Our brief time in Chiang Mai ended on Thursday when we packed up ready for our move to long term accommodation in Chiang Rai about 180 km North.
We were up earlier than normal that morning because I had a 9 am dentist appointment. Being on the street at around 8.00 brought into focus the life of the modern tourist. All the cafes were full because people were getting breakfast before the tour bus or cooking class deadline. For example a couple at the table next to ours ran out of eating time and had their mango shake put into a plastic container so they could take it with them. No sabai sabai time for them (sabai means peaceful/relaxed in Thai).
As someone not on that particular treadmill I did feel for our fellow farangs. They have limited time and are all trying to fit in everything on their Lonely Planet agenda before leaving for the next destination. We’ve all done it. I’m just glad that I’m not doing it at this stage of my trip.
I will cover the dentist separately. Needless to say heaps of money but a lot less than at home. Am not looking forward to any of it but have to get it out of the way so I can eat steak rather than sup soup when I retire.
We only managed one other temple before leaving Chiang Mai. A pretty poor effort with over two hundred and ninety to go. However in Chiang Rai we are just down the road literally from the famous White temple – a separate blog entry to follow very soon as we visited it yesterday. An amazing place.
The trip to Chiang Rai went uneventfully. Our Nissan Almera was delivered to the guesthouse at around 11.00. It’s only a year old and does 2,000 km to the litre due to the fact it doesn’t have an engine. Actually despite it’s incredible gutlessness in going up hills and overtaking it is a nice car. Built for economy the engine turns off when you stop and starts up when you hit the accelerator. Very quiet and by far the best at taking rough roads of any of the cars I’ve had over here. Once it gets going it is deceptively quick. I cruised at 120 when I could with no problems at all and with no speed cameras in Thailand you drive to the conditions not to the speedometer.
Upstairs is a open plan kitchen and dining area with a low Japanese type dining table and cushions, which I really like.
Off that is the master bedroom and a lounge area with en-suite.
A good sized deck wraps around two sides of the house flowing out of the living area and has wonderful views over the property, lake and out to the mountains at the back.
We headed off to the local markets to buy for dinner and to stock the fridge with Chang (Thai beer). Gaun cooked up a storm; two small fried whole fish and pork and chicken dishes finished with beautiful sweet mangos. A couple of Chang’s and life is looking pretty damn good.
The rain rolled in shortly after we got home, early evening, and the thunder has been rolling around since. I think we’ll get a lot more days like this up this way but warm rain is no hardship. UPDATE: Am finishing this blog entry on Saturday so have more weather experience now. It is a lot more cloudy up here and the temperatures are probably a little cooler – maybe high twenties and definitely colder at night. It was funny this morning to see Gaun put on a jacket as she was feeling the cold.