| 107 Northern Thailand is an unexplored gem, especially forpeople fromour region. First and foremost, enquire about excursions costing around thirty euros and giving you the opportunity totourmorethan10sightsperday.Herewe’ve singled out the most interesting. WAT RONG KHUN THEWHITE TEMPLE The beauty of this temple is breathtaking even when seen from afar, but as you approach it youcome to realise that, like in life, all is not as it seems. The conceptual structure of famousartistChalermchai Kositpipatwasconceived in such a way that you enter through hell andexit intoheaven. Hell is conjuredwith skulls andskeletal hands that symboliseunrestraineddesire, anduponentering the temple (where photography is prohibited) thewall of evil has two eyes – in one is Bin Laden, and in theotherGeorgeBush!Thewall depicts all the temptationsof thisworld–fromStarWarscharacters to mobile phones. Note: you never go back through the doors of hell. The symbolic crossing of the bridge from“hell” to “heaven” signi es the Buddhist path of enlightenment. Near theWhiteTemple is themagni cent and indescribablybeautiful blue temple. Blue isactually the colour of the Buddha. CAT ‘N’A CUP CAT CAFÉ This small space is home to several dozen cats, who live, sleep, play and hang out with guests of the café. They are well raised, sweet smelly and largely ignore you, evenwhen you eat–exceptwhenyoutreat themtoakittytreat that you can order at the bar. One thing is for sure – no place like this exists anywhere else. LONG NECKED LADIES Women (around 4,000 of them) from the Myanmar villageof Aka liveandwork inNorthernThailand,wheretheysellsouvenirsandhave theirpicturestakenwithtourists.Whentheirchildrengrowup, theyreturntotheircountry.What makesthemspeci caregoldringsthatresemble shackles. The irstringis xedaroundtheirnecks at the age of ve, with the number increased every veyears.Theshacklesweighupto vekilos, andarewornonthe legsaswell as theneck. Theysleepexclusivelyontheirleftside.Although many todayhave theoptionof removing them –theydon’twant todoso. Beliefsvaryas towhy - from the idea that they otherwise won’t have o spring to the belief that they’ll be eaten by the evil spirit of the shape-shiftingTiger. If they dodecide to remove the shackles, it takeabout ten years for their elongated necks to return to their normal size. Interestingly, the rings don’t lengthentheneck, asmanybelieve, rather their weight lowers the shoulders. VALLEY OF THE MONKEYS Uponentering thevalleyof themonkeys, you receive a stick, anda simple answer to the questionwhy – in case they attack you. These monkeys live on the mountain and descend among people for food. They are cute, but at a distance. Word of advice – don’t carry food in your backpack! ELEPHANT SHELTER If youareo ered the chance to ride anelephant –don’t!Thoseelephants are slaves! Instead, visit an elephant rehabilitation centre, where they learn to be free and wild. Apart the satisfaction of investing in a better future for them by purchasing a ticket, you will also haveachancetofeedthem. Furthermore, ifyou stay longer in the North, you can also volunteerandgetevenbetteracquaintedwiththese wonderful creatures. Interestingly, it’s a signof happiness when an elephant waves its ears. gar koji menja oblike. Ako se odluče da skinu okove, dugačak vrat se vraća u normalu za desetak godina. Inače, okovi ne povećavaju vrat, kako mnogi misle, već njihova težina spušta ramena. DOLINA MAJMUNA Pri ulasku u Dolinu majmuna dobijate štap, a na pitanje zbog čega, odgovor je jednostavan– za slučaj da vas napadnu. Ovi majmuni žive na planini, a spuštaju se među ljude zbog hrane. Slatki su, ali izdaleka. Savet – ne nosite hranuu rancu! UTOČIŠTE ZA SLONOVE Ako vam ponude da jašete slona – nemojte. Ti slonovi su robovi! Umesto toga, posetite rahabilitacioni centar za slonove, gde uče da budu slobodni. Osimsatisfakcije da kupovinom karte uložite u njihovu bolju budućnost, imate priliku i da ih nahranite. Takođe, ako duže ostajete na severu, možete i da volontirate i da malo bolje upoznate ta predivna bića. Inače, kada slon maše ušima, to znači da je srećan. Ako vam ponude da jašete slona – nemojte. Ti slonovi su robovi! If you are offered the chance to ride an elephant – don’t! Those elephants are slaves!