January 17, 2023
Up at 5:30am to take Dramamine, gather my belongings and walk to the bus station. Here comes another ride in the vomit comet. Hopefully the Dramamine, cool air, and morning sun make it better than the ride here. Although some of the street vendors from the night market were still cooking, I picked up a packaged croissant from the nearby 7 Eleven. Nothing adventurous going into my stomach before this ride.
Much like the drive to Pai, Amy and I talked the whole way to Chiang Mai. Sometimes I feel like I’m with Diania when Amy fawns over every dog and cat she sees. We also saw a small herd of water buffalo crossing the country road. It’s hard to tell which of us would take the brunt of the damage, the 3 water buffalo or our van loaded with people and luggage crammed in every spare space.
We made it back to Chiang Mai, and booked a Grab to my hotel across town, BED Phra Singh. It was only 9:40am so I expected to drop our bags and find some wifi to work on Amy’s site some more. The staff were so friendly and generous, inviting us to drop our bags and enjoy the free breakfast. They hurried off to make us coffee and tea, while we checked out a large table full of breakfast delights. Fried rice, steamed vegetables, fresh bread, cabbage rolls, egg wraps, banana chocolate cake, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken legs, and more. We filled our plates and found our hot beverages waiting for us at a table in the outdoor courtyard. Yum.
After Amy left to meet up with others, I wandered out to explore the area. In a very short walk, I passed countless temples, including two of the most popular, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Singh. Each requires the removal of shoes and shoulders and knees to be covered. I later learned there are over 300 buddhist temples in and around Chiang Mai. For comparison, there are about 200 catholic churches in the entire Cincinnati archdiocese spanning 18 counties.
As I wandered around, I found a small coffee shop that sold aesthetically pleasing trinkets, and I excitedly added a coaster to my collection. It’s made of mango tree and has etchings of elephants and other ethnic designs. Later I picked up some fresh mango from a small stand. 40 baht. Then I went back to the hotel for a long, hot shower.
I loved my bungalow in Pai, but it lacked a standard shower. It had an instant water heater affixed to the shower wall that ran for about 10 minutes before turning off. To get hot water, I had to reduce the pressure to a dribble, shower for 10 min, then flip the switch off and on for it to continue heating water. I’m enjoying every second of my normal shower.
I grabbed a few waters from the hotel fridge, then sat on my lanai and wrote up the remainder of my Pai posts while eating the mango and chocolate Amy brought me from Bali. I also booked a 6 hour program with an Elephant Rescue Park for Thursday. Woot!
After publishing my last two days in Pai, I went out to the Drop In restaurant for dinner. I swear all I do is eat. This time I opted for some roasted vegetables before turning in early.