There are places I feel an instant connection with & there are places I dislike. Chiang Mai falls into the former category. It is endearing & has the hustle & bustle of city life along with the balance of easy access to peaceful country life.
I could easily see myself coming back to live here for a few months in the future. It has a low cost of living with low rent (so I hear) & meals for around £1 – sure you couldn’t beat it!
The locals are friendly and approachable. They have much better english than I have Thai. If I were to come back I would definitely work on improving my Thai.
The temples are so beautiful & scattered throughout the city. It’s so calming to bask in the beauty of them. FYI ensure your shoulders & knees are covered & take off your shoesies before you enter.
There are many markets in Chiang Mai. For me they get a bit ‘groundhog day’, so I’m sure if you only get to one it will be selling the same goods as the others. Haggling is expected & worth a try.
The street food is so delicious & cheap. I am really going to miss this! I expect I will recoil in horror when I get charged more than £1 for a meal when I get home.
Massages are around 250b/£5! The first one I got was a bit jabby, however I will persevere & have more massages before I go – I’m such a trooper!
The cookery courses are so much fun! I went to the Thai Kitchen Centre Cookery School (800b/£16 for a half day). I cooked chicken satay, pad thai, and made massaman curry paste then the curry. It was so delicious & I’m looking forward to using the recipe book from the school when I get home! I would recommend doing a full day so you can go the market & have time to get to know your fellow students & have a bit of craic.
I even got my hair dyed here (unfortunately the price was western 3500b/£70). Have you ever had 6 people put foils on to your hair then 3 people dry it with hairdryers while the colourist supervised?? I have!
I went to the cinema to see Interstellar (120b/£2.30). In Thailand right after the trailers a video of the King is played & everyone stands up for the national anthem to pay respect to the King.
I’m going on an overnight Buddist Meditation Retreat tomorrow, be prepared for a blog on my quest for enlightenment!