Chiang Mai Oh My
We’re currently on a remote island resort in the middle of a beach and it’s truly amazing, except for one teeny tiny problem. It’s raining. So, what else to do than sit in the only place with a wifi connection and write the next long overdue blog post ;)
So let’s see, where are we up to? Chiang Mai, man I really need to try update this more.
Chiang Mai is a really cool city in Northern Thailand filled with a lot of Western expats, and therefore plenty for travellers to do. The first thing we made sure to do was visit ‘By Hand’ pizza restaurant. OH BOY. It’s probably a little over your travelling dinner budget (about £6 a pizza) but Oh My God is it worth it. The menu also boasts an impressive vegan selection if you’re about that life. Go there. Do it.
After a 6 hour bus journey from Sukhothai, we were bombarded by Tuk Tuks, something we still weren’t quite used to how to handle yet. Honestly, most Tuk Tuk drivers are lovely but most are definitely going to try and overcharge you. Also, when you’ve been on a bus for 6 hours and before you can even get your bags you are met with “Where you go? Where you go?”, it’s rather annoying. One even followed us into the bus station and continued to pester my boyfriend while I was in the toilet. Sidenote - Chiang Mai bus station may be the WORST public toilets I have ever encountered, ladies if you are there and you gotta go, I wish you luck. Anyway, we had pretty much decided on an Uber at that point so we had to weave our way through all the Tuk Tuk drivers, to somewhere quiet to get picked up.
I’ll be honest here, we spent most of Chiang Mai just chilling out. On our first full day we ended up having a lie in, walking around the town a bit but having to take cover from the rain in a huge mall and attempting to find a street food street but failing, resulting in us eating McDonalds (not really complaining though).
The weather was not on our side during our time here. We spent one Saturday night wandering around the famous weekend night market. It’s a huge market with so many different things to see and buy there, probably my favourite one we’ve been to. But suddenly, there seemed to be a wave of panic amongst the stall owners, all hurrying to put their outside displays under cover. This led us to guess it was probably about to start raining… then we heard the thunder. We were both without our waterproofs, standing for cover outside a 7/11 for what must have been an hour, squished in with plenty others also trying to take shelter. One thing that freaked me out was seeing a scorpion appear out of a drain and walk along the pavement. Even the locals were spooked by it, until one went over and killed it with his flip flop. I hadn’t even known scorpions were in Thailand so that was a ‘fun’ discovery.
One of the best things about Chiang Mai is the selection of food. There are so many amazing restaurants all in walking distance. Our favourite cheap spot is called ‘Lucky Too’, I think we ate there 3 different times, the Khao Soi is amazing. A great breakfast spot is ‘Bird’s Nest’, this is again probably over the travel budget but SUCH a delicious breakfast, plus if you go for brunch that’s two meals in one and then the price doesn’t really matter ;) Travel hack.
Our time in Chiang Mai was when we visited the elephant sanctuary, however I have a ridiculous amount to write about that so the next blog post will have to be dedicated to it. I didn’t realise how long this post was going to be but I haven’t even touched on the 3 main activities we did here.
We decided to go all out for our first Thai Massage experience and chose the best spa in Chiang Mai, I think it cost us about £20 each. Incredibly worth it. You could choose any of the hundreds of street massage shops, but it’s very likely you’ll end up leaving unsatisfied and if it’s a Thai massage, like you’ve been beaten up by a little Thai lady. The massage is supposed to hurt, but in a good way. Plus I’ve been pretty spoilt when it comes to massages and I wanted the best. It was also raining that day but you can still see from the picture that it was a luxury spa, nothing like what you would get in England for that price.
After Ayatthaya and Sukhothai, we were pretty templed out. We did however manage to do one in Chiang Mai, Chedi Luang. There is a LOT to see at this temple, including dead Monks. We couldn’t figure out if they were wax models or real dead bodies, but either way it was pretty creepy. The (alive) Monks seemed to be setting up for a festival the day we were there, as many had glitter on their faces and they were putting these flags up everywhere, which for some reason reminded me of the flags in Tangled so I loved it.
|Proud of our Pad Thai|
Okay, so the last thing we did was go to a Thai cooking class. It was really fun to cook your own food something I would defiantly recommend, especially if you’re a big fan of Thai food. I was really impressed with myself after making what was probably the best Pad Thai I’d ever had (I haven’t had many). However, the class we signed up for actually turned out to be pretty stressful for myself. I do not like spicy food, AT ALL. I seriously cannot handle the tiniest bit of spice, I truly hate it. Now for some people, this is okay as they can balance out the spice with coconut milk. I just so happen to also hate coconut. Now, I don’t want people to get the wrong idea, I’m really not too much of a fussy eater. There are just 3 things I really can’t deal with, 2 of which are spicy food and coconut. (The third is courgette in case you’re wondering)
In this class the chef decided they knew best about how much chilli to put in everything, even after I had said MNAY times I didn’t like spicy food. She told me I could still make whatever I wanted and just not put chilli in. However, to me this means not put ANY chilli in, none at all. Whereas, she would say “you need to put in at least 2 chillis”. Or in the case of the curry paste we made, she told me I had to put in all the chillis she had prepared in my bowl (about 4), I reminded her I do not like spicy food, to which she said “oh that’s okay, this is just for the paste and you can choose how much of your paste you put in your curry”. But when it came to making the curry she demanded I put at least half a tablespoon in. When I didn’t put that much in she stood by my station and kept telling me to put more in, so I put in the tiniest bit more, still not a whole half. Then, the worst bit, when we tasted our curries she asked if anyones was too spicy for them so we could put some sugar in. I said mine, which then made her laugh in my face and get the whole rest of the class to laugh with her.
|This is my homemade Khao Soi, which was way too spicy for my delicate tastebuds. Should have stayed at Lucky Too|
Now look, I don’t have a single doubt in my mind that she knows how to make amazing Thai food, and that in the opinion of a Thai local, the food would have been better with more chilli. However, I am the one paying for this class and I am the one who is eating the food I make. I want to have an enjoyable time doing so, not be laughed at for my food preferences. Also, especially not be told I can make something how I will like it in the beginning, but then when it comes down to it be told how many chilli to put in. Needless to say I was pretty darn annoyed at the cooking class, so looking back I just like to think about the Pad Thai.
Well that’s all for now, I’m going to go get myself some lunch and then hang by the beach.