Farewell Chiang Mai, Hello again, Bangkok

Chiang Mai Travel Blog

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We're up late-ish this morning, as we haven't planned a great deal, being our last day here.
Leanne went off for a full body scrub and massage, and was gone for 2 hours while Kiara and I showered, dressed and reorganised and packed our suitcases. Leanne came back all relaxed and happy. While she was away I'd texted my ex-husband who now lives in Thailand with his new Thai wife, and who our son was staying with for the last 2 weeks, to elicit his help in booking a hotel in Bangkok for us all to meet up at when we arrived back there.
While we're doing this there is a great lot of noise emanating from the street, and when we pop out onto the balcony to check it out, we find a huge truck in our Soi, siphoning out the gutters. High pressure water is hosed under the 12inch concrete squares that cover the gutters (I guess so their kids don't fall in or play there...),then when it flows back it's sucked out by a 10inch round pipe, and into the huge tanker truck. Sometimes the high presssue water finds an outlet and comes shooting up between or through the concrete squares like a geyser, amid much yelling and gesticulating from the workers....obviusly that's not meant to happen. How the heck the truck ever got down the lane is beyond me, as even taxi's have problems, but the truck drove back out again around the tight corners, too!. Explains why the streets and open gutters really don't stink - as I'd been told, and perhaps guessed, they might.

After Leanne came back from her massage we went out to find a restaurant we'd heard about, and been past, called Palm Gardens - famous for its Pork Knuckles, something Leanne was keen to try....
We decided to walk as we knew it wasn't far, and hadn't walked much on our trip to and from Chiang Rei the day before. Well, we walked and walked, taking short cuts down back streets, and still couldn't find it. Our sugar levels were beginning to get dangerously low, and we were at risk of getting grumpy with each other, so we asked a tuk-tuk driver where it was. HE couldn't tell us. Sheesh....are these guys local or not? Then I noticed a tourist information booth with a tuk-tuk parked outside, so thought I'd ask them. Well, the tuk-tuk driver was asleep on a couch in the information booth, but got up and SHE (first female tuk-tuk driver we'd seen) told me it was just 5 minutes down the street. We weren't convinced as Leanne was sure it was on more of a main street, but we walked in the direction she had pointed us in anyway, prepared to ask another tuk-tuk driver if need be, and guess what?? We found it in less than 5 minutes walk?!?! Damn, but it was closed until 4.00pm!!

Now what?! Our tastebuds were all prepared for this delicacy, and we stood on a corner in total indecision, procrastinatig as to where to go, being accosted by every tuk-tuk and taxi driver going past. In the end, we decided to go back to the little cafe at the end of our street. We crossed the moat and feeling utterly weak by now, we caught a tuk-tuk back, and sat down to a lovely Pad Thai and a much needed coffee breakfast.
We then wandered around the little market across the road, looking for last minute gifts and bargains that we felt we might not have seen previously on our brief soirees through when we were tired. We each bought a few little things and headed back to our room to get our laundry and finish packing.
On our way back from breakfast, I ran into the guy, Neil, who had recommended the MiniCost Guesthouse to me, at Southbank in Brisbane back in May. He was over here on another buying trip, so we had a lovely chat and I thanked him for his advice, promising to catch up at Southbank next time I'm in Brisbane.

Leanne and some staff brought all our baggage down from the room, and within minutes our friend and taxi driver, Kosin, had arrived - with all his family in tow. On the way to the airport we picked up his daughter, Ohmee's mother, as well, and motored on out to the airport. Kosin and family bid us an emotional and noisy farewell and were gone. It was liking having family there. We found it very sad leaving Chiang Mai, and promised all we would return. I know I will!
We caught our plane and arrived to find Bangkok far noisier and busier than we could remember. We arrived still not having heard from Trent's father as to what arrangements were made as to our accommodation. On our way to the baggage pickup, we stopped for a wee-break, and lo and behold I get text and voice message after message coming through on my phone - from the morning! None of which, it turnmed out, gave me any information. Just as I'm trying to get my pants up and Kiara on the loo, my phone actually rings and I'm frantically searching the bottom of my bag with one hand to find my phone before it stops ringing. Mission accomplished, we're told where our hotel is, just before my phone runs out of charge! Phew!
We are booked to stay at the Stable Inn, just off Sukhumvit Rd. It is a hotel aimed at the European market, mainly the Dutch and German clientele. There was no shortage of them staying there.
The taxi ride is a long and slow trip, but we get there and are immediately taken out to dinner - at an Italian!! yes, U read correctly, Restaurant next door to our hotel.  Meuw and Rick disappear for some time while we order. Rick to go back to his room for a bottle of Aussie wine, and Meuw to go to bed as she had been drinking quite heavily while waiting for our arrival. Apparently they were being shouted drinks by some Dutch conference attendees - shooters, not standard drinks!
Dinner was pleasant, and we retired to our respective rooms soon after.
Some time during the night I was woken abruptly - Kiara slept - by the loudest thunderclap I've ever heard! At first I wondered if it was a bomb blast, but it continued to rumble and not be machine gun fire, throwing out lightening strikes with every thunderclap, and pouring with tropical rain. I lay awake listening for sometime until sleep overtook me again.
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Chiang Mai
photo by: Stevie_Wes