Sunday, December 30, 2007

When you get Stuck Between Chiang Mai and Chiang Khong City

So we had planned to spend five days enjoying the city and surrounding environs of Chiang Mai. Unfortunately, we failed to realize that Thai New Year coincides with the Western New Year. What that means for us is that every bus, in every direction was booked as people tried to take long holidays. The upstart is that 5 days became 7 days.

Not exactly a tragedy (Chiang Mai is a wonderfully relaxing and easy city to be in) but causes a bit of a knock-on effect on our Laos and Cambodia plans. While we figured out our itinerary in the evenings, our days were spent walking every spare inch of the city. Chang Mai is full of an amazing diversity of wat styles with a prediliction for the Lanna Style (which is quite ornate), and we visited about 15 different sites.

Apart from the Buddhist sites, we were immensley lucky to meet a woman from Ireland (whose name we forgot to get) who had spent a few months in the city and gave us a perfect day-long itinerary that brought us to a wonderful Thai market with nary a tourist in sight, a relaxing coffee shop on the river, the local prison crafts and massage shoppe and back for the immensely overwhelming night bizarre. A nearly perfect day; thanks Irish woman!

The following day we treated ourselves to a cooking class. Hey, we may be unemployed, but we are working on our resumes. The class was pretty good and Kristi and I now can make a mean green curry, phad thai, papaya salad, and for dessert, grenadine-soaked waterchestnuts in coconut milk (better than it sounds).



Vera said...

And then consider another thing: you wouldn't have met us!!! ;-)

The best wishes for 2008!

Vera & Jean-Christophe

etmarciniec said...

I am coming over for dinner when you come home.