Friday, May 31, 2013


The last day of May.  It was fine and hot today.  The clouds of sunset time were so beautiful.
Since I have had a fever these days, I stayed home and read a book.  It was a diary of a Vietnamese women doctor during the war time.  Translation was made by someone I worked with before.  And my ex-colleague lent it to me.  That was the only reason I read it.
Diary is to write to oneself, so I am not sure if the author is glad that it was published or not.  However through this diary we could know how the situation at war time was.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


It was rainy.
I went to the tea ceremony lesson after a long years, maybe more than a score.   I arrived there around 1:30PM, but there were already three people there.  While I was there I met 6 pupils in total and I could see 4 people's tea-serving manners (お点前 : otemae).  Today we practiced  the way of thick tea procedure called o koicha (お濃茶). Therefore it takes more time.  And when I finished, it was already 5 PM.  It is very hard for me to sit up straight called seiza (正座) for such a long time.  Today's sweet was the shape of hydrangea (紫陽花: ajisai). 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Today I went to hospital and yoga lesson in the morning.  Then I went toYokosuka to attend the journalism lesson.  Before and after that I went to the department store to get a gift for the valued customers.  If you bring the invitation card, you can get the multi-purpose scissors which looked really useful.  If you buy something more than yen 2,000, you will get some kitchen utensils.  I felt lucky.

They say it has set in the rainy season in Kanto area which is about 10 days earlier than last year.  Rainy season is tsuyu (梅雨) in Japanese.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


My best friend from high school will open a new business of renting houses for the aged people in June.  So I went to see the facility before opening this morning.  There were many flowers sent to her to congratulate.  I sent one of them with other friends too.  The most popular flower in this kind of occasion is orchid called "kochoran (胡蝶蘭): Phalaenopsis aphrodite."  It's been a few years since I heard her plan to build apartment for the ages for the first time.  It is a big project and needed much money, so we were so surprised, but she made it.  Thought becomes reality.  We should keep trying to make our dreams come true.
In the afternoon I took my father to the hospital for once a month checkup.  I have CT taken too.

Monday, May 27, 2013


In the morning I went to see a movie titled "kencho omotenashi ka (県庁おもてなし課)" Department of Hospitality of the Prefectural Office.   I used the free ticket which I got at the general meeting for the stockholders last week.
After that I went to kimono shop to select the accompaniment for kimonos I bought in March.
Then I had lunch with my friend from university at a Chinese restaurant.  She will go to Vienna for 5 years next week to accompany with her husband. 
I met another friend in the afternoon.  We ate delicious dessert set.
After coming back to my station, I happened to see my old students.  It's been long time since we met each other last time, maybe nearly 9 or 10 years. 
After coming home and having prepared for dinner, I went to the gymnasium to have exercise.
I am glad to see many people today.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


It was fine today.
There were many events today here and there. 
I participated in the event called "Yokosuka kaido Walk (Yokosuka 海道ウォーク)."  I invited friends to join me by Facebook, but nobody could join unfortunately.  I distributed the leaflet to some friends but they could not join either.  When I asked other friends by saying, "Yokosuka kaido walk," some people could not image kaido (海道) which means seaside road, but thought of kaido (街道) , highway or road.  There are many homonym in Japanese.
The registration time was between 9:00 to 10:30.  I thought there must be many people at 9 AM, so I left home after laundry.  When I got to the starting point, it was nearly 10:30.  At the first check point, there were volunteer guides and I listened to their stories which were informative.  I spent with them nearly 45 minutes there and started late, almost the last.
I visited some shrines on the way.  I arrived at the goal at 14:25 after having walked 16km (10 miles) and felt tired.  At the goal there were some ending programs such as ceremony, songs and dances. 
Today's lessons were "The early bird catches the worm (早起きは三文の徳:hayaoki wa sanmon no toku)" and "First come, first served (早い者勝ち:hayai mono gachi)."  Because the first 2,000 people got the souvenir ticket at the entry desk and got many presents.  Today there were more than 3,700 participants.
But there is another one, "There is luck in the last helping (残り物には福がある:nokori mono niwa fuku ga aru.)" Because I ate Yokosuka gunkan curry (横須賀軍艦カレー) there for yen 300 which was yen 500 earlier.
On my way to the station, I happened to see the festival in Yokosuka.

