Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Chiang Mai

OK, time now for the "What I did on my summer vacation" blog posts. Bear with me. I'm sure something ridiculously bizarre will happen in Malawi for me to post about soon.
After we spent a few days in Bangkok, we flew up to Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand. I understand that a lot of people don't like Chiang Mai, as they think it is too touristy, and prefer to go to more isolated parts of the North. I, on the other hand, always figure that millions of other tourists can't be wrong (except in the case of Spring Break in Florida), so decided we would check out what the hoopla is all about.

We had a great time. Chiang Mai is a nice, relaxed little city with a burgeoning design scene - smaller and more slow-paced than Bangkok, but with a lot of the same amenities. And great shopping.

First of all, I can't recommend our hotel, the Baan Orapin, highly enough. There are only a handful of rooms in a couple of traditional Thai houses, and each room is spacious and comfortable. The service is very friendly and helpful, and breakfasts are held in a lovely patio looking out on the pool.

We spent 4 days total in Chiang Mai. Some of the highlights were:
  • Learning to cook Thai food at the "A Lot of Thai" cooking school.

  • Riding an elephant. They sucker you into buying bananas to give to the elephants (and who's going to say no to a hungry, cranky, 2000 pound beast?), but it was more fun (and not as scary) as I expected.

  • Floating down a river on a bamboo raft. Jorge got to be the "driver" in the back. at one point we hit a boulder and poor Jorge went flying off the back, bruising the bottom of his foot.

  • Hiking through scenic rice paddies.

  • Exploring Chiang Mai's many temples. We rented a motorcycle on our last day, which was a bit wobbly and frightening at first, but turned out to be a great way to see the city.

Eating traditional, spicy, Northern-style Thai food in our own little cubby, at Huen Phen restaurant.


Jesse said...

I think you need to be a two digital camera family so that we get a even split of photos of you and Jorge!

Glad you had a (mostly) good time and are back home safe!

Jesmi said...

I’m glad to read this blog.