We had an excellent time in Bangkok but too much of a good thing could leave you jaded, so it was time to move on. And besides, we would return back to Bangkok within a fortnight….!
So, if you’re in Thailand in August during the monsoon season, where do you go?
Most people’s dream of paradise is The Beach, but if you don’t want to get caught in torrents of rains followed by hordes of mosquitoes, perhaps somewhere else might be more prudent. To the North perhaps?
And to the hills and mountains of Chiang Mai!
Now a lot of travellers who want to go from Bangkok to Chiang Mai normally get there by train. It’s cheaper, it’s clean, and it’s efficient.
It also takes forever!
Moreover, the train has had some problems with derailing in 2013. Possibly it’s OK now, possibly it’s not: but after reading this horror story post from a blogger called Nomadic Samuel about how their train travelling from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, derailed in the middle of the night, I decided to make a U-turn and take a flight instead!
We took a rather amusing airline called Nok Air and it’s a funny one ‘cos the aeroplane is in the shape of a bird! Yes, a bird! And it cost.
Wait for it!
Oh, alright then!
It cost, a wonderful $34.00. One way. Including all the fees. For Europeans, that’s €26.00! OMG. That’s a crazy price.
And the service was amazing. I’ll write all about that in another post.
Our flight was to depart at 09:05 so we needed to be there at about 07:30 since it was a domestic flight. Our domestic flight was leaving from Don Mueang Airport. I had heard a lot of complaints about this airport, but to be honest, I couldn’t see where the problem was. OK, it wasn’t in “town,” but it certainly wasn’t difficult to get to either, and within the hour, we were there.
It’s a small airport a bit like our Tegel Airport in Berlin. I quite liked it. Most importantly, Nok Air had included free WiFi as part of their services. That was grand!
The airport was clean and efficient and the flight was safe and sound. We ended up with some of the best seats: the emergency seats. Unfortunately, “The Tall Young Gentleman” had to swop seats with the man in front of us, as at 12 years old, he’s officially under-aged!
The seating space was great and we even got a small snack and a small container of water, which all came wrapped in a brown paper bag. In Europe, a budget airline gets you nadda, so that was a very pleasant surprise.
Our flight was only 1 hour and 10 minutes!
Our hotel host had told us that a taxi would cost between 150 and 200 Baht or $4.60 and $6.00, so we went straight to the official taxi stand. If you go to the official stand, there is less likelihood of getting scammed and losing your money, as well as the shirt on your back!
At the taxi stand, you get a ticket with the drivers’ details and it states that there is an extra fee of 50 Baht or $1.50 that you have to pay the driver, and off you go. Be sure to tell the driver to use the meter and make sure he uses it. Make sure that you also keep the ticket. Don’t give it to the driver. That’s very important. If you do, you could get a very unpleasant surprise later on!
Within 30 minutes, we were at our hotel. The taxi fare: 160 Baht or $5.00; including the tip!
And then we arrived at our home-stay or B & B – Tanita House. I loved Tanita House. It’s a family-run home that consists of a compound of chalet houses in the Thai style of traditional wooden houses, made of teak. The mother and owner – Khun Aor- lives there with her father, her sister, and her nephew. She was lovely, and so was her home.
Our chalet consisted of a double bed, and an extra bed for “The Tall Young Gentleman,” air-conditioning, a private toilet and bathroom, hot water, daily cleaning, our own private terrace, free WiFi, a computer on site, bacon and eggs in the morning, as well as a buffet breakfast, and as much iced-cold water, tea and coffee, as you wanted. Wow!
Again, the price does not even reflect the warm and wonderful service as it was just…
700 Baht or $21.00 per adult, and 600 Baht or $18.00 for the extra bed. Considering what you got. An absolute bargain. It was also near the river and as Chiang Mai is known as “The Rose of the North,” Tanita House is enormously enchanting, as a location within walking distance of the Ping river.
Tanita House was also filled with carvings and statues that you could also actually buy, and a fantastic cafe that had yummy creamy cake and healthy-looking fruits shakes.
