After the rather torturous journey of a total of over 30 hours (I know, it was LONG), we finally landed in Chiang Mai. I was exhausted PLUS the heavy rain didn’t make the best first impression. Louise and I finally worked out the over complicated taxi system and we arrived at our hostel (Deejai backpackers). After a short game of cards we headed straight to bed because we were so tired.
DAY ONE (12.01.16)
After the initial first impression I was apprehensive to what day one would be like, thankfully I was pleasantly surprised! We ate breakfast in a lovely little cafe (My Secret Cafe In Town), I had waffles and Louise had a huge fruit salad plus a vegan cake. We then made our plan, eventually settling on a walking tour of the temples in the city. We started walking round and saw some of the most beautiful architecture, a complete contrast the to the developed, technology dependant city. It was so nice being able to step just off the street and be in the serenity of the temples and their gardens. Although, much to our amusement, we ended up following a HUGE group of uniformed, what eventually worked out to be, Thai school students. Although, their matching blue and white track suits lead us to believe they were a sports team. We then proceeded the whole day commenting on what the “Hockey team” which was amusing as it was largely selfies.
After this Louise and I were keen to suss out the Women’s Ex-Prisoners massages so we continued our walk to scope it out. We decided to remain undecided instead we wanted to fill our bellies first. We romped back to a local restaurant we passed earlier in the day and grabbed some lunch. I had chicken massamam curry and rice and Louise had a vegetable stir fry. We relaxed her and took time to rehydrate and refuel. After each spending 120 baht on lunch (which is about £3) we headed back to the massage centre. We booked into a traditional Thai Massage (we didn’t know what we were letting ourselves into…) and it was 200 only baht for an hour so we didn’t think twice!
The massage itself began with our feet being washed. Then we were guided to change clothes into an interesting set of what we might recognise as silk pjs. After being taken into the room filled with other guests the massage began. It was fantastic, the closest thing I’d relate it to would be a sort of physio massage including joint flexibility. Not for the faint hearted or those with a bad back…
We came back to the hostel feeling super chilled out. After grabbing some food we headed to our hostel pool bar to socialise!
DAY TWO (13.01.17)
Up fairly early today, 8:00am to be precise, as we booked onto a Thai cooking course (Zabb E Lee). From our hostel we were driven in to he local market where we met our fellow class mates. The van we went in was a glorified pick up truck with a roof over the top but the sides and back of the truck section were open. Don’t worry there were proper seats, cushions and all. After arriving at the market our teacher, Bow, explained all the ingredients we’d be using that day, all weird and wonderful foods you’d never usually come across at home. Bow was super funny making the day interesting but also fun. We learnt how to cook 5 dishes in total!! By the time the class was finished Louise and I were both stuffed, heading home with doggy bags of our curries in our hands. After a quick stop at the hostel we headed to the park in Chiang Mai to relax and soak up some of the late afternoon sun. The park was buzzing with both locals and travellers alike and it also seemed to be the place to practice public yoga..! After a small incident with a flock of pigeons, the sun set and we headed back to our hostel grabbing a huge fruit smoothie on the way.
But as you can tell so far so good, we’re having a fab time and don’t walk round a corner without saying to one another “WOAH look at XYZ” or “Did you see ABC over there?!”. Chiang Mai continues to surprise me in a very nice way.
Tomorrow we plan to visit Doi Suthep and hopefully some waterfalls too!
But that’s my first two days and first impressions anyway, (ps it’s been sunny for the past two days and the same weather is forecast to continue, thankfully).
☀️. S. ☀️