Chiang Mai: Thailand’s PNW
I blogged zero times last week, shame on me… It was a peak-and-valley-type week, and I’m still learning how to my budget time better. Budgeting time should have been taught as a UGS class at UT, am I right Longhorns (and everyone on the planet)?
During my SE Asia trip, I spent a hot second in Chiang Mai, which is north (NORTH) of Bangkok. And there are a couple of things that I will never forget about that place: Op, the elephants, how it reminds me of the PNW, and the vom.
Op. She was the owner of the hostel we stayed at in Chiang Mai. It’s called “Banilah” and their lobby is a cat cafe. There were 6 cats roaming around while you had your tea and coffee. Op sat us down gave us the lowdown in Chiang Mai before settled in. She told us where to eat authentic northern Thai food (Tong), where to get ice cream (iBerry), where the university was, etc. She had two maps for us and color coded everything. You could tell that Op loved stationary…and loved to sass. She was the best hostess we ever had in Thailand, and it was a sad time when we had to leave.
The elephants. I touched one, it was so real.
The PNW. The rain, mountains, and green- how could it not remind of me of the Pacific Northwest? It was a touch hotter and tropical, but when we were trekking, there were cooler temperatures.You had to be there. So I will name Chiang Mai as “Thailand’s PNW.” And though I haven’t ventured all of Thailand’s regions, I think Chiang Mai is my favorite.
The Vom. So I don’t think I vommed here, but I experienced a lot of motion sickness. Between the trekking cars and winding roads, my body stood no chance to nausea. I took a lot of Dramamine during the portion of this trip.
Bonus story about Chiang Mai: Special to northern Thailand, there is a noodle soup dish called “khao soi.” As per Op’s suggestion, we left our hostel to go find a restaurant that sold it. After roaming for what seemed like 20 minutes and finding out that our map was not to scale, Tommy asked a Thai woman for directions to the place. Instead of telling us directions, she took us to the restaurant herself! She even helped us order, making sure we were okay before she left on her way. Where was she going? I don’t know. Did we interrupt her or bother her? I’m not sure, she seemed smile-y. Regardless, bless her for helping us and bless khao soi because it was nothing like I had ever eaten.
I’ll be back for you Chiang Mai. You and your elephants, your polite Thai people, and Op.
Sidebar: If you like my pictures, I take lots of them, put a filter on, and post them to this thing called Instagram.
Thanks for stickin’ around,