23 May 2009

Three Days in Chiang Mai

Day 1 - March of the Temples

Arrive in Chiang Mai after early morning flight from Bangkok. Get situated as soon a possible at our guest house, White House. Confirm that our guest house costs only $10.50 per night. Later discover the level of cleanliness that $10.50 gets you.

After, meander around the city strolling to temple to temple. There are so many temples so close together that it's difficult to keep track of them all. By the time 2 or 3pm we were both pretty tired from the hot Thailand sun. We both went back to our room to take a nice nap.

We then headed off to the night bazaar to look at an endless amount of handicrafts, counterfeit goods, and other junk. Going through the night bazaar is like going through a gauntlet. There are countless "hey hey mister, check this out", "you need this" etc...

After dealing with all that we made our way back to our room to get ready for...




Day 2 - Being a Tourist in a Tourist Trap

We both woke up this morning knowing we had an enjoyable task ahead of us. We had booked a prepackaged day tour with the following itinerary:

- Visit butterfly & orchid farm

Nice seeing all the orchids. We didn't see a single butterfly however. It must not be the season.

- Go trekking through the jungle and see hill tribes including the long neck and big ear hill tribes.

Interesting seeing the long neck tribe members. Although, every tribe we visited seemed a little bit of a show. In fact, one of the tribes we visited, one of their members was putting on their "outfit" right when we pulled up.

- Take a slow ride down the river.

Just like Huck Finn.

- Go whitewater rafting.

Kristen and I were both a bit nervous for this as we have never done it before and in fact, didn't even realize it was on the docket until we got there and was told we were going rafting. It was very fun however, and pretty exciting.

- Visit a waterfall.

Been there done that. Still had fun. It was great way to cool off after a hot day.

- Ride an elephant.

This was at the top of Kristen's to do list and I don't think it disappointed. We ended up riding on a mother elephant. Meanwhile, her baby was walking next to us the whole way. It ended up being interesting watching the baby. He was fairly young, and quite clumsy, so there were a few times that the mother had to run over to pick the baby up and get him moving again. It's a bit touristy but the elephants aren't treated too differently than horses at a race track. So in a way that's just the way it is and another box to check off the list.

To finish the day we got dinner with one of our future MBA classmates who is volunteering out in Chiang Mai. It was good to see a familiar face halfway across the world. So all in all a pretty fun day.


Day 3 - To the Top of the Mountain and a Return to (Somewhat) Normalcy


This post is getting long and just like day three in Chiang Mai it has to be wrapped up. The day was spent negotiating for a ride up to see the Doi Suthep Temple. We ended up sharing a truck with two Argentinians and a Columbia who were all very nice. Doi Suthep was beautiful and a great way to cap off the Chiang Mai trip.

After, we came back down and got some more Khao Soi (tasty noodles) and did some shopping. We then walked back to our hotel and made our way back to Bangkok.

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