My decision to fly from Bangkok to Yangon meant that I would be missing a bit of time in Thailand. Although I really would love to have had much more time to explore central Thailand, the best way for me to stay on schedule was to fly directly from Yangon to Chiang Mai, skipping the overnight train ride from Bangkok, and skipping a lot of Thailand’s interior. A sacrifice for sure, but given a compressed schedule, this was what made the most sense.
When I arrived in Chiang Mai, I checked in at the excellent Julie Guesthouse. Although this place is technically a hostel, it has private rooms as well, and a vibrant traveler community. Their menu of food is relatively complete and well priced, and the common area is a great place to hang out and chat with fellow travelers.
On my first night there, I got lucky and arrived just in time for the weekly street market. At the night market, vendors sell all sorts of clothing, handycrafts, and art. Additionally, there are a bunch of food stands. One notable food stand consisted of a GIANT block of black jelly, which they served with sugar. Very strange.
Chiang Mai has many specialties, and one of them is custom tailoring. I knew I was attending a wedding later in the summer, so I took the opportunity in Thailand to get two suits custom made for me. One dark, one light. Here’s a video of me getting fitted.
Chiang Mai is also home to the Tiger Kingdom, which is a zoo of sorts showing off all sorts of tigers. I made a friend at Julie Guesthouse, and together we hopped on our motorbikes and went to check out the tigers, swim in waterfalls,and watch the sunset. A pretty good day.
And finally, on my last day in Chiang Mai, I took a traditional thai cooking class – we made a few tasty dishes, and it was very interesting learning how all the flavors come together. I also got a ride with the coolest TukTuk driver in town, in the nicest TukTuk in town!