Saturday, August 10, 2013

Within the Walled City {Chiang Mai}

Whereas Bangkok is huge, noisy, chaotic and modern, Chiang Mai is a small city with narrow streets and an old world charm (the center of town was once a walled city surrounded by a moat)!

We stayed in the walled city, in a dorm, at a place called 60 Blue House. The only other guest was a Korean girl who didn't say a word and wore compression socks and an over sized yellow shirt and slept in the room next door to us, so thankfully there was none of the unavoidable awkwardness of sharing a bedroom with a stranger. The owner had a lovely open face and a ready smile who further sealed my approval of her by bringing us home baked biscuits and taking a photo for her wall holding photos of everyone who's ever stayed there.
Breakfast for 10 baht (less than R10/$1) at a hole in the wall was great start to the first full day there, and we got the added bonus of eating in the owner's living room, next to her TV and an elderly woman.

If Bangkok is the city that never sleeps, Chiang Mai is the the city that sleeps in. On my first morning there I set off on an exploratory walk along still quiet streets and passed a Hello Kitty themed tuk-tuk, a Pirates Cove and a restaurant manned by Tintin and Snowy.

After breakfast we walked on; past waiting tuk-tuks and cyclos, shuttered windows depicting various scenes (I wrote this in my journal at the time but I don't know what I meant), street art, beautiful teak houses, an English looking red phone booth, Chinese signs and temples, a flower market selling things from dyed carnations to orchids and into a market overflowing with dried goods, a plethora of teas, clothes and cheap looking toys.

To be continued...

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