|Snack Time - sugar cane sticks|
But this time we succumbed and . . . are you ready for this? We booked an all-day package tour.
It’s so humiliating I know. I hate to even admit to it. We take great pride in avoiding the camera wielding busses of sunburned tourists in tank tops and way-too-much-skin-showing shorty shorts.
The tour guides of these mass tours cart you around like cattle, chained to one another, and dump you off in trinket shops of overpriced “hand crafted” stuff. You wander around zombie-like stuffing shinny things into your pockets, buying things produced and replicated in every trinket shop across the country.
Not us. No way. We ain’t doing that!
But yesterday we gave in, we folded under the heavy pressure of sameness and joined a clan of eleven foreign tourists.
And you know, it wasn’t all that bad. The free lunch was bland, the requests for tips was endless, and the sights were definitely “touristy” but other than that the pain wasn’t that severe. We made it through the day.
|Long Necks Village|
Our tour guide was wonderful. She was personable and funny, and spoke great English. I bailed on the rafting ride after she didn’t directly answer Ruth’s question: “Have the guys ever tipped over a raft?” Her indirect answer was: “I can hold your camera for you.”
|Vieng Mantra Hotel - Chiang Mai|
There was one interesting woman from Australia who has traveled the world several times . . . alone. Yep, that’s right. All by herself. She makes all her arrangements via the Net, package tours and all, and then proceeds to enjoy them, all by herself. Initially, she didn’t really say much to us. Eventually, she warmed up . . . a little. Then she talked about herself.
When the van came to pick us up in the morning and the door slid open, everyone just sort of stared at us. No warm greeting. No welcome. Not even a ‘hello’ from the dark interior. It didn’t start out well and and really didn’t get much better either.
Yeah, I’m embarrassed to say we succumbed to a package tour.
I’m going back to traveling alone with Ruth. She’s the best partner and we see and do so much more.
Do I look like a people person?