Half a day in Chiang Mai........and back to Bangkok.

Chiang Mai Travel Blog

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Chiang Mai: Soup for breakfast.

I have a flight back to Bangkok that leaves at 1 PM so I have plenty of time to see a little more of Chiang Mai.   I go in search of a breakfast towards the night market part of town. I find a place that is serving pork ball soup and that sounds good so I get some of that.  It is a basic restaurant with the serving area out by the street and a sitting area inside the building.  Their menu only has a few selections in English but there are lots more things to chose from in Thai. The soup is good and they serve a little rice along with it.

I head back toward the guest house and find a place to work on a little e-mail.

Chiang Mai: A Budda at a temple.
  Chiang Mai has some pretty cheap internet access. Less than a Baht per minute.  I get back to my Guest House and make sure that I am packed up to head out to the airport then I head out to explore south of my guest house where I haven't been yet.  It is residential neighborhoods and a few stores here and there and the streets are not in a grid pattern.  I hit a main road that heads back toward the walled city so I take that.  There is an old temple that has a Buddha that is badly in need of repair.  I go over to check that out.  They also have an old stone chedi and the main temple area where they have a tarp slung up over a framework where they have their worshiping area. There is a monk in there now performing some ceremonies.  It is pretty rough but they are still making it work.
Chiang Mai: The temple of an old Wat.
  I continue up working my way back into the old city and then back to my guest house.  A good bit of exploring.  On the way back I had grabbed a couple of sausages on the street.  Not sure what was in these. They tasted a bit fishy and I think they had celophane noodles in them.  Not my favorite kind for sure. 

It was time to head to the airport to go back to Bangkok.  The guest house gave me a transfer to the airport in one of their trucks (all part of reservations I made at the Bangkok travel agent).  The airport is close to town and it was only a 10 or 15 minute drive.  I was flying Asia Air.  Asia Air is a super discount airline and I was using it because it was cheap and because it flies into Suvarnubhumi airport which is closer to my hotel than Don Muang airport.

Chiang Mai: The chedi of the rundown Wat.
  At check-in they told me my bags were overweight.  I think they said they only allow 18 kilograms of baggage and I was at 22 kilograms.  I thought I would try to shed some of the weight into my carry on bag but sinse I am an ignorant American who only know pounds I wasn't quite able to comprehend.  Anyway I guess I did save myself a little money in overweight charges.  I ended up paying about $12 in overweight.  They make you go over to their ticket counter on the other side of the building to pay it then they will give you your boarding pass back at the check-in counter.  A little bit of a hassle.  (remember for next time)  By the time I got up to the waiting area at the gate they had already announced and hour delay on my flight.
Chiang Mai: An apartment house.
  So I had a little time to people watch.  Out in another section of the airport a Thailand Air Force jet liner comes in and there is a great ceremony with a red carpet for someone.  I didn't watch to see what was going on by the window because the air conditioner was running over there and it was very cold (I was even in my long pants for city attire).  Our plane lands and approaches the gate and everyone bolts over to get in line to get on. This is standard practice for Air Asia because they don't have reserved seating.  It is grab a seat as you get on.  I knew this so I got in line pretty quickly.  I got my window seat just forward of the wing and nobody sat in the seat right next to me.  But we are in for another wait.  We find out that the Air Force plane is carrying part of the Thai royal family on it so we have to wait for that plane to leave before we can leave.  We wait for another half hour and then are able to leave after a total of almost 2 hours of delay.

The flight tp Bangkok is only just a little over an hour.  They serve drinks to those that want to pay for them and then we land at Suvarnabhumi airport.  I make the long walk to the baggage claim and find out which of the many carousels my bag is on, get my bag and then go down to the Airport Express bus area.  I took it when I first arrived in Bangkok and it worked great so I go for it again.  It is only 150 baht ($5) for the bus ride. Once again it is not crowded and there are only about 5 other passengers on board.  I talk to a couple of them.  One is a guy from Canada who just got back from Chiang Rai and he said he hopped over the border to Laos to check that out.  Another is a woman from the United Arab Emirates who grew up in Australia and has a place in Bangkok where she has a place to stay with friends.  The bus enters the busy stop and go city traffic on Sukhumvit and the streets drag by. I am going to Soi 3 and it starts on Soi 73.  It does give a chance to see this part of the city.  There are some nice shops occasionally and I see a big food court at one place. 

It has gotten dark and I was hoping to get in before dark but all the flight delays changed that.  We get to my stop and I have to get off 3 blocks before at a pedestrian bridge over the traffic because my hotel is on the other side of the street.  I grab my big bag, sling it over my shoulders and hop out onto the busy sidewalk.  There are night market stalls on the sidewalk that are narrow and with my big bag it makes it tough to push through.  When there is a gap I jump at it.  I make it the 3 blocks to my hotel and check in.  I am glad I came by last week to check out the hotel. It made it easier to find in the dark.  The bellhop brings me up to my room  I am on the top floor which is the 7th floor and there are only about 6 rooms per floor so this hotel is small.  But my room is quite nice.  I think they just renovated it but it doesn't have that freshly renovated feel.  It has an old world charm with wooden paneling on the walls and nice furniture.  The far wall is a window overlooking the busy (and loud) street below. 

I am hungry so I dump my bags and go check out what I can find on the streets.  I walk down Nana Nua (Soi 3) and find a couple of guys selling middle eastern style schwarmas which are a lot like (gyros). The neighborhood seems to have a lot of middle eastern feel with Lebanese restaurants and middle eastern looking people on the streets.  The schwarma was a good change of pace from all the Thai food I have been eating.  I hope the guy only sells them at night because the cookers that cook the meat on the rotating spit are really warm.  It has cooled down a little after the sun set and standing next to the meat cooker it is hot.  After my schwarma I walk around a little more past some of the nicer Lebanese restaurants and then see a street vendor selling chicken hearts on a stick.  Sounds good so I get a stick for 10 baht.  The guy selling them is very surprised to have a Farang buying them and he watches me eat them with a satisfied look on my face.

I explore a little more of the area heading down Sukhumvit.  I see a side street with a little night life to it so I go check that out.  It is the red light district and there are several bars with Go Go dancer bars.  There are people on the streets or at the doors of the bars enticing you to come in.  You can look through the open doors and see the girls dancing on the bars.  There are also some restaurants that are fairly nice looking and almost family oriented.  But who would want to bring their kids and family to a restaurant across from a Go Go bar.  The steet dead ends and I turn around and head back down it.  The same people entice me to go in to the bars to no avail.  It has been another long day and it is time to go to bed.  I stop off at the friendly neighborhood 7-11 to grab a few snacks and drinks and call it a day.

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Chiang Mai:  Soup for breakfast.
Chiang Mai: Soup for breakfast.
Chiang Mai:  A Budda at a temple.
Chiang Mai: A Budda at a temple.
Chiang Mai:  The temple of an old …
Chiang Mai: The temple of an old…
Chiang Mai:  The chedi of the rund…
Chiang Mai: The chedi of the run…
Chiang Mai:  An apartment house.
Chiang Mai: An apartment house.
Chiang Mai
photo by: Stevie_Wes