Trip Start Sep 19, 2010
54Trip End Sep 19, 2011
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Where I stayed
Chang Puak hotel
Our flight into Chiang Mai ( CM ) was a pleasure with great views all the way and it always makes it special for me to fly in a turbo prop. I'm glad they are still around.
We had pre booked our hotel in CM, another internet special at £16 a night with pool and the works. So after clearing arrivals we jumped in a taxis and where soon at our hotel, the airport is very close to the city center.
CM is I believe the second largest City in Thailand and is certainly the capital of the north. I have not done any reading up on CM or Thailand as at the moment I do not have a guide book. What I do know is it is a very old city and was a main town on the old Caravan routes between China to South East Asia Carrying Opium, silk and Timber. In the center of city is a huge moat that I dare say surrounded the old city and in places you can still see parts of the old wall
Our hotel Chang Puak is an old hotel of about 40 years, thats old by Asian standards. But our room was large with cable T.V. breakfast included and a wonderful swimming pool area. The day after our arrival at breakfast the owners came over and introduced them selves and wished us a pleasant stay, a nice touch. If ever we are back this way we will surely stay here again.
Our mornings were spent around the pool and in the afternoons we would go out for a walk and a bite to eat. On the second night we found a great little bar and got speaking to a couple from Norwich that were touring for 3 months. They were heading to where we had been and we were heading to where they had been. So we swapped stories and advice and drank until 1AM. A good night all round. Oh and we saw a loud mouthed Cockney get beat up by a 70 year old American guy. We got speaking to the Yank later on and he was a real nice bloke. As it happens we got speaking to an old Canadian guy in his Restaurant today and he started telling us about his drug running days. Great stories of smuggling hash out of Afghanistan to Delhi then on to anywhere in the world. He had the photos to back it up with too !! He said he stopped when the SHOE BOMBER incident happened. Now you have to take your shoes off at customs and guess where he used to stash the hash??? Yes, you meet some real interesting people out here
One thing CM is famous for is its night market, its huge. Cathy loves a good haggle and I hate it. Cathy will fleece the lot of them. I have to point out that they do have to make a profit, and its called haggling. That means you should meet somewhere in the middle, not at the first price Cathy dreams up and sticks to. Well it does keep her happy I suppose and we do end up with some great bargains. LOL
Our choice of transport out of CM was of course the train. We have so far traveled on planes, boats, buses, cars and motorbikes, so the train will complete the set so to speak. Just need a helicopter and a submarine now, any suggestions??
We could not get a train on the day we wanted as it was full so we booked for the next day on a slower train. It was a second class ticket, should be fun !!