everyone one!
Sorry its been a few days since I was able to blog- too busy. But I know all u fans out there (all two of you:)
are itching to know what adventures I've been on since I last wrote on Luang Prabang, Laos.
Heres a short list:
-Monday 5:30am: Woke up to the sound of roosters (thats nothing special, happens everyday) and heard the rain POUNDING on the roof.
&&)*()(*!! I fall back into an uneasy sleep where I dream about trying to run away to drier climes, just to find out that its raining everywhere in SE asia AND the planes are grounded due to flood waters of biblical proportions.
7:00am wake up again, miserable because I can still hear the rain. I push open my wooden shutters to look at the watery world of back alleys and chicken coops that surround me and LO! THE RAIN HAS STOPPED! If only I had a dove. I would have sent it out in the hopes that it would either: A. Not come back or B. at least haul in my sneakers taht I was TRYING to dry and were now probably moldy and gross.
Eva had already stepped into the bathroom so I did a little "end the rain" dance on the bed. (Id do it on the floor, but the room was so small there was only room for one big bed)
Moving on...we went on a short hike through the country side about 17K outside Luang Prabang. Beautiful and rural. Then we went to to see Ta Sai waterfall which is was a bit low on water as is only the beginning of rainy season. (See side story about what happened to me at the water fall in a seperate blog post). Finally, we hopped in kayaks and did a 14 mile run down the May Kong river. Hit some decent rapids which are a LOT scarier in a kayak than they are in a white water raft.
Night time: Eva went shopping and I laungished in bed becuase i got sick (next blog post).
Tuesday: up at 5am. out at 5;15. Eva and I went to see the Monks in the Lao traditional Alms giving. Its a cool thing to watch.
the whole town lines the street with fresh sticky rice, candy and wafers. They are dressed nicely and sit on bended knees waiting for the monks to arrive. Gongs are sounded from every temple and Monks/ Novices (child monks) walk barefoot and silently down the road. Everyone places food in the large gold bowls the monks carry. The purpose (from my simple understanding of the matter) is that by giving food to the monks (who only eat twice a day) you earn Merit (like a Segula) for blessings and luck and good reincarnation when you return to earth in you next life.
The only thing that marred the procession where western tourists who did not stand a respectful distance to take pictures. Seriously, people. Are you not embarassed to stick a camera in an elders face and treat him like a freak?
but I digress...
After alms giving, we headed back to our guest house to pack. Eva had to go to the post office to ship home more stuff that she bought:)
Few more errands and then off to the Airport!
Tuesday evening: find our new home in Chang Mai. Owner is LOVELY. speaks english really well which is nice after being in two countries where "speaking english" is a relative term:)
Drop our things head off to Chabad for REAL FOOD...and thats when it happens. Eva falls, hurts her foot. We have to go tot he hospital and then hope so she can rest (all in seperate blog posts - fret not).
Wednesday: Road trip up to Chang Rai, the Golden triangle, Ma Sai, and Long Necked/ AKA hill tribes. All in all very nice day!
today we are going to the highest peak in Thailand - its in a national park south of Chang Mai. Its supposed to be "cool" up there so I actually wore a normal shirt. lets see what happens.
Thats all for the general - now I have to go back and do specifics...see ya soon!!
Get a gut bacteria and not eat for three days...Much more effective than Jenny Craig or Weight watchers.
Thats what I did. Apparently, I picked up more than just a few silk scarves in laos. Damn you, fresh Mint! (it was either that or the tomatoes we ate on shabbos).
Picture this, you are bouncing along a dirt road on your way to a fun Kayaking adventue. When the truck stops and you have reached your destination (middle of nowhere)- your stomach is still bouncing. Weird, but not surprising given the size of some of the hills and pot holes you just flew across...
Down the to the river. The guide prepares the kayaks and you strap on your life jacket. When you put on your helmet, it feels very heavy an you have to sit down...Immediatly.
Luckly, the feeling passes. you hop in your kayak and paddle to the Ta Sai waterfalls which are a big deal in Luang Prabang. All seems fine. It was a false alarm. Good!
You dock and step out of your kayak..Tand THATS when it happens.
You start sweating like you've been in a hot yoga class for an hour. You cant walk well, and most importantly you need to use the bathroom.
Like, RIGHT NOW.
This is a problem becuase as I just mentioned, you cant walk (very dizzy) and there are (what feels like) 1000 stairs leading up to the falls and the glorious bathroom.
OK. Deep breath. Take is slow.
(Shout out to my intrepid Travel mate, Eva, who held my helmet and lifejacked as I slowly made my way towards the heavens.)
Climb and sit.
Climb, sweat, sit.
The world is spinning.
Climb. Climb. Climb. The Bathroom is in sight! Stalls...latches... regular people using them... PRAISE THE LORD! (cue angles singing).
Find the strength to RUN to a stall and ....
please G-d, not here!!!....
