Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Singapore, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai

WHAT THE??? Have been a tad too busy the past few weeks. Now in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand and going to take a few days to rest , both mentally and physically. Did NOT go out last night and went for a run early this morning, trying to reset my clock a little. The old city of Chiang Mai is surrounded by and old wall and canal that makes for an 8 km run. It is hot here during the day, but the humidity is low and the mornings, evenings are cool (ie: no A/C running in the hostel dorms, which makes me happy...hate A/C, would rather be hot).

I am here because Indonesia got to effing hot/humid for me. Thought i was doing OK after 3 weeks, but after a month, I was starting to crack up. Was looking online for cheap flights north, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan....settled on northern Thailand and it has been a real treat.


You never know when you will like a big city. Al ot of it depends on what you were doing in the week or so before. After scurrying out of Bali with my tail between my legs, it was a lot of fun to be in a big, modern city. A tad pricey till you find the local food-markets, but English Premier soccer on in every bar, lots of night markets and great food. Not to mention hot showers, sit-down loos and fast internet.

I was in a good hostel (5footway on Pagoda st in Chinatown), hit a few museums, learned the subway system well, made it to the world-class zoo (open-concept, very few fences/cages/pacing) and botanical gardens and generally enjoyed myself.


In order to move around SouthEast Asia, you will end up in big, hot cities. Was pleasantly surprised by Bangkok. I fly home out of there in February and am looking forward to going back. Was in a great hostel (WE Bangkok off Silom Rd). What makes this city for me is the river (Chao Phraya) and all the traffic and cheap ferries on it. There is also a light rail system, so you can get about pretty good. Taxis are dirt cheap but the traffic snarl is deadly. I do a lot of walking.

The hostel has a front porch, right on the street where everyone hangs out for a beer after a day of sight-seeing (Wat Arun, Gold Buddah, Reclining Buddah, KhaoSan Rd). Next thing you know, you are off for some excellent street food or Soi Cowboy ping-pong shows or Thai kick-boxing or the bars on KhaoSan Rd. It is a busy town.

I take a Thai cooking class because the food here is so amazing. It was a lot of fun and the food I made turned out way better than usual. Can't wait to try and duplicate some of the dishes back in Canada.


I was so happy to get to Chiang Mai, as the the temperature in the mornings and evenings is high teens, low 20's. I am so happy. You get up here in northern Thailand and everyone says that you MUST go to Pai, which i do and have a lot of fun. I hook up with a 'croo of Brits (Slim, Aaron, Danielle, Phil) and an Aussie (Claire) who have been a group for a few countries/months.

We party for 2 days and then the rest of the group splits up for a week or so. We consume whatever Pai has to offer. There are hundreds of ex-pats in this town, just chilling out and enjoying the very relaxed vibe in this special place. Even the street-hawkers are chill which is a pleasant break.

CHIANG MAI - Jungle Trek

I have been using Chiang Mai as a base for the last week or so, with a few days spent in Pai and another few on a jungle trek. There is enough stuff to do here (lions, elephants, hill-tribes, long-neck tribes, white-water rafting, ziplining) I did a 3 day jungle trek that included most of this and cost a whopping $60 that covered food, guides, accommodations. The expensive part is the nightlife. Beer costs about $1-$2 and there are mucho bars and live music in this town. Easy to get caught up in all the hoopla.

CHIANG MAI - Christmas

Christmas Eve was a tad rowdy. Noom put on a big BBQ and then we all headed downtown for some bar-hopping and live music. It was a late night out, but dovetailed nicely into Christmas Day afternoon at a local lake.

I got to try Dancing Shrimp (the pic up above, movie below) Up to you to figure out why the dish is called that.

Bruce eats Dancing Shrimp - Chiang Mai


No comments:

Post a Comment