Chiang Mai

23rd January 2014

I wanted to travel to somewhere more chilled out and quieter than Bangkok; the pollution here at first made me pretty ill. I opted not to go to the usual destinations like Phuket, because although it is probably nice; i’m not fussed with a bunch of white piss heads. They are all over the place in England.

I had a search online and also some people told me in the hostel that Chiang Mai was a nice place to visit. It is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand. Close to Myanmar and Laos, theres supposed to be a crossover of culture between the nations. They apparently have Karen long neck tribes nearby, them people with metal rings round their necks. I’m not sure about visiting that because they probably get mugged off by tour guides but it would be great to see.

Gard Laung Market

Chiang Mai Night Bazar

On arrival to Chiang Mai, it was nice and quiet, somewhere nice and old. Somewhere to adjust to Thailand and not get ill from the pollution. I got in super late so I found food and went to sleep. It was nice and cool in Chiang Mai at night, a nice contrast from the stuffy Bangkok. Going around the city the following day was nice and there are some old places to visit inside the old city walls, but nothing overly impressive.

The night markets in Chiang Mai, or “Night Bazar” as the locals call it are cool as it gets, theres also a number of other markets like the hill-tribe market and flower markets – each of them have their own nice/nasty smells.

After getting electrocuted at an Irish bar where I was trying to get some WiFi I found the night market and had a beer whilst they were setting it all up. It isn’t massive but first impressions were great.

If theres one thing about Thailand, that is they love a good old market. They literally sell everything, I was even tempted to buy a silk flowery shirt just for the laugh. I love haggling the people down to stupid prices, but I guess it just goes to show how much they rip off white people. I got 2 pairs of ‘real’ RayBans down from 3500฿ (about £60) down to 500฿ (about £9) which is alright considering they were decent fakes. I really wanted one of the big cases of bugs but I don’t know how sustainable they are so rather than support killing off some rare bugs, I decided against it. Maybe i’ll find some at the weekend market in Bangkok.

I understand there might be some irony in the image below that the lantern thing looks more Chinese than Thai but I don’t care.

Chiang Mai Night Bazar

Case of Bugs

Doi Suthep

After some dodgy food at some indian place. I lost a day and didn’t really do anything bar drink ice tea. I decided to go to a few places outside of town, to see some of the district of Chiang Mai, firstly was going to Doi Suthep which is a temple on a big ass mountain. The minivan was just a bench in the back of a pickup truck but I got on and it took us tourists up the mountain.

The Approach to Doi Suthep

I knew it would be a busy tourist trap, but Doi Suthep was like standing in the queue at alton towers. I didn’t want to be in the queue, i wanted to be on the rides, so I took a picture of the smoggy Chiang Mai and left for the smaller, less busy mountain hill walks which were nice but not much to talk about.

I have had a nice time in Chiang Mai and although I have not posted much on here about the place, it’s a place I could live in. Chiang Mai is super laid back; when I come back here I want to get a motorbike and drive about places and see more stuff out the way.

After a week in Chiang Mai, I decided to head back to Bangkok on the 10 hour bus journey which was pretty long, I would have opted for the cooler and more picturesque train but with no seats so I didn’t have a choice. The coach was pretty swanky; you even got a meal for some reason.

Apologies for the lack of content. I’ve posted up some pictures and I am trying to write longer posts but i’m new to this sort of thing so it’s a learning curve. I’ll get better the most posts I add I guess.

Overlooking Chiang Mai