Day 5: Goodbye Bangkok, Hello Chiang Mai

After days of Thai food, Steve and I were in the mood for an American style breakfast. We went down the street to the usual American bar, The Tavern, where we got our delicious omelettes. These Thai girls seem to be able to cook American food better than most American restaurants I’ve been to.

It was also also a good chance for us to say goodbye to some of the friends we made at the American bar. After taking a few pictures and saying our goodbyes we headed to the airport for our 1 hour flight to Northern Thailand; Chiang Mai.

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We took a tuk tuk to the Bangkok airport. We took Bangkok Air which is probably my new favorite airline. The flight was only 1 hour but they still served everyone a meal! Pretty awesome. I will say that I’ve never seen stewardesses look so busy on a flight.

1 hour later we arrived in Chiang Mai. First impressions? The weather was perfect; warm but not too humid. The streets weren’t nearly as busy as Bangkok and the people seemed more friendly. Also the prices for everything were much cheaper, more on this later.

For Chiang Mai we had decided to stay in a hostel as opposed to a hotel. We thought this would allow us to meet some other travelers and experience traveling in a hostel. I’m glad we did.

We got to our hostel Gongkaew after a short $4 cab ride. Our hostel looked like a summer camp. Lots of wooden cabins and 1 large common area where various travelers would hangout and socialize.

When booking the hostel we chose a double bed which we thought meant 2 beds. Nope. Instead we were greeted by one single large bed. I guess double meant 1 large double sized bed? Oh well. Looks like it’s going to be an interesting night…

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Inside our room

The bathroom was definitely different from what we were used to. Rather than a nice clean bathroom area we found a dirty cement slab with a hose for showering and an adjacent toilet. It wasn’t what we were used to be it was fun to experience something new…even though I’m sure many women would think differently.

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After getting settled in we hung out in the common area and talked with some travelers. Funny enough, there was a group of 6 people who were all from San Diego. Most of which went to SDSU. Pretty small world.

The day was getting late so we decided to get some food before exploring the Chiang Mai nightlife. We got a few recommendations from our San Diegan friends and walked down the streets of Chiang Mai.

We found what looked to be a restaurant, either that or someones garage. We took a seat and were instantly greeted by an older women who handed us menus. A this time we were on the only ones in the “restaurant.” We placed our orders and sat back to watch as the greatest meal of our lives was being created.

Oh. Em. Gee. She hand washed all the dishes, pots, and pans that she was going to use for just our meal. She then fired up the stove and started cooking using fresh ingredients and homemade spices. Thailand takes the “we won’t make it till you order” philosophy to a whole new level.

After about 15-20 minutes our food came out…and dam was it good! How much did it set us back? Only $1.59 each. Can’t beat that.

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After a VERY satisfying meal we went back to our cabin and got ready for our first night out in Chiang Mai. We started at a highly recommended club called Warm Up. The venue was very cool and was filled with locals Thai guys and girls. Perfect, no hookers. As you walk in there was an outdoor area with a live band and 2 bars. Then as we kept walking we went inside to a club-like area that had a DJ, small dance floor, and lots of tables.

This club was PACKED. It was nearly shoulder to shoulder everywhere inside so we spent for the first hour or so in the outside area. We had a few drinks with some girls from New Jersey we met and thought we would try the inside area one more time.

By this time it was nearly unbearable…even for seasoned clubbers like Steve and I. You couldn’t move without bumping into someone and the last thing we would want do do is piss off a bunch of Thai guys. Not only that, the bartenders seemed to mostly ignore us (probably because we weren’t Thai?) and getting a drink was more effort than it was worth. Needless to say we decided to head out and find place that we could actually enjoy.

We heard of a fun spot called Infinity that was just down the street. We got a little lost on our search for Infinity but after 30 minutes or so (and the help from a hotel receptionist) we finally found it.

This club looked awesome! Except for 1 problem…no one was there. There was only a few people scattered throughout the huge venue. There was an outdoor area with a live band and an indoor area with a DJ. Sound familiar?  Funny enough, the New Jersey girls we met earlier happened to be one of the few people in the club. We talked with them for a few more minutes and they mentioned of a fun (and crazy) area called Zoe. So far 1 club is too crowded and the other is too empty, hopefully Zoe will be somewhere in the middle.

We grabbed the closest tuk tuk and made our way to Zoe. Zoe consisted of 5 or 6 bars in one. There were foreigners everywhere and some Thai girls around. By now we’ve come to learn that  this mean one thing: the girls here are very likely “ladies for the night”.

It wasn’t long until one such lady came and sat down next to us. She looked about our age and was very friendly (of course). She spoke very good English, was super social, and actually fun to chat with. The hookers out here are much more fun and outgoing to talk with for the reasons above than the local girls.

However, after 15 minutes ago Steve and I decided it was time to take over the dance floor. As usual we took center stage on the dance floor and taught Thailand a thing or 2 about dancing. There we 2 Thai girls standing at the bar near us who thought our dance moves were awesome (which they were). Steve jumped in to talk to one of them (black dress) and me being the wingman shortly followed.

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The girl I was talking to (purple dress) was pretty boring and didn’t speak much English. She might have actually been just a local Thai girl since she was shy and her English wasn’t very good. To make time go by I started teaching her different dance moves which she found to be quite entertaining. Meanwhile Steve was busy getting friendly with the girl he initially approached.

After about an hour or so the night started to wind down and people began leaving. As I went to tell the girl in the purple dress that we were leaving she kept asking  why I was leaving and where I was going. As I started walking away she literally grabbed my hand and tried to pull me back. Luckily my strength overruled hers and it wasn’t long before I was free.

We found a tuk tuk to take us back to our hostel. However luckily for us our tuk tuk driver got lost. While normally I do enjoy exploring the city streets, I was looking forward to just going home and getting some sleep. Finally after about 30 minutes (20 minutes longer than it usually takes) we were home safe.

Our first day and night in Chiang Mai proved to be a great time. Hopefully the new few days will deliver just as much fun.

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One Response to Day 5: Goodbye Bangkok, Hello Chiang Mai

  1. John Goostrse says:

    I will be following this blog closely