I grabbed a hot (ahh . . .) shower and some strong coffee at Tao’s before a friend of his (who he used to work in the construction business with) showed up at his house and the three of us chatted for a while (more precisely, Tao and I and Tao and his friend chatted; if i wanted to talk to Tao’s friend and vice versa, Tao had to translate!) before making a late breakfast together, of omelete, fried rice, and the remaining green curry from last night.
The three of us then headed over to the site where Tao is currently managing and working on the construction of a new property. All the walls, windows, and doors are in place; of the initial framework it was only the roof which was still awaiting completion, completion which had been handicapped due to the dramatic rise in temperature and humidity over the past few days. The project into its construction, a project which Tao believes will be his last, as he’s investigating the prospect of setting up business as a travel agent with his Canadian friend, Roger. He offered me a job if it all goes to plan, an offer i told him i’d consider if i can’t find work back in the U.K (just kidding mum!)
Tao, his friend (whose name escapes me) and I spent the afternoon wandering around Nan city centre and eating sticky rice, mango and coconut milk (my new favourite food) from the market. When his friend left, Tao and I walked down to the river to watch the amusing but mesmorising aerobics class in action, and as the sun set we drove up to Wat Phra That Kao Noi to see the cityscape illuminated in the falling darkness.
We ate at one of Tao’s favourite restaurants to the north east of Nan (river fish fried in ginger and red curry paste with sweet basil, fresh peppercorns, green beans and chilli peppers) and amused ourselves by eaves-dropping on a Korean gentleman practising his Thai on the pretty young waitress. Apparently he’d tried to ask for some green onion but had actually asked her for a kiss!
The next morning, I packed my things, checked out of my guesthouse (i’d well over-stayed the amount of time i’d planned to spend in Nan but it’s definitely been woth it) and said my goodbyes to Mia before meeting Tao for breakfast at Tanaya’s kitchen. We discussed Buddhism, Monkhood (he practised as a monk for a couple of years when he was younger) and my travelling plans, and he drove me to the bus station in time to catch the 12:15 bus to Chiang Mai. We’ve exchanged email addresses and telephone numbers, and he’s invited me to stay with him if i ever find myself back in Nan. Hopefully i will return to Thailand (it’s a beautiful country with – what i’ve found to be – some of the most honest, kind and friendly people you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting) and if i do, i’ll be sure to look him up.
Nan Guesthouse : Clean, spacious rooms in an old teak house with a lot of character. It’s a family run business and the owner, Lyette, really makes you feel at home. There’s an attached restaurant where she serves wonderful strong coffee, freshly baked bread and real (i.e not processed) cheese, which is a rarity in Thailand. The notice board is full of information about sightseeing and treks in the area, and there are also maps and bus timetables for reference.
Hot Bread : Friendly English speaking Thai owners, and delicious, reasonably priced food. Bike hire also available at 50THB per day (24hrs)
Tanaya’s Kitchen : English and Thai menus, delicious food and heaps of choice.
Photo to follow