Visiting Doi Suthep

Trip Start Oct 02, 2010
Trip End Oct 23, 2010

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's my third day in Chiang Mai already but I can't tell exactly since the first day I spent on the bus and the second I "lost" coz I had to recover from the night before. I'm a shame for all serious German beer drinkers. 5 big bottles were far too much for me. But then again, I still believe in the theory that they put some chemical shit in the Chang beer, coz once you have a couple of them you feel a little as if you had taken amphetamins. Last year I met a German brewer who used to work for this company and told me this theory is complete bullshit. Yet he couldn't explain to me why Chang beer gives me headache easily whereas other beers don't...

So having more or less recovered I decided to do some sightseeing- haven't had that much of it on this trip. I decided to visit a temple on one of the nearby mountains Doi Suthep. It's a major tourist attraction. From there you have a fantastic view over chiang mai and usually it's nice and cool up there.
The taxi was too expensive for me and I didn't want to do an organized halfday tour from my guesthouse, where you get crammed in a minibus with 10 other farangs- definetely not my way of travelling!
Instead I decided to do it by myself. I asked some locals how to get there and how much it should cost. So I knew I had to take a red share cab, a so called "songthaew". The difficulty being a farang is to find a taxi, Tuk Tuk or Songthaew that gives you a reasonable price. The first one I asked refused to take me there, obviously he wanted to make bigger money. But the second one did, I was the only farang on it.From where I got dropped off I had to take another Songthaew up the mountain. Waiting for the shared cab to fill up I had a chat with a really nice monk who gave me a number of a doctor in Bangkok, insisting that his medicine would help me a lot. idon't believe in it, I met many thai people who seem to know best what is goodfor me. But still it's a lovely gesture and it shows that Thai people care.
The road up the mountain is very steep with many curves and windings- it must be fun to do it by motorbike though you probably have to be careful. Arriving at Doi Suthep it seems like a small village because there is tons of street venors selling food, Songthaews and minivans.
To get to the temple you can either take the stairs- 306 to be precise- not an option for me of course. Or you take a cable car for 20 Baht. for foreigners it's even the same price but plus 30 baht entrance fee for the temple.
I asked them whether they have a price for a handicapped farang and I got the Thai price again:)
Arriving on top I was almost blinded by all that gold glistening in the sun. I spent about 1.5 hours on top there and took a lot of pictures.  I went back the same way with one exception: I didn't have to change the Songthaew until I arrived at Tha Pae gate and it was even 20 Bahts cheaper.
this journey turns out to be an emotional rollercoaster for me. I miss my girlfriend a lot to tell the truth. She was the reason I came to thailand again and now she's gone. Though we are trying to be good friends and talk on the phone a couple of times per day it's not what I hoped it would be- I could have had that in Germany too.
So i feel a bit lonely sometimes and don't know, whether travelling alone was the right decision. Unfortunately I won't meet my good friend Basti, who works in Laos and intended to visit me on the weekend, as the flight is way too expensive or the journey far too long for an extended weekend. So I am trying to make the best out of it, not knowing what this means.
today I booked my hotel in Bangkok already, so the frame is set: 4 more days in Chiang Mai, then 3 days in Bangkok and then I'll fly back home already.
time passes quickly here even though I haven't always been in a "holidaymood".

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