Back in Chiang Mai after spending time in Cambodia and Myanmar and I am feeling ever so happy to be back! Chiang Mai has such a different vibe compared to Bangkok. Here, we didn’t worry about taking sketchy taxis at the airport because there’s an actual process to follow.
You go to the taxi stand that says 150 THB for the old city and you tell them the number of passengers and location. You will then get a number and will have to walk outside the airport to wait for your taxi.
Arriving at our apartment in Chiang Mai…
We walked into our apartment without knowing what to expect since we didn’t get to see our actual unit. I can’t tell you how loud I squealed with happiness when I saw the apartment that we will be calling home for the next month. For context, we stayed at a place that requires you to book one year in advance! We somehow lucked out and was able to book one-month gaps of stay here and there.
Our first day in Thailand with an apartment!
We woke up to the sounds of crowing roosters who seem to sleep in and crow at 7 am. Very different from the other roosters I used to hear who like to crow before the sun even rises! While roosters were belching their lungs out, birds were singing outside of our window. I felt as if I was waking up in the middle of a jungle.
We spent our first day settling into our place and doing regular errands. You know, simple things like withdrawing money, grocery shopping and buying stuff for our apartment.
Thailand has become our home away from home
I missed the food, the people, the conveniences of living in Thailand, my favourite restaurant… everything. In fact, my ears would perk up whenever I heard someone speak in Thai when I was in Cambodia or Myanmar.
Ever so happy to be back in Thailand
I was so happy to be back for the little conveniences we could not access in Cambodia and Myanmar. Like being able to wear shorts on a regular basis, access to reliable internet, delicious food and other conveniences. I also don’t stick out because of my “fair” complexion (even with a tan, I’m always asked why I’m so white in Southeast Asia). In fact, I blend in quite nicely in Thai – everyone speaks to us in Thai, and they are shocked when they find out we are not Thai.
We got so used to living out of a suitcase
We kept putting things back in our luggage despite the ample storage space in our apartment.
Back in Chiang Mai during their high season
Before this visit, I’ve only been in Chiang Mai during low season (rainy season and smoky season). I was curious to see how the city changes to accommodate the high season.
Of course, the changes were not for the better, but it wasn’t as bad as I read online. Only the touristy areas like temples and night markets were crowded. There are more vendors who set up shops down the same streets but aside from that, the high season wasn’t so bad after all.
The only downside were the rude tourists. You see (smell, bump into) them EVERYWHERE. UGH.
It was a total accident that we came back right before the Yi Peng/Loi Krathong festival
These two festivals are one of the reasons why it gets so busy in Chiang Mai during November. Everyone wants to experience and witness this magical time. How lucky we were to arrive just before the two festivals.
I’ll write about this magical experience in another post, but all I can say is wow… it was a moment I will forever cherish in my heart.
Long and relaxing days in Chiang Mai
Because November is moving into “wintertime” in Chiang Mai, most days are chilly. But I can’t complain because November weather is so much better than the smoky and rainy season. It is weird to go to malls and see all the jackets and coats for sale though.
Of course, the weather is not consistent, and there are moments where I can feel myself melting after spending two minutes outdoors
Spending winter in a tropical climate is still something that is very new to me. I bought a Christmas peppermint mocha Frappuccino, and it was so weird to be drinking it during the hot tropical sun. It just didn’t feel like Christmas in Chiang Mai!
We got chased by a dog…AGAIN!
Remember in my previous blog posts how I became scared of dogs after being chased by one in Chiang Mai a few years back?
Well, we got chased by them again!
We were planning to walk to a mall that would take only 30 minutes by foot
We figured it would be a great way to explore the small streets of Chiang Mai. While it was fun to see shops and be in areas where tourists don’t go to, we got lost at some point and took a detour through a residential area. We were walking down a small street when out of the corner of our eye, we saw a pug run towards us at full speed.
Anticipating that nothing good will come out of it, we ignore him and keep walking until he started running towards us and barking like a maniac. I try to hide my fear of him biting me and start talking to him in a disapproving voice, the way I talk to Lexie. He still barks. Another Shitzu decided to run after us and tried to scare us. Not wanting to risk getting bitten, Gary quickly splashed water on his face. He continued barking at us until Gary splashed water on him again. Stunned, the stupid pug ran away and started pawing at the garden (don’t ask why – he was weird). The Shitzu then realizes this is not a battle he wants to be involved with and ran away with his tail between his leg. Stupid dogs.
Central Plaza is a pretty awesome mall
The mall catered mostly to locals and most signs were in Thai. We wanted to order a drink at some point but no one could speak English. Luckily a Thai person helped us with the translation.
The food at this mall is quite delicious… so good that even cockroaches come here to eat. True story, I was happily eating a delicious meal when a cockroach came crawling under the plate.
Read part two of our Chiang Mai stay next week!
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