All aboard the porcelain bus
Trip Start Mar 17, 2012
17Trip End Mar 31, 2012
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Where I stayed
Raming Lodge Hotel & Spa Chiang Mai
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Read my review - 5/5 stars
The early morning scenery was obscured by a pall of smoke. Quite eerie.
The train pulled into Chiang Mai over an hour late but none of us cared. I really needed a lay down on something that wasn't moving.
Deluxe rooms at Raming Lodge http://www.raminglodge.com/ come with free transfers to/from the station and airport and there was a man holding a sign with my name. Fantastic. Loaded our bags into a very swish ute for the drive into Chiang Mai.
First impressions – again, very smoky but really, really nice
You know that horrible feeling you get when you’re about to get on the porcelain bus? I had it as I was checking in. Jacqs thought it was hilarious. Hallelujah, the room was ready and I was driving that bus about a minute after I walked in the door.
The hotel room was HUGE. A king bed and a large single. Huge bathroom. Very nice indeed. I wasn’t at all interested though. I just got into bed and slept.
Al wandered and ended up getting a massage at a place just up the road for 200 BHT. He declined the offer of a 'special’ massage to finish off the regular version. Way funny! Jacqui chose the more respectable option and went up to the spa on the 6th floor – 750 BHT after a 500 discount. Apparently it was an amazing two hours, no special massage option offered.
I’d kind of recovered by early arvo
Chiang Mai is really nice. Yes the traffic is crazy if you have never experienced Asian roads but compared to Bangkok, or Saigon or Shanghai it is very easy to negotiate. I think there are 60 temples inside the old city walls. The walls themselves are in some places red brick and in others earth. Walked past the Lanna Architecture Museum. Will have to go back there. Lots of really nice boutiques and coffee shops hidden in amongst Thai restaurants and shops and guest houses. Such an amazing mix of everything.
Jacqs failure to experience the disco car meant she was feeling really good but I felt like the ground was moving beneath me, as it did for Al. The only thing I can compare it to is when you get off a ship and you continue to rock and sway. I felt crook as but know it’s all self-induced. At least it was cooler than Bangkok and that’s a huge positive.
We headed back to the hotel, along the way passing Bjorn and Lihua (we took each other's photos), showered and then walked down the street to the night bazaar
Wandered around but left empty handed. Jacqs is a very indecisive shopper. She and Al are a shop keeper’s nightmare – they spend all day looking and buy nothing. Not true really, Al doesn’t even look.
Instead of eating at a restaurant we chose meals from the stalls. I had a tom yum and it was yum, Al was feeling pretty horrid and only risked a couple of chicken skewers. Our Intrepid pick up was for between 8 and 9 in the morning so we called it a night.
Just after we got back a note was slipped under the door – pick up at 8.