Today was senshuraku (千秋楽), the last day of grand sumo tournament in TokyoYokozuna Hakuho (横綱白鵬) became a champion again.  This is his 25th victory which is the third rank in history, and the 2nd complete victory straight and his 10th complete victory.
There was Nihon Derby (Japan Derby).  The horse named KIZUNA and rider Yutaka Take (武豊) won.  This was his 5th victory at Nihon Derby which is the most in the history.
Kimiko Date-Krumm (クルム伊達公子) became a champion at the Tennis doubles game of Internationaux de Strasbourg.  She is 42 years old.  It's great, isn't it?

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I went to grocery shopping this morning.  There were many people at the supermarket because they had special offer to give 10 times points as usual.  I may have bought too much for a week.  I bought some Japanese sweets and made powdered green tea (抹茶: maccha) in the afternoon.  I called my tea master and asked their lesson schedule.  I decided to learn tea ceremony again from June.

Friday, May 24, 2013


It was a nice day.
Do you know Morinda?  Have you ever heard the Tahitian Noni Juice?  This company is really great.
There was Morinda's Area Conference 2013 at the Hilton Hotel Tokyo in Shinjuku from 12:30 to 15:30 today.  There were nearly 1,000 participants.  I went there with my mother's friend.  It's been nearly 10 years since we met each other last. 
Do you know A.G.E.?  What's your true age?  A.G.E. means Advanced Glycation End Products.  It is not good for your health and a part of reasons of aging.  Please visit the following site to learn more.
Today I measured my true age by the Tru AGE scanner.  When I measured it for the first time in Hawaii, the result was older than my calendar age. So I was shocked.  But there was the reason at that time.  Today my true age was 12 years younger than the calendar age! 
In the evening I went to the National Art Center, Tokyo in Roppongi because my friend from the 44th Peace Boat cruise sent me an invitation.  On Friday they open until 20:00.  And from 17:00 you can visit for nothing.  I am glad to see beautiful pictures, objet d'art, and photos.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


It was cloudy and rain but fine later.
I went to Tokyo to attend a film company's general meeting of stockholders.  There were about 1000 people there.  It started at 10 AM and finished 11:15 AM or so.  There were many questions from stockholders.  Depends on the company the gratitude is different.  This company gave us two free tickets for their movies in Tokyo area.  There was a stockholder who came all the way from Atami, Shizuoka and which cost 2,000 yen for one way.  So he proposed the idea that after the meeting they could show the preview.  I agreed the idea.  They have about 1000 people, so they can do something more.  But they rejected.

Today's big news was Mr. Yuichiro Miura (三浦雄一郎) climbed at the top of Everest (8848 meters) at the age of 80.  He started climbing there at the age of 70, and next was 75, and this was the third time. And this it the oldest record in the world.  Amazing, isn't it? Congratulations!


It was fine and hot today.
I went to Yoga lesson in the morning nearby gymnasium and journalist lesson in the afternoon in Yokosuka.
I have started both lessons since last week.  The journalist lesson is the first attempt by Kanagawa Shimbun, and on 16th it was appeared on the newspaper.
I read a book written by Mr. and Mrs. Yamakawa today.
After the journalist lesson I went to the bookstore and bought two books, one is by Mrs. Yamakawa, the other is by Mr. Anton P. Chekhov.
It's been a year since the Tokyo Sky Tree was opened though I have not visited there yet. Maybe someday.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


It was fine today.  It is shoman (小満), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季) , the 24 solar terms.  The last one was rikka (立夏) on May 5, and the next one is boshu (芒種) on June 6.  Shoman literally means small full, it means weather becomes fine and everything grows and starts having fruits and they become full on earth.
I went to trial lesson of aerobics in the morning.  It was rather hard than I thought.

Monday, May 20, 2013


It's been raining and rather cool today.  I stayed at home and did not go out at all.
It's been almost a year since the Tokyo Sky Tree was opened. They say today they welcomed 6,340,000th visitor before one year anniversary came.  Unfortunately I have not been there yet because the entrance fee is rather expensive.  I hope to visit there someday when it is fine.


