Yesterday was a spa day - I figured it was time to try out the infamous thai massage that is advertised absolutely everywhere in the city (I think you can probably get a massage at the 7-Eleven)
! I booked an afternoon of pampering at the Peak Spa which is a full service luxury spa here in the heart of the city. What a great experience. You are picked up at your hotel or B&B, driven to the spa, met at the car by a pleasant employee, given tea and slippers and then indulged in an incredibly relaxing few hours. The thai massage focuses on using pressure to different parts of the body to release blocked energy and at times, the masseuse/masseur uses their hands, arms or their feet to apply the pressure. I have to admit that I am not a massage junkie as I have the most sensitive spine known to man and while others find a back-rub relaxing and blissful, I spend most of the time wincing and biting my lip during a back massage because I am so ticklish but I quite liked the intensity of the thai-style massage! Their location and their level of service was excellent and I left feeling refreshed and totally pampered.http://www.peak-spa.com/
Finally, after leaving the spa, I took a walk through the one and only Chiang Mai night bazaar which is located near the river here in the city. This is a street market that is held each evening and is jam-packed with shoppers and sellers along some busy streets and in a couple of open squares and market buildings. This is apparently THE place to shop to buy knock-off purses and other 'designer' items as well as jewelry, clothing, shoes, food, wooden items, silk, leather, etc. I was there pretty early in the evening but it goes from sun-down to 11:00 PM or so and it gets pretty busy as the evening wears on. It's something that must be experienced when visiting Chiang Mai!
One more day in this lovely city and then off to the beach area in the southern part of the country!
I've spent the last couple of days chillaxing here in Chiang Mai and enjoying what the city has to offer. First off, I spent a day at a cooking school - there are dozens of cooking schools and classes here in the city where your group can go shopping in the outdoor markets for ingredients, learn about the different vegetables, fruits, sauces and spices, then you spend the rest of the day cooking Thai dishes under the direction of the school staff or chef. I went to the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School which is run by a TV and celebrity chef who demonstrated how to make our dishes. It was held at his home and cooking school a few miles outside of the city in a lovely location. We all had our own aprons and cooking station and throughout the day we made and ate 6 different dishes from a sweet and sour prawn soup to paid thai to a dessert with water chestnuts. A filling and fulfilling day :)