Chiang Mai, Thailand – February 18-23, 2015
Chiang Mai was a place we were going to hang our hat for a while. Rent an apartment, kick back and take in the Thai culture. That was the plan. But in the end we did very little for the 5 days we were there. We did not go see many of the Wats (even though we walked by many) or the museums or the Karen long neck tribe. We did not eat any Thai food. We did not take a guided tour (which we usually would do if we are somewhere for a short time). All these things were on our list prior to arriving in Chiang Mai, but once there we were all tired, lazy, and just content doing nothing. What we did do is hang out in our two dingy hotel rooms (could not find a hotel with room for the four of us). The weather in Chiang Mai was very hot and dry, and being in a room with only a fan didn’t help with our energy level.
We walked around the moat only because we were looking for a 7-11 that had Slurpees and prepackaged banana cake (the 7-11 banana cake had become one of our Thailand staples). We did hit the night market where we managed to catch some Chinese New Years celebrations and we bartered a good deal on some wooden games, because we had it in our head that we needed them after eating at a restaurant in Phnom Penh that had them on the tables (see our blog on Phnom Pehn about the Odyssey Restaurant). The first vendor we approached about buying the games was charging too much. I wouldn’t pay what she was asking and we walked away. Before getting too far, I turned to hear her muttering something in Thai, she grabbed money out of her pocket threw it into the corner then she started to pray/chant (or maybe just curse me) and she batted at her products (which we had handled and looked at) with something that looked like a feather duster, as if she was batting away flies from open food. I guess she was trying to rid the back luck I brought on her for not purchasing anything. Me, I was just tired of having the guilt laid on so thick, that by not purchasing something we would cause another person bad luck. There was no way in the world I was ever going to return to that booth even if it meant purchasing the games at a higher price. Her attitude is what was causing her the bad luck, she was rude from the start.
We were able to do a few things that may not appear high on the TripAdvisor list, but on our list they turned out to be well worth the time and money. On one afternoon we went to Catmosphere, a cat café. Aurora wrote about it here. And on another day we sat and chatted with monks. Noah wrote about that experience here. I encourage you to take a look at their blogs to read more about those adventures. (They would love to hear from you, so leave a comment for the on their blogs.)