Chiang Mai is the second city in Thailand and it’s not as busy as Bangkok but I wanted to go somewhere more chilled out. Chiang Rai is the most northern city and close to the Myanmar border and I went for a few days to see what it is like.
From Chiang Mai bus station it is about a 3 or 4 hour drive and costs ฿160 (about £3). I got into Chiang Rai late and checked into the Happynest Inspiring Hostel. People think of hostels to be scruffy and full of smelly hippies but there’s a lot of nice hostels in Asia. Thailand is infested with hippy types but this was an exception. Nice people and good breakfast is all you need.
Chiang Rai is quiet and there’s not much to do. I got up early and walked around the city. I didn’t have a plan to go and see tourist places, just see the city.
I had some Doi Chaang coffee, found some good street food BBQ and a weekend market. Nothing out of the ordinary for Thailand but the meat market was an experience. Meat markets are everywhere in Thailand with piles of guts all over the place. Walking through the market past the piles of lungs and other random body parts the air had a putrid stench. I could taste the air with each breath. How people can stand there all day selling the meat is beyond me. It me feel sick so I took a quick photo and power walked through.
I didn’t get many photos of Chiang Rai as I didn’t do much. It was good to just chill and not do anything. Later on in the evening, I headed out to the night bazar which lead onto a few beers and met up with some people.
After a few beers later that night I was stuck in the rain ages away from my hostel. Instead, I found a budget hotel and it turned out the owner was from my home town and let me stay the night for free. You can go half way across the world, in some random town and things like that happen. I woke up early and left money then got myself a ham and cheese toasty on the way home.
Later on in the day it was time to go back to Chiang Mai. Due to weather, the bus ride ended up taking 5 hours and when you don’t feel good it feels way longer. It was a relief to be back home but also a good weekend.