Right! We did many lovely things in Chiang Mai and one of the things that Chiang Mai is most famous for, is its food. Thai food.
We had heard of the very famous Sunday Night Market and guess what, we had arrived on the Sunday so after getting directions, off we went. To search for food.
On the Yellow Brick Road.
With Dorothy and Toto.
Oh sorry. Wrong story!
Oh yes. We went to the Sunday Night Market which can be found within the old city gate or Tha Pae Gate not far from. You won’t believe this; but not far from the British pharmacy; Boots: The Chemists!
Let me tell you. This market is amazing!
Once you get within the old gates of the city, there’s a road that you have to cross and which is manned by soldiers. Once the traffic lights turn, you and the other mass of people, can cross the road. Safely, but a little quicker. Do you know what I mean? If you’ve been to any Asian country, you don’t want to wait too long. You hold your breath, and cross the road. Don’t run though.
They won’t be able to see you!
Anyway, the market is on a long road called Thapae Road. It’s just like an English High Street with lots of stalls and shops, musicians, and physically impaired singers on the side or middle of the street. BTW, on an English High Street, you won’t find the singers, but I digress LOL!
It was crowded yes, but sort of arranged too. It didn’t look confusing at all. And it was very safe. People were friendly milling around, and lots of people were smiling, and there were loads of children with their parents. Both local and foreign.
Chiang Mai is renowned for its outstanding handicrafts, silk, silver, wood, ceramic, arts and crafts and they were to be found and seen everywhere. Lovely exquisite pieces and fantastic works of art. After looking around and chatting with the old men quartet, we found the Sunday Night Market.
Oh. My. God.
Thai food is going to kill you!
There was loads and loads and loads of food everywhere and most of them didn’t cost more than 20-30 Baht or 60-90 cents. Some food items even cost as little as 7 Baht or 21 cents! It’s no wonder that young travellers and entrepreneurs from industrial countries end up in Chiang Mai. It’s cheap, and enormously easy to settle down there. It’s the Berlin of Asia!
We had kebab sticks, sticky chicken in a plastic bag of sweet, spicy sauce, thinly shredded vegetables, freshly squeezed mulberry juice, squid, sushi, steamed dumplings, spicy balls of meat, quail eggs fried in noodle things, wan tons, tofu and pork rolls, fresh fruit in cups, birds nest, egg custard in banana leaf, corn-on-the-cob, Thai pumpkin, fresh crab, sausages on a stick, spicy fried chicken wings, fried quail eggs, sticky rice, waffles, crunchy insects, and foot massages!
Actually, I didn’t have that. I just can’t see myself having a massage in public. Foot or otherwise.
I’m sorry! I like my comforts.
And the sellers were very generous. they didn’t mind us taking photographs although we made sure to buy items from them, and each and every seller was prepared to take your garbage and rubbish from you as there were no dustbins. You just handed your chopsticks, plastic plate, or bag, to a seller and they would put it in their dustbin barrel.
I thought that was ingenious idea!
The market was full of locals all buying and eating their evening meal. I heard that it was cheaper to eat out than to cook and I can say, I love it. I have allergies and for me, the market is more resourceful as I can actually see what goes inside my food!
We loved the food so much that we decided to learn how to make it ourselves! To see what and how we did, check my blog next week!
For more information about the Bangkok – Chiang Mai domestic flight, please contact: Nok Air.
This article is not sponsored and all opinions and all the above yummy delightful Thai food, are my very own!
I have so much to share with you so for the month of September only, I will be writing about our adventures in Thailand, Indonesia, and Qatar and at the same time, keeping you posted as to the fantastic things going on in my wonderful city of Berlin.
STRICTLY STAND UP – The English Comedy Night is going to take place on 10.09.14 at the Quatsch Comedy Club in Berlin.
November 9th, 2014, marks the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Events are taking place all over the city until then.
September is going to be a beautiful month.
Have you been to a food market? Have you had quail eggs ? What is your favourite Thai nosh?
See you in Berlin.
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