It was fine but rained heavily at night.
I went to grocery shopping in the morning with my father.  I happened to find a vegetable named goya (ゴーヤ) , bitter melon at the entrance and decided to buy one.  For dinner I cooked chunpuru.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


It was fine.
I went to Shinjuku to attend meetings with my friend from primary school.  We have known each other for a very long time, but we seldom met after our graduation from junior high school.  So there were many things I do not know about her.
We attended 3 different meetings and learned many things.
We ate lunch at the cafe of the building at lunch time and had cake after the meeting. 

Friday, May 17, 2013


It was fine.
I went to Shinagawa to have a meeting in the morning.
Then I went to Yokohama to see my high school best friend's concert at Igirisu kan (イギリス館), the British Residence of Yokohama with my other high school best friend.  There is a rose garden in front of the building and there were so many kinds of beautiful roses blooming there.  It is a part of the Minato no mieru oka koen (港の見える丘公園), Harbor View Park, and you can see the Bay Bridge from there.
The concert lasted for one hour followed by the afternoon tea.  I could see my teacher from high school and other friends.
Then I went to eat dinner with my friend at a Chinese restaurant.  I happened to see other friends there.
It was a nice day.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


It was fine and warm in the day time, but it started raining in the evening.
I took Father to the barbershop, and while he was there, I went shopping for his clothing because I got special discount postcard for a member.  Shopping is fun even if it is not mine.  At the supermarket I found many mangos but was surprised to see their prices. Very expensive compared to those in Thailand and Cambodia.  I miss there.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


It was fine and warm today.
In the morning I attended the trial YOGA lesson at the nearby gymnasium.  It lasted for one hour and there were about 17 participants.  I feel like taking this class as long as my schedule permits.
In the afternoon I attended the first meeting of the training of becoming a writer of the newspaper for 2 hours.  There were also about 17 participants aged from 23 to 65.  It is a free lesson course about 3 months by Kanagawa shimbun (神奈川新聞). I hope to complete the lessons and be able to write the better books.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I stayed home all day long but there were two guests and they said it was hot outside.
In some places it went up to over 30 degrees centigrade which is called mid summer day though it is still May.  In Okinawa the rainy season has set in.
It's been a week since I came home, but I have not finished making albums.  I took too many pictures to choose.
At night I cooked the dish which was introduced in today's newspaper.  Trying new thing is fun.


I went to buy a pair of shoes this afternoon to attend the small ball exercise tonight.  Since I have never experienced the small ball exercise, I did not know what kind of shoes I should wear, and I chose the light special one at first.  At the cashier, they asked me if I am a member.  If not, if I register now, I get yen 300 discount and in the birthday month, I get 20% off, so I registered and got 20% off.   So I chose the better one instead.  Birthday is very good, isn't it?
For dinner I made rice with green peas(mame gohan: 豆ごはん) because the other day my best friend gave me some green peas from her mother's garden.  I like rice with green peas very much.
At night I went to the gymnasium to attend the small ball exercise.  There were about 30 people.  It lasted for one hour and I enjoyed it.  After the lesson I went to the instructor to say thank you, and she introduced me her other lessons.  So I may attend her other lessons.
I felt "If you move, you will find something."


Second Sunday of May is Mother's Day, which is haha no hi (母の日) in Japanese.  It's been 11 years since my mother passed away, so I did not do anything special.
I checked the pictures which I took during my trip.  I was going to save them at Internet albums, but there were so many pictures and the capacity is limited, I have to choose.....
I watched the programs recorded during my trip.


It rained.
I went to Shinjuku to attend a meeting then went to Nakano to see Flamenco show with my high school best friend. 
First we went to eat dinner at the sushi restaurant.
Then we walked to the venue.  I was invited by her who was given two tickets from somebody in the show.  It was yen 4,500 sheet ticket but we could sit anywhere we like.  We sat at the right side of the third row from the front. 
It started at 6 PM and ended around 9 PM with 15 minutes break in between.
It's been a long time since I saw Flamenco last.  There were many dancers.  Their costumes were very colorful and beautiful.
I remembered the days I was in Seville, Spain and felt like going back there.


It was cloudy and slightly rained.  But they say it became the first summer day exceeding 30 degrees centigrade here and there.
Since today is my mother's 11th death anniversary, Father and I visited her grave yard.
After that I went to the post office to send something.  There I happened to find the beautiful commemorative stamps.  Whenever I find these, I tend to buy them.  And I bought three different sheet.
These days I do not write letters so often, but in the year-end I send many season's greetings to friends abroad, therefore I like to use these beautiful stamps for postage.
Then we went grocery shopping and I cooked dinner after a long time. 


