One 'problem' was that the place is clogged with tourists. Everywhere you look, tourists of all kinds. Lots of slightly plump young white women with long dreadlocks decorated with silver clips, and wearing big harem pants. Lots of white backpackers. Lots of old people -- not like us!! NO! Lots of middle-aged couples, lots of young couples. Lots and lots of tourists. And probably a lot of the people who looked like natives were tourists, too, since Thailand is an easy hop from China. Here's what one does in Chiang Mai, apparently:
- Thai cooking classes
- Thai massage
- Shop and eat
- Visit elephant camps
- Visit a gibbon sanctuary
- Visit the many wats
Marc is a better Thai cook than anyone, anywhere, so we didn't need Thai cooking classes. One can only be massaged so many times (arguable!). We tried hard to find good places to eat, on which more in a second, I didn't need to shop (and Thailand was expensive for our budget!), we didn't want to go see elephant camps or the gibbon sanctuary, and we were kind of wat-ted out, after Myanmar. Our hotel had a pool, but it was rainy in the hot afternoons, right when we'd want to swim. So mainly we walked around, piddled, and tried to find good restaurants.
|we'd read that we should eat in the night market, and I cannot tell you |
just how bad it was. i have a picture of Marc's shrimp, but it's too depressing.
On a pink plate, small pre-cooked shrimp in nasty bland sauce. Seriously?
Otherwise, we took an hour boat trip on the Ping River that skirts around the city, and we went to the zoo. My joke on facebook was "I'm not saying Chiang Mai is boring, but we went to the zoo."
|a gate leading to a bridge -- that's the king in the middle, there.|
|dragons at the wats|
|the gate leading into the old city, which is where we stayed|
|this is a moat kind of thing, just outside the old wall|
|this is my favorite wat of them all -- mostly teak, with gold trim|
|this holds offerings|
|here we are, heading out for our little boat ride|
|no idea why the king and queen need a billboard; our boat driver said |
they love their king, he's a good king
|quietly beautiful, just outside chiang mai|
|these large trees line the river; it's older than the US|
|a beautiful bas-relief wall near our hotel|
|pretty standard Thai wat|
|this one's quite unusual, all in white!|
|beautiful caged jaguar, poor thing. the zoo is old-fashioned.|
|Marc and an elephant, trained to bow (the elephant, not Marc)|