12/27/09: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Today was our last day in Chiang Mai.
Our last day in our little hotel heaven with the bathrobes and DVD player and two shower heads in the shower (one was detachable). Our last day with the candies on the pillows and the stocked minibar we never used but liked to periodically look at to remind ourselves that those things come in real hotel rooms. Sigh.
I think the staff at Ayatana would have let us stay in our room until our 9pm train to Bangkok, but they apologetically kicked us out this morning because our room had already been booked for tonight. But not to fret! One of the things I’m slowly learning on this trip is optimism – which to me translates into looking at something and making it out to be good when it’s actually not – e.g., “oh, it’s actually good we couldn’t stay in our room and watch DVDs or lie by the pool or nap all day, because it’s so much more fun to walk around Chiang Mai for eight hours!” I told you, it’s a slow process, this whole optimism thing.
But that’s what we did on our last day in Chiang Mai – just walked around the city all day. Kevin loves to walk. Myself, I’m more of a stroller. It’s a difference of philosophies.
After spending an afternoon shopping (and yes, even buying some things) at the Sunday Walking Street, we were headed back in the direction of our hotel when we happened upon a breaking competition. (Apparently breaking is the preferred term for what we squares would otherwise call breakdancing. Thanks Wikipedia, now I know that I am officially uncool.)
So we sat down and watched it for an hour. Totally random and totally awesome.
Then we walked back to our hotel. We planned on eating at one of the stalls on the main road by our hotel. The only problem with this plan was that since we weren’t in the touristy part of Chiang Mai, everything was written in Thai. We stopped at the busiest stall on the street – and this place was completely packed at the relatively early hour of 6pm – and tried to figure out what to order. Unfortunately our old standby of ordering pad thai at any place that doesn’t have an English menu didn’t work because this place didn’t serve pad thai. Only noodle soup. Fortunately for us, one of the women at the stall explained the whole noodle soup thing to us. Because it wasn’t clear as we were staring at all the noodles and the soup. Anyway, it turned out to be some really really really good noodle soup. Probably the best noodle soup 25 baht can buy.
As we walked back to our hotel to get our bags before heading off for the train station and yet another overnight ride, we talked about how much we enjoyed Chiang Mai. Kevin summed up his sentiments by saying, “I just wish we could have stayed here one more night so we could go back to that noodle soup place.”
Picture of the Day: Chiang Mai sky at sunset.