I stayed home all day long.  I received three packages which arrived during my trip.  One of them was the box I sent from the airport when I came back from Hawaii, the other was pictures and CD of my kimono model taken on March 30.  I checked the mails which I asked the post office to keep during my trip.  They can hold only for a month.
I found an interesting event in the advertisement of today's newspaper and applied for it.  It is a kind of training to be a writer for the newspaper and starts from next Wednesday.
In the evening I saw the beautiful sunset.  The sun was so big and orange.


Happy Birthday to Me!
It's been a year since I published my first essay "Florida Report."  How fast time flies!
It was fine today, and Mt. Fuji was so beautiful which makes me very happy from the beginning of the new year.
I went to the shrine first, massage second, beauty salon third, bookstore fourth, sushi restaurant fifth, meeting sixth, and finally ate cake at the Yokohama Sheraton.  I did my favorite things and met many people. 
I got some birthday cards, a present from UK, many email messages and face book messages and I could chat and SKYPED with my special people.
I am very glad to have such nice friends around the world.  Thank you very much everyone for being my friends.
There are many things I want to accomplish this year. Wish me luck!


My friend cooked "Early Birthday Breakfast."  How nice to have such a nice friend!
I went to see other  Hong Kong friends and ate lunch together.  It's been a year and a half since I met them and had Yum Cha (飲茶), Dim Sum last.  I like eating with local people because they know the best things.
After coming back to my friend's place, I could see her again and she prepared birthday presents for me.
Time was limited but I enjoyed my time in Hong Kong very much.
I came back to Japan after a month travel.


I got up early and walked around the Victoria Park where was close to my hotel.  There were many people practicing T'ai chi ch'uan (taikyokuken: 太極拳).
I check out the hotel and went to the Times Square to see my friend from Expo 2005.  I am glad to see her again after 5 years and a half.  Last time when I met her was in Venezuela in September 2007.  We went to her place and met two Japanese and we went to Macao together.
It's been so long since I came to Macao last.  We visited the UNESCO's World Heritage sites, enjoyed eating local foods, and watching the water show "The House of Dancing Water" at City of Dreams.
Good thing in Macao was we can use HK dollars and we do not have to exchange.
I ate crabs for both lunch and dinner today.


It rained heavily again in the morning. 
After it stopped raining, I went shopping to ISETAN which is a Japanese department store.  I bought a curving knife because I liked the fruits curving and soap curving.  Then I bought two books about the curving at KINOKUNIYA which is also a Japanese bookstore.   I enjoyed eating Thai suki, which is similar to Japanese shabu shabu at MK.
There are many Japanese things in Bangkok so I believe Japanese people can easily survive in this country.
I left Bangkok to Hong Kong in the evening and arrived at the hotel in the midnight.


I went to two museums in Phnom Penh.  One is Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the other was the National Museum which was very close to my hotel.  Tuol Sleng used to be a high school.  Classrooms were divided into many cells.  They say about 20,000 people were put into there during April 1975 to January 1979.  There were many pictures of the faces stayed there and of the torturing.  How sad history they have!
The pictures gave me gooseflesh.  There were two survivors selling their autobiography there.
After eating lunch I checked out the hotel and headed for the airport.  I came back to Bangkok in the evening. 


I left Siem Reap in the morning for Phnom Penh by bus.  We stopped at one place for lunch break. So in total it took about 6 hours and a half.  The man next to me was an Australian.  He said he has retired at the age of 48.  Don't you think it is too early to retire?  I asked why.  He said his father passed away 2 weeks after the retirement and could not enjoy his retired life, so he decided to enjoy his life.
There was miscommunication and there was nobody from the hotel to pick me up at the bus terminal, therefore I took Tuk Tuk.  When I checked in the hotel, they had blackout.  The room was rather small than I expected from the Internet picture. 
I walked and walked around the city.  There was a lake on the map so I tried to find it, but it seems it was gone.  Maybe it will appear in the rainy season.  Strange, isn't it?


