Sunday, January 22, 2006

Chiangmai’s Night Bazaar

We spent last night at the shopping Mecca of the world, Chiangmai’s Night Bazaar.

After driving through the mountains that look like a cross between the Smokey Mountains and Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona we pulled of the mists and a large city was sitting in front of us. I think Moo was saying that it’s the third largest city in Thailand. Falunks (foreigners) everywhere, before settling in for the night we made a trip up to another temple called Don Suthep which is located on a big mountain over looking the city, smooth curvy road that went almost to the top of the mountain. Heather said the whoever designed the road needs to be shot. I was impressed, it was twistier then anything I’ve seen in the states. We took an elevator to the top and received another Buddhist blessing from one of the monks and took pictures of the temple and Chiangmai. Then back down, the trip down made me want to take up religion, I had “praise be to Buddha’s” and “hail Mary’s” going un under my breath. Traffic in Chiangmai was almost as bad as Bangkok due to the construction of a “Super Highway” (that’s what it’s called on the map of the city).

The hotel we were going to stay at was booked up, after searching around we decided on Chiangmai Holiday Hotel. I don’t recommend for a second trip, 1300 baht (33 bucks) per night, which is high considering I paid 350 baht (9 bucks) for a better room tonight. But it wasn’t the price that concerned me, even though we got a deal, it’s normally 2000 baht for foreigners but Moo convinced them that we were family (well before I walked in with my wife that is.) The toilet pipes leaked, we were on the 8th floor and had ants and the shower head was at nipple level. Good points about the hotel? There were 3 wireless hotspots that I could get to from my window but the signal was weak because I was on the 8th floor. Breakfast was included and it wasn’t too bad.

The night bazaar is the true reason to see Chiangmai, there’s an ancient wall that goes in a square around the inner city, inside that wall, every night, people set up stalls and try to sell you everything under the sun (try imagining a swap meet that goes on for 5 square miles, going into basements, mazes of rooms, sidewalks, tents, malls, etc). We walked for a couple of hours and barely scratched the surface, it’s a whole another world. I’ll have to let the wife write about it on her blog. She’ll tell a better story, she is a girl and it did have to do with shopping.

Anyway lots of stuff to see in the area, 300 or so temples, white water rafting, long necked folk, the list is endless but too much to cover tonight, I’m off to bed, peace out.

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