Chiang Mai isn’t So Bad

I’ll be honest…I had no desire to go to Chiang Mai, Thailand.  Chiang Mai is like a backpackers haven (as if Bangkok wasn’t) and everyone I know who is a traveler has been or is going to Chiang Mai at some point and I really couldn’t be less interested in the place.  But I booked a train ticket to head there anyways.  I wanted to see what the big deal was and truthfully, I wanted out of Bangkok (we didn’t hit it off too well this go ’round).  After a 3 hour late arrival into Chiang Mai, which I heard was quite good compared to the 12-hour delay on trains before, I was in hell.  Mosquitoes came at me from every angle and all I saw were westerners.  Except for my tuk-tuk driver, obviously.  I came from a nice room with air conditioning in Bangkok to a small room with no A/C here in Chiang Mai and my Scandinavian-turned body wanted to cry…especially when I asked to upgrade to A/C and they told me they were 100% fully booked.  Sleeping was hell as I didn’t really do it given the room was like 90F and I was scared lizards would start crawling all over me as my roommate had the window opened.  I was ready to leave.

But after I got showered the next day and opened my mind and heart…I kind of liked it here.  The city was more peaceful than Bangkok and the locals sure were nice.  Yes, 1 in 3 people I looked at were westerners and that kind of sucked (I mean, only because old expat men who are trying to be unfaithful to their wives is never a pretty scene no matter where you are), but at least it gave me people that spoke English and people to hang out with…even if they did wear their I-must-pretend-to-fit-the-backpacker-persona harem pants and a Chang Beer tank top with 15 bracelets on their wrists.

Getting lost within the city was a joy as it brought me upon gorgeous temple after gorgeous temple…and most importantly, some of the friendliest and ever-smiling Thai people you’ll ever come across.

Chiang Mai temples

Streets of Chiang Mai

Trees in Chiang Mai
Flora in Chiang Mai
Fresh coconuts in Chiang Mai
Temples everywhere in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

Not sure what I’ll get into the rest of my days here, but one thing is for sure… it is a sigh of relief to be out of Bangkok for a while.  Hopefully, I can finish business with that city when I return in early July.

Comments (14)

I hope you find your way to an air conditioned room soon!

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Chang Mai, it’s good to hear that it surprised you in a good way :) To be honest, I wasn’t really interested in ever travelling to Thailand until recently, it just feels like it would be the most touristy place on earth. But, lately I’m thinking that I should also give a try one of these days… it’s so dang cheap to fly there from SA. For $800 you can get round trip tickets and 8 nights accommodation, not too shabby eh?

If you have time you should try and head to wither Burma or Cambodia, much less touristy and so many things to see. Inle Lake in Burma is my favorite place I’ve ever travelled ever. You would love it :)


Wow, it is such a beautiful place, and definitely somewhere I’d love to visit!

You always take such amazing pictures! I am the same way about sleeping in hot rooms…ugh…can NOT do it!! I have trouble even if it’s above 70 degrees…I can’t even (and don’t want to) imagine 90!! Miserable. But glad you opened your mind & ended up having an amazing time anyway!

How did I not know you were going to Thailand? I met Daryl on Sat and she told me and since then I have been beyond jealous. The mosquitos sound sickkkkk – I’ve always heard this is a bad time of year to visit that area but I’m glad the city is exceeding expectations and I cannot wait to hear more! Have a wonderful trip!

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