ITS A SQUAT TOILET!
no light. No running water, no toilet paper...Just u and a set of ridged, porceline foot treds.
lets just say, when you have to go, you go...and when you take yoga, you are forever greatful to your instructors in such circumstances.
See? A true Asian Experience can happen anywhere, at any time:)
It is now one country and two days later...Im feeling much better, but I still cant eat (it literally hurts when food hits my stomach . When I was at the hospital with Eva, I asked her doctor about my situation. He says I must have picked up something in Cambodia or Laos. He told me what pills to buy to get rid of the bacteria which has taken up residence in my gut.
Check this out: in Thailand, you don need precriptions to pick up drugs. So I can just walk into any drug store and ask for the correct Meds (i have it written down).
Only problem is, I havent been able to get to a pharmacy yet. So im eating tiny amounts of food and trying to drink as much as i can. (dont worry, sis. Im going to pick up the pills today. Im not going to leave this and let it result in a third arm growing out of my stomach or something)
Feels cruddy at times but Hell, my skirts havent fit like this in months!:)
Im afraid I broke that character trait this past friday.
Eva and I went ATVing and White water rafting in th jungle about an hour and a half north of Chang Mai.
(STUNNING location, btw. Mountains all around us...groves of oranges, banana trees, bamboo, and hills draped in the bright green foliage of newly sprouted rice plants).
White water rafting was a LOT of fun. Some of the hardest rapids I've ever done (and Ive done some nice runs in Switzerland, Costa Rica and CO - im not going to count the DE river because is sucks:) Our Guide called himself "dog Crazy" and liked to take us down the nuttiest parts of the rapids. He taught me how to jump into the bottom of a rapid run (where the water is foaming from the rapids above). Its a lot of fun- you go in and get spit out on the opposite side of the river where it is calm and flowing a lot slower....
Also got a impromtu lesson in Thai. I can now count to ten (give or take a few numbers I cant remember:)
You dont want to hear about the white water rafting, I know. You want to hear about the time I was a big wuss.
Heres the story.
I've been ATVing before. Always a lot of fun. Ususally on beach-like vacations. Up and down bumps...through jungle.. big water puddles. Standard stuff.
THIS was not standard.
This was having your life flash before your eyes.
OK, thats an exaggeration. more like, this was having a vision of having a vision of your life flashing before your eyes.
Let me explain.
my first ATV gets handed to me belching smoke. It also stalled every time i took my thumb off the excellorator (not supposed to happen). My gloves and helmet were too big on me and I was quite frankly nervous about the trip on that thing. We were made to do a few practice circles and My stupid ATV stalled and I ended up rolling onto a log. Couldnt get myself off and was shaken so I requested a second atv.
Out comes a shiny blue atv. Lovely! this should be fine...Hop on. No smoke...all is well.
Until we start riding.
Mind you - we are a small group. Me, eva and two Ozzi dudes. I was in front...riding along. Flat road. BIG puddles of mud. Fun!
Then the hills start. Up Up UP UPpppppppp. ridges. Ditches, Two feet of mud and BIG rocks coming out of the ground. My hands are still slipping around inside my too-big gloves. I try to stay in control...Down the first hill we go (this is a narrow dirt/mud track shared with cars and trucks...LOTs of hair pin turns)!....Try to break at the bottom and ....and.... and...
oh crap. my breaks dont work! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
now i feel like everyone is looking at me. I know there is a problem with this bike, but no one else knows that. They just see that this chick cant keep it together.
Guide switches ATVs with me...now I have a shiny red ATV. No smoke...breaks work. GOOD. lets have fun!
except I cant. Im too shaken at this point. These were insane hills and ditches. My knees were shaking. After a few km more i stopped and said I wanted to ride on the back of his ATV... I figured this would be fine as he had just given a leggy blond german girl a lift (she was walking uphill most likely trying to find a hiking group she lost somewhere in the woods). Mind you, this was not me flirting. This we me scared.
I dont give up and Im not a coward...but I was done. I didnt want to be the person that keeps slowing down the group and I knew he could take me.
Aparently however, my 5'3 moquito bitten legs just didnt do it for him:) He said he couldnt take me on the back of his (something about not good for hills). Instead, he put me ont he back of Evas ATV.
now mind you, I trust Eva implicitly. I love her and shes a great friend. But this was her first time ATVing and these hills were BIG...oh, and did I mention that the road had two fun ways for you to die?
Side A: Get crushed into a Mountain wall
Side B: fall into a Rolling, Bubbling, Boiling River 200 feet straight down on the left side.
well anyway. it was fine in the end. Eva was great. She took it "realtivly" slow and only let me know that she was a bit out of control AFTER we got off the ATVs. We had a lot of fun getting covered in more mud than I have EVER been graced with before in my life (pics to prove, of course:)
back to Chang Mai with one hour to get ready for shabbos.
Book flights for the south. Book bus tickets for motzi shabbos...and take showers..