After our exhausting three day journey throughout Northern Thailand, we laid our heads down at Thana Tours free guesthouse, something that I wouldn’t suggest. The accommodations are bare minimum: no towels, the bathroom sink in it’s own outdoor room, and sheets that could be cleaner. But, you get what you pay for, so when it’s free you get through the night as best you can.
The travel agent we met in Bangkok booked us a room for our second night in Chiang Mai and when showed up at The Empress yesterday morning we were happy we left it in his hands.
At last we had our first real relaxing day of the trip, even if it included doing laundry in our hotel bathtub. We started the morning laying out by the pool. Then before lunch, we got hour long foot massages for 300 Baht, which was much needed after three days in a jeep. While this was more expensive than a massage you can get on the street, it was well worth the extra Baht. After about forty-five minutes having my feet, calves, and ankles massaged, I was pleasantly surprised when the last fifteen minutes where spent massaging and cracking my neck, shoulders, and back. It was the perfect way to relax after an adventurous few days. Then after lunch by the pool, we took a quick nap in our comfortable hotel room.
We asked the front desk for a recommendation for dinner and after about fifteen minutes by tuk tuk we ended up at The Riverside, a restaurant located on the Ping River. The menu was extensive, including Western and traditional Thai food, with something for everyone. The restaurant was great because it wasn’t full of tourists, while there were some, but it was a place where many locals also came to dine. Not only is there a restaurant, there’s also a bar that has live music.
After dinner, we took a short walk to the famous Chiang Mai night market. Here you can by anything from decorative pillow cases to lanterns to knock-off designer bags, wallets, or jewelry, and for a price you want. Haggling is expected here, and usually you can get anything down to the price you want. Though it is also entertaining enough just to walk around and observe.
We will leave Chiang Mai tonight and head back to Bangkok, relaxed and refreshed from our stay in Chiang Mai. Then on Wednesday we’re off again, but this time it’s to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.