The last few things on our Thai tick list…
By the end of this post, unless it involves elephants (let’s not go there), I’d like to think we’ve seen or done the majority of things that this wonderful country has to offer. This weekend was all about tying up the loose ends and bringing our stay here to an end.
Day 286 – Saturday 4th March 2017
Our ever so punctual bus from Bangkok arrived in Chiang Mai half an hour early this morning, but chucked us out at a petrol station instead of taking us all the way to the actual bus station. Conveniently enough a tuk tuk was on hand to take us the rest of the way, but charged 60฿ per person, so blatantly had some kind of dodgy deal going on with the bus company. Either way, at 07:00 we arrived at our hostel, where we weren’t due to check in until 14:00.
We sat on our own in the lobby for a while as there was no sign of life until just gone 08:00, but then we were allowed to check in early at no additional cost so jumped in bed for a quick power nap before getting our day started.
Strictly speaking we weren’t entitled to breakfast and didn’t want to take liberties, so had a look online and found a bagel house called The Hideout where we had the most amazing brunch ever. Abbie went for the egg, bacon and avocado option while I had the self titled special with Chiang Mai sausage, and to drink we both tried Thai style iced tea.
We weren’t sure where to go after eating but Chiang Mai Old City is conveniently surrounded by a six kilometer moat, so we were almost guaranteed to find something of interest as long as we didn’t venture to the other side of the water.
It was another scorcher and both of us had our shoulders exposed which meant that visiting temples wasn’t an option, so first we visited The Three Kings Monument, a commemoration of the alliance that founded the city:
Following a quick break for drinks we stopped at a place called Lila’s where we each had a ninety minute foot, hand and head massage, which only set us back 300฿ each and was incredible. I now fully understand what all of the fuss is about when it comes to Thai massages!
In the evening we visited an Indian restaurant for dinner, then headed back to our dorm where we were the only two of ten in bed before about 02:00. Our roommates weren’t particularly sociable and all went out in their own little groups so came back at various times, but didn’t make any noise and we’re very respectful of us two who were sleeping. That’s a first isn’t it?
Day 287 – Sunday 5th March 2017
This morning we had to get to the bus station so that we could get out of Chiang Mai tomorrow, and knew that it cost 100฿ to get there in a tuk tuk, so made an absolute genius move and hired a moped for just 150฿, saved ourselves 50฿ on the return trip (and loads of time too), then had a way of getting around for the rest of the day as well.
We done a full lap of the moat that surrounds the city just because we could, then headed for Chaing Mai’s main temple grounds where we visited a few temples including the particularly spectacular Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Ho Tham:
We even had a chance to sit and chat with two of the Buddhist monks who live at the Mahamakut Buddhist University. They taught us loads about their religious and secular duties, motives and daily routines, yet remained completely content with the fact that we identify as agnostic atheists. It was one of the most culturally rewarding experiences I think I’ve ever had.
We decided to return the moped after that, not only because there wasn’t much else that we needed it for, but also because the fuel gauge hadn’t moved yet so we managed to get away with not filling up.
Our last stop of the day was the Sunday Night Market where we wandered the crowded streets checking out local antiques and delicacies for about an hour (and couldn’t have taken the moped anyway):
We found Chiang Mai Saloon, stopped for something to eat, watched Tottenham vs Everton which Abbie was undeniably thrilled about, and still managed to get back to the hostel before everyone else (at around midnight). All in all I’d say we done pretty well – there’s not much that we haven’t done in Thailand and I for one am more than ready to move on now.
Oh we finally decided on where to go next as well! Any guesses?