personal notes on a nomadic style round the world trip.
Oh my, Chiang Mai ….chill time in the north.
Warning: This is a food heavy post..but there are lots of pictures..enjoy.
So Chiang Mai, Thailand Part 2. People rave about Chiang Mai and we soon found out why, it’s great! It’s a great spot for backpackers because it’s super cheap and for anyone else who has a bottomless budget there are plenty of pricey places and experiences for people to do. We however we just chilled out here, ate cheap food went to markets, caught up on blog posts, read books, did laundry (it was almost prohibitively expensive for us to get laundry done in Myanmar so we had to handwash what we needed as we needed it) and most importantly attempted to catch up on sleep.
Ok we had to do something right? We were in Chiang Mai for a week! So of the many things to do here we opted for the cheapest option of a Leather making workshop!
Suranat who taught the class filmed us- if you want to see us look “engrossed” in our work and not at all slightly uncomfortable about being filmed click here.
And of course you cannot go to Thailand and not do a cookery class! We opted for Siam Rice Cookery School, basically because they had tons of courses and a market visit.
So what other than classes can you do in Chiang Mai? Well if you have the cash- ziplines (as was in the news recently), elephant rides, or days with elephants not riding, segway tours, there is a tiger park also up the road in Mae Rim- not heard the best things about that one, then there are more spas and massage places than the whole of the British Isles! Most of these things however we thought were a bit expensive for this trip so we just went mad with all the markets, markets and more markets! However we also did some other bits including exploring the city, Night Bazaar and trying to sort out a bike to Pai- more on that later. Also during our time in Chiang Mai we discovered iced coffee. Neither of us had seen the point of them when we were in the UK and it was purely by chance we had one here when Gav ordered a cappuccino and forgot to ask for it hot. They are so good in hot weather! I prefer an iced mocha myself!
The food ones we frequented daily but if you are there at the weekend the streets come alive with the walking street markets on both Saturday and Sunday! Sunday was the biggest one but these are snaps from both (mostly Sunday though).
In general we loved Chiang Mai! Its so easy to live cheaply here!
So after a very, very lazy (almost a) week here, reading books (Gav), catching up on Myanmar blogs (me) and generally eating and wandering around it was time to leave and head to Pai.
Pai (coming soon)
Monastery (coming soon)
So after two weeks away in Pai and the monastery, with the rainy season starting to make its presence known we returned to Chiang Mai for 5 days.
We were still recovering from the monastery so again did very little, returning to Kikie’s House Guesthouse again.
One day we did attempt to go on a temple tour, the temples here are amazing but when you have overdosed on temples in Myanmar it’s quite hard to trawl round them with the same enthusiasm as someone with fresh eyes. Below are some of the ones we saw. You’ll see some similarities with the temples at Bagan for one of them as the area was part of Myanmar for a sizable chunk of its history and the remains of Bagan-like temples are dotted throughout the city.
We spent quite a bit of time in the 7-Eleven trying stuff/or retrying stuff:
After much deliberation we decided we needed a second e-book reader. I attempted to get one through the Chiang Mai buy, sell etc. page but got no response so we located a shop in a nearby shopping centre Central Festival. It was about a 5km walk- not so far really, so we headed off. About 1.5 km in we hit a heavy rain shower, taking cover outside a china shop. The rain didn’t let up so we decided to go inside and located at the back was in fact a nice tea shop (but a bit pricy), we had found Raming Tea House.
Eventually with the rain easing we headed off, grabbed a green songthaew most of the way and bearing the deluge for the remaining 500 m but we had arrived! Central Festival is basically like any other shopping centre anywhere, it has almost all the shops in Liverpool One plus local ones. Unfortunately our hunt for an Ebook reader ended in failure when they wanted 8000B ($233/£150) for a Kindle Paperwhite, no Nook or Sony in sight. A ridiculous price when the shop next door is selling iPads just over that price! We did however manage to get a small tablet, an Acer one which was about half the price you get it for at home and well less than half the price of the kindle!
Other than that we also got food here..
During one particularly wet day I got a massage at the Women’s ex-prisoner Massage parlor 1. I had tried to get one at the prison but they were all booked up! It was a phenomenal massage (I fell asleep) and I’d highly recommend going there. Bit weird that they are positively stigmatized as ex-prisoners though and they are really busy in comparison to the other 3 massage places on that particular street
So that was Chiang Mai, all in all we spent 11 days here and I was quite sad to leave it. Life is very easy there, the food is good and cheap and provided you don’t go nuts in the markets (which is easy to do) it is a great stopping point to recover your budget (even with buying electronics) without feeling like you are missing out.