Friday, March 09, 2007

Chiang Mai

Spent 2 days in bangkok walking around with a guy I met in the hostel on the first day. It was hot as hell but i finally started to find my way around the city and get a sense of direction. Once we figured out the Water Taxi system we realized that is by far the best way to get around, $.30 a trip and can get almost anywhere in the city. The first day we walked around the tourist areas (didn't go into the sites b/c we'd both been to them before) and went to Khao San Rd, which is the main backpacker street and seems twice as large as the last time I was there. I intentionally stayed away from hostels near Khao san this time b/c it is overrun with hippies, crazy israelis, and euro partiers. We just walked around checking out little shops. We were both here several years ago and both agree that since the last time we're here between inflation and the dollar's decline prices have just about doubled for everthing.

Yesterday we walked around a little market near our hostel and hung out with some butchers, watched a little puppy jump onto the table and start nibbling on a hunk of meat. They shooed the dog away and threw the meat back into the main pile...was classic. Then we headed to Chinatown b/c i figured it would be nice to get some good chinese food, but it was horrible. Really crowded and incredibly hot. The only chinese food we found was overpriced. The market there was way too crowded. I probably walked 5 miles yesterday just wandering around the city.

Me and the guy I met at the hostel were both planning on heading up north so we both booked a overnight train to Chiang Mai. About a 14hr train ride and a comfortable bed but most importantly an air conditioned cabin. So far it's much nicer up here than Bangkok, less noisy, less crowded, and the hostel we're staying seems very chill. Tomorrow they set up a big Sunday Market so I'll be checking that out, and there are some cool temples around that i'll be exploring. After that I'm not sure where i'm going yet, maybe farther north or west toward the Burmese border.


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