Today I took a one day tour to see waterfalls with two Japanese tourists whom I met yesterday.  It was a very nice tour.  There is a saying "tabi wa michizure yo ha nasake (旅は道連れ世は情け)”  meaning  ”In traveling, companionship; in life, kindness.” We enjoyed the companionship.
After coming back we got together again in the evening and ate dinner.  The more, the merrier.  After that I enjoyed shopping at the night market.  And after coming back to the guesthouse, I had massage for 1 hour.


A new month has started.  May is gogatsu (五月) in Japanese, its old name is satsuki (皐月).  I like May very much because of my birthday month and the mild climate.
I am now in Cambodia.  I happened to see the Japanese TV news and knew Ms. Kana Satomi (里美香奈) 21 years old became a queen of shogi (将棋), Japanese chess.  She got 5 queen titles and that is the first thing in its history.  Congratulations!
Today I have visited about 8 remains.  At the first place a woman approached me and started explaining  something.  Usually I refuse them, but she told me many things and I followed her.  She charged $3. But it was worth listening.
I have met some Japanese and I will go out to see the waterfalls tomorrow with two of them.
At night I went to see Subaek, shadow play.  When it was over, there was the sign of ending in Japanese and I felt there must be many Japanese come to see this entertainment.


The last day of April.  What did you do this month?
First week I was in Japan, but after that I have been traveling to Hawaii and Asian Countries.
Fortunately I could see Japanese TV programs sometimes though not always.  They say it is rather cold in Japan these days, but here in Cambodia it is very hot.  It is the hottest season here.  Since now is the time of Golden Week I saw many Japanese traveling here.

This morning I got up early to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat.  It was so beautiful.  There were so many people from so many countries.  Angkor Wat opens very early so that after the sunrise I could see inside.
I walked and walked today nearly 30,000 steps to see so many remains around there.  They are great.


I flew from Bangkok to Siem Reap in the morning.  The man next to me was a Japanese.  He came with his colleagues.  They said they have come to Thailand for holidays for more than 20 times.
At the Siem Reap Airport I applied for the arrival VISA which cost $20 and needed a picture. 
From the guesthouse someone came to pick me up, but I was so surprised to see him because he came by motorbike though I have a suitcase.  He managed having it in front and we arrived at the guesthouse safe and sound.  I made this guesthouse's reservation by the recommendation of my friend who happened to stay there last year.  I think kuchikomi (口コミ), word-of-mouth is very important. 
In the evening I went to see the sunset at Phnom Bekheng and happened to see two Japanese girls. Since it is Golden Week in Japan, there are many Japanese people here and there.
At night I went to Apsara Dancing Show and Buffet for $9.  Good thing in Cambodia is you can use US dollars.


It rained heavily in the morning.  I felt glad that I did not go to the Erawan Waterfalls.  It must be hard to walk in the rain.
I booked the hotel in Phnom Penh and Hong Kong through Internet site and felt relieved.  I hope they are the good one.

Monday, May 13, 2013


I arrived at Bangkok nearly 2 hours later than schedule.  At the station I checked for the tour to the Erawan Waterfalls but there was nothing I could attend, and I gave up going this time.  If I could see everything this time, I may not come here again, but if there is something left, I feel like coming again.  So I think it must be a good thing to leave something to do.
I had an appointment for fruits curving class at 10:30, but was late for a while.  In the morning I enjoyed fruits curving, and in the afternoon I enjoyed soap curving, though fruits were not fruits but carrot.
At night I went to see Siam Niramit, the must-see show in Bangkok.


I went to HIS to pay for the soap curving lesson in Bangkok and arrange the airline tickets to Cambodia.  In Thailand if you use the credit card, they charge the commission for about 3%.  So to have cash is better there. 
After that I walked around the old city of Chiang Mai finally.  There were so many temples, so I do not remember which is which.  I walked a lot, more than 24000 steps.
After checking out the hotel, I went to the station and met the couple who arranged my tours in Chiang Mai.  It's nice to see somebody I know.
I took a night train again to go back to Bangkok.  This time there was no place in the air conditioning car, so it was so hot and humid. 


