We were planning on catching the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, but at the train station, they said they didn’t have any first class tickets available, so we flew instead. This meant waiting at the airport in Bangkok for a few hours, but it meant we got to Chiang Mai much sooner.
Bek had found a rave review of a boutique hotel from The Age which sounded pretty good. The place was called Banilah and it’s in the north-west part of the city.
Bek standing outside Banilah
This worked out well, because most of the westerners stayed on the east side of the city, so I think we got more of a feel for what Chiang Mai is really about. The young ladies who run the hotel were awesome. They gave us a map when we got there and hilighted lots of things on it we should look at. I also asked them about a good restaurant to eat at for Thai food. If you’re in Chiang Mai, you have to eat at Cafe de Nimman. It was awesome.
We did lots of walking around in Chiang Mai. Bek had an upset stomach, so we had to tone it down a little, but we managed to see lots of the city.
The Tanin fresh food market
The funny thing about the people in Thailand is that they don’t walk anywhere. We occasionally found it difficult to get around because there were so many motorbikes zooming around and the lack of footpaths. Shop owners often put their wares right to the road side, so it doesn’t leave much room for walking. Also, to add to this, stopping for red lights at pedestrian crossings seems to be optional. It does make life interesting.
Busy Chiang Mai road
If you go to Chiang Mai and you want to get around, here’s a tip. Some blue tuk-tuks have an affiliation with the TAT and will drive you for an hour for 30 baht. I think they may operate during the day only, but I’m not sure. You always ask before you get in anyway.
Look out for the blue tuk-tuk’s
Crusing around in a tuk-tuk is a lot of fun. I could have just paid a guy 200 baht to just drive me around all day.
Riding around in a tuk-tuk
After five nights, we got ourselves a tuk-tuk to the airport to fly to Bangkok again for the final part of our trip.