"Real Fake" Prada!

Trip Start Oct 10, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Imperial Mea Ping****

Flag of Thailand  ,
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We decided very last minute in Phi Phi to fly up to the north of Thailand to Chiang Mai. This saved us a considerable amount of time,by avoiding the long train journeys we had another 2 nights, 1 more spent in Phi Phi and 1 more in Chiang Mai.
Our hotel was perfectly located in Chiang Mai, close to the night markets and close to the central old part of the city. Everything in walking distance, just the way i like it! Because Chiang Mai is surrounded by hills, we noticed how much cooler it was during the days and evenings and also no rain!
I spent some time on the first day getting aquainted with the city, i walked through streets with well mainted Thai houses and guest houses each house had some kind of garden or terrace with well maintained plants, walls and gateways. Ofcoarse there where plenty of roads full of shops, restaurants, bars and shopping centers. I found a food market by the river selling thai food from little stalls and trolleys shelterd by a multitude of different branded parasols, on one side the locals where having their lunch breaks from the food vendors and the otherside was a beautiful flower market. I took a tuk tuk back to the hotel when i realised how far i had walked, distracted by the scenery.
In the evenings we found many bars in the streets nearby our hotel, most seemed to be the "girly bars" which where aimed at single men, but we found some decent places inbetween. The night market was a regular spot for us, the shops are lined with stools selling anything and everything, we all put are bartering skills to use and came away with some bargains. I bought a beautiful wall hanging with embroidery and beaded detail, some organic paper (which i than lost in Bangkok) and my first "real fake" Prada bag!
There were 4 of us traveling together; caitlin, Matt, our german friend Tiemo and myself. One afternoon all 4 of us managed to get into a tuk tuk where the driver showed us some of the best temples.
Chiang Mai was definatly my favourite place in Thailand, I have surprised myself, im normaly much more of a beach person. I found the city to be full of life, walking around was easy, everyone was so friendly and i was surrounded by culture.
We went back down to Bangkok to end our trip, using the overnight train we arrive at 7 am and checked into our hotel, located again in Sukhumvit. We also got upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite for free, excellent service!
We went to the biggest sunday market in the city, chatuchak. The lonely planet writes "On weekends 15,000 stalls offer things for around 200,000 visitors. They sell almost "everything" from living chickens and snakes to opium pipes and herbal remedies". And this wasnt far from the truth! The place was a labirynth of stalls, we bought a few last minute bargains, but the sweltering heat and smell of sewers encouraged us to find the way out after a few hours.
Caitlin and i prepared ourselfs for the next chapter of our adventure, Australia. I sadly said goodbye to matt at the airport and we boarded the aircraft. I was glad to see it wasnt one of the new airbus A380's (which had recently made it into the news for the wrong reasons). I will continue with my Ozzie stories in my next blog....
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