I went to Sukhothai by bus by myself because there were nobody attended the tour and there was no tour on that day.  If I insist of going there by the tour, I need to pay double.  Furthermore the Japanese tours were very expensive.  I am glad to go there by myself because it was far much cheaper and I could see everything I wanted to see, though it took about 5 hours one way.
Sukhothai Historical Park is one of the UNESCO's World Heritage sites.  There were many similar remains here and there.  I really liked the Wat Sophan Hin which is on the hill and the landscape is very nice.
Today I needed to exchange money again.  When I went to India, they did not accept US$100 bill at the airport, but here they did not accept less than US$100.


I attended one day tour to northern part of Thailand.  There were more than 10 participants from the USA, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, Oman and Japan.  There was another Japanese besides me.
We have visited many places such as Hot Spring in Chiang Rai, Wat Rong Khun (White Temple), Long Neck Village, Mae Sai, The Northern Most of Thailand, The border of Myanmar and Thailand, Golden Triangle (Donesao Island), and Wat Chedi Luang.  It started around 7 AM and ended 9 PM. 
Last time I also missed seeing the Long Neck Village, therefore I am glad to visit there.


I attended one day tour to the Doi Inthanon National Park.  There were 8 participants from the USA, China, Oman, and me.  We visited the  many places, but I enjoyed two waterfalls the most.  One is Sirithan Waterfall, the other is Wachirathan Waterfall.  The gardens at the Naphamethanidon and Naphapholphanisiri were also beautiful.
After coming back, I visited HIS again and ate dinner at the night market.


I arrived at Chiang Mai later than the schedule.  In Japan trains come on time but in Thailand they usually delay they say.  At the information I asked many tours and decided to book.  There they did not accept credit cards, I needed to exchange.  The person in charge was very kind and took me to the hotel via exchange.  After checking in the hotel and walking around the town, I noticed there were so many travel companies, and that the HIS tours were rather expensive because they were held in Japanese.  If you understand English, I recommend you to take local tours which are less expensive.
In the afternoon my first tour started.  His wife was a driver and a guide.  She took me to the craft village, Doi Suthep, and theTiger Kingdom.  I enjoyed the Tiger Kingdom very much taking photos with tigers.


I took a half day tour to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.  About 10 years ago when I came to Thailand for the first time, I did not have enough time and I missed visiting there.  It was a tour for 8 Japanese people.
Before going there we stopped at the Coconut firm.  There I knew how coconuts milk was made.
At the floating market, I enjoyed eating fresh fruits including durian which is a king of fruits and smells very bad.  But it was not so bad, rather delicious.  So I thought kuwazugirai (食わず嫌い) is not good.  Kuwazugirai means dislike without eating.  First we should try.  If you don't like, you don't need to eat more, but at least you'd better try once.
I bought Thai suits and sandal which I wanted to buy.
In the evening I headed for Chiang Mai by a night train.


I walked around the town in the morning.
In the afternoon I took a river cruise along the Mangrove forest.  I landed at a small island and explored the cave.  I was surprised to know that there were many Japanese soldiers living there during World War II.
After that I tried the Thai massage for the first time.  It cost 450 bahts for two hours for both foot massage and Thai massage.  Compared to Japanese massage it is very cheap.  Since I climbed up 1273 steps the day before, my calves were so hurt that massager could not do what she wanted to do I think.


I attended the Full Day 3 in 1 which was very nice.  I really liked the Blue pool and Hot Spring Waterfall.  If you have a chance to visit Krabi, I want to recommend this tour.
In the afternoon I went to Tiger Cave Temple.  To see this you have to 1273 steps.  I wonder why and how they built this temple on the such a high place.
After coming back to the hotel, I really enjoyed the night market for shopping and eating sea foods.


I started the day very early to go to Krabi where is the beach resort.  This is 2-3 day tour.  It took 1 hour and 20 minutes to get there.  In the afternoon I joined the 4 islands hopping tour.  This was to enjoy snorkeling.  However I was still kind of sick and did not bring bathing suits.  I came back to the hotel late at night.  So it was a long day.


I went to HIS to book the tours in Chiang Mai.  However there were nobody to participate.  In that case I have to pay double, I decided not to book the tours but bought the train tickets and booked the hotel for next week.  I also booked the fruits curving lesson and a show after coming back from Chiang Mai.
After that I went to the bus terminal to check the schedule for going to Cambodia.  There are only day services and it takes about 10 hours so I gave up going there by bus.