Chiang Mai Travel Blog› entry 5 of 15 › view all entries
Up early to pack and ready ourselves to fly up to Chang Mai -only booked the night before ... nothing like being impromtu! 5,900 baht for all 3 to travel - equivalent for a qantas 1 hour flight, kalgoorlie - Perth booked the night before = $1200 or 30,000 baht
We need to be left for the airport by 10.40am at the latest. Still the issue of picking up washing that we were too late back for on Wednesday. What time does the Laundry open?? We couldn't remember, but 8am stuck in my mind, so off I go for a morning walk before breakfast to check. The door says 8am - 9.00pm, but is locked. Hmmmm...now what? Ask a fellow standing around, he thinks 10am....Yiikes, that'll be tight timing if it's correct. Back to the hotel, and breakfast is served.......this morning a traditional dish. Thai Rice Soup - a broth of rice, chicken & tofu, to which you could add fried garlic and fresh parsley. The tofu was the most silky and smooth I've ever had......one of the nicest & yummiest dishes we've had had so far.
Head back to laundry at 9.45am, and laundry is open.........oh yes, we open at 9am.....I point to the sign on the door.......'Oh, velly solly..no change yet.' Go to supermarket ATM and get another 5000baht, back to hotel and finish packing and change into clean clothes - lovely. Hotel calls a taxi and we're off to the airport to leave at 12.40pm for just over an hour's flight.
Flight is uneventful and too damned short for a nap, especially as they interrupt your beginnings of nap to give you food....bit like hospitals that wake you to offer you a sleeping pill to help you sleep.
Chang Mai is beautiful, warm and much more laid back and friendly than Bangkok. Climate is not unlike Cairns. We get a taxi to our Guesthouse and settle in. Decorated in colonial style, and very clean and tidy, it is run by an ex member of the Australian Federal Police and his wife, a native Thai - he is also actively involved with the local tourist police, which is good to know!
We are in a Soi near the Tha Phae Gates, and just across the moat from a very interesting area, especially to older Western men with a preference for young Thai girls.
After settling in we decide that we are starving and need some very fresh and healthy food. We think we'll walk to the main street, but can't find anything but tuk-tuk drivers lining the roadway. Oh well, we'll ask them. One fellow is very convincing that he knows just the place we want, and it isn't far. 50baht! 50 baht! Is cheap! We finally convince him that we will only pay 40 baht but only after walking off down the road, with him running after us, 'I, do, I, do'. He takes us to a nice little cafe - probably a relative or friend. We have Thai salads amongst noisy school kids from the school over the road, who are obviously fed after school by the cafe. We decide to walk back to the Guesthouse, after getting the waitress to mark our map as to where we are. With a little direction from the staff on how to get back to our road, we discover that our accommodation is not all that far away, and that the tuk-tuk driver had taken us the looooooong way. We're secretly pleased that we knocked his price down. Although sometimes we feel a little guilty that we haggle when the equivalent price in AUD is so low, and this country is so poor. But, Hey, this guy was worth haggling with!!
We came back to our digs and rested for the rest of the afternoon - it was very warm and humid.
That evening the night Markets were open and we were hungry, so we headed in the general direction, not exactly sure where they were. Through the Tha Phae Gates and over the moat, down Tha Phae Road past a lot of cafes and bars - all with lovely Thai girls sitting with much older Western men......eeeuuuwwwww!! We eventually found the markets, and some food. Surprisingly we found Middle Eastern fare that Kiara wanted to, and DID, eat all of - chickpeas and lentils with rice & yoghurt. There were lots of lovely market stalls, with wonderful things to tempt us. Bought Kiara a lovely pink & blue silk scarf for 200b to put over her nose and mouth when we ride the tuk-tuks, etc...to filter the exhaust pollution, as she seems to have an irritated chest and cough.
We then headed home at about 9.30 - we were tired, and the size of the markets was overwhelming and no, the hardest word, when tired. Down the laneway where our guesthouse is, there are lots of home massages on offer....genuine, above board massages!! And we had thought we might get a foot massage after all the walking we had done, but they had gone to bed by the time we came past.....sigh, damn!! Tomorrow!