Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chiang Mai

I had high expectation for Chiang Mai since my buddy Marc -- my friend who met me in China for the World Team Table Tennis Championships back in March -- had lived in Chiang Mai for a few months in 2007.

Hannah and I arrived in the city in the evening and took a tuk-tuk to a guest house. After we BOTH showered (our first hot water since the first night!!!!) we went out to a Thai vegetarian restaurant. Following dinner Hannah and I grabbed dessert on the street. A very common dessert in Thailand are street pancakes. They're kind of like a crepe. Here's a pancake stand we went to on the islands:

After dinner Hannah and I walked around the city until we found a nice looking massage place. We paid a couple dollars and had traditional thai massages. At some point during the massage I passed out. I'm not sure if I fell asleep because I was utterly exhausted or because of the extreme pain I was in from this surprisingly strong Thai woman pushing on my pressure points.

After our massages Hannah and I went back to our room to go to sleep. I was dreaming away in the middle of the night when some disturbing noises awoke me from the bathroom. I got up out of bed and found Hannah sitting on the floor praying to the porcelain god (all these Wats must have inspired her):
Hannah claims to have gotten her first case of food poisoning. She thinks it was the street pancake. That said, I'm pretty sure her body was just rejecting the fact that she took a shower.

The next day Hannah was in pretty rough shape so we just took it easy all day. In the afternoon when Hannah took a nap I rented a bicycle and went for a ride around the city to get the lay of the land.

The next day Hannah was feeling a little better so we ventured out of our hotel. Hannah wanted to get some traditional Thai food for lunch so we went to a place honors the king. Not this king:

(PICTURE: The 81-year-old king of Thailand whose picture is everywhere.)

Instead we went to this king:
Hannah got the veggie burger and I had my first non KFC fast food in a year.

After lunch we continued to walk around the city. We stumbled into a random Wat that had some strange statutes in front of it. See if you recongize this Buddha:

Finally, at the end of the day Hannah and I went to the famouse Chiang Mai night market. Like most night markets in Asia they sold a plethora of cheap junk.