With our Cambodia
tour finished we went to the airport after breakfast to start Thailand. Once
we gave them the tickets though we realised a flaw in our itinerary – we were
not booked to leave and start Thailand
until tomorrow. Before we knew it though we were on the plane to Bangkok. Rather than stay
in Bangkok the night, Jodie wanted to continue on to Chiang Mai, and we were
able to change to a flight today, but we had to wait five hours for it.
Starving to death in the airport we were tempted to buy duty free chocolate –
but at 400 Baht ($20) we managed to restrain ourselves.
In Chiang Mai we looked for a cheap hotel near the Chiang Mai
Plaza (where we are
booked for tomorrow with Intrepid), the Plaza being too ritzy for us. We picked
the Souvenir Guest House. Since tomorrow was put aside for arriving, we have
all day in Chiang Mai, so we signed up for a day-long Thai cooking class, which
is highly recommended in Chiang Mai.
For dinner we went to the famous Night Market, where we
immediately blew the budget for the next few days on presents. While looking
for somewhere to eat the sky collapsed, swamping us with monsoonal rain. We
were saturated, and the streets completely filled up with water (nearly up to
the waist of some of the little kids playing in it in some places). It died
down after half an hour and we really started shopping.
Everyone looks more affluent than in Cambodia, with
no beggars and the shopkeepers less desperate for your custom. People were
better dressed and the roads are full of cars rather than endless bikes.