Mr. Pop took us to several sites in Chiang Mai when we visited earlier this month. His command of English is excellent and so we were able to converse with him about a variety of subject - the economy, politics, the educational system and Buddhism all day long while we toured. He narrated the tour and spoke with us while his driver drove the comfortable van. This enabled Mr. Pop to concentrate on us and not the road. Mr. Pop is a well-educated Thai and not just a guide. For many years, he was a Buddhist monk and thus provided an unusual and broad perspective on Oriental religion which we found greatly enhanced our day with him which included visits to Buddhist temples. We told Mr. Pop we wanted an"elephant experience," but not the typical, commercial ones we had read bout. He brought us to a small elephant reserve where his friend owns just 10 elephants. We spent a lot of time playing with elephants while he helped educated us about elephants - something I found particularly interesting. Despite heavy traffic we experience traveling with him on the day following the New Year, this was an outstanding and memorable day. Mr. Pop is, by far, the best guide I've hired. As I said, do you research, and then contact him and make your arrangements.
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