We arrived in Chiang Mai this morning. This is the first time either David or I have been to Thailand (outside of Bangkok Airport at least). When booking the holiday we considered that we usually prefer to see the smaller cities and towns rather than the huge capitals, as well being able to wander around the streets and see what the locals are up to in their day to day lives.
We booked to stay at ‘Joy’s House’ which runs an organisation that provides a Children’s Shelter Foundation for kids from Northern Thailand and nearby countries that need help due to exceptional circumstances or that have disabilities, such as deafness or mutism. The guest house is in the outskirts of Chiang Mai and the Children’s Shelter is located about an hour out of town.
They offer a week long programne that encompasses a wide variety of activities and opportunities which we are keen to have a go at.
Today though is a free day until our welcome dinner tonight, so we thought we would go for a wander around the neighbourhood.
Since I have lost quite a bit of weight over the past year, the idea of wandering off without a map or any real route to follow was not distressing, in fact I was quite excited to just go and explore!
Jarm gave us a quick lesson on basic Thai greetings and phrases, then pointed us in the general direction of the local village temple and said there were plenty of little stores to buy a snack or drink at…so off we went…
Being the suburbs, there are no signs in English so we weren’t sure what we were passing, though from the symbols and colours I think we passed a medical centre, fire station, school and a few mechanics, laundries and a crematorium, as well as the village temple and lots of food stalls, including a shop that sold dozens of varieties of rice…though many were closed.
We wandered around and took a few turns, some of which turned out to be dead ends…but most people smiled and waved and we had plenty of opportunities to practice our Thai…
Sawasdee kha = Hello
Kob Khun kha = Thank you
We think these were coconuts…
We stopped in at a little roadside restaurant for lunch. Luckily the lady spoke at least 3 words of english ‘pork’, ‘seafood’ and ‘noodles’…so pork and noodles it was! We asked for some drinks and managed to get a Pepsi and sprite, though they weren’t on their menu, she sent her son off on his bike to buy them for us…talk about customer service!
The food was ‘Aroi mak mak’ = very delicious, though even now an hour later my lips are still tingling! It was ‘Ped mak mak’ = very spicy!
We didn’t really know what the price would be, but it ended up being 100 baht for 2 meals and 2 bottles of drink…which equates to about AUD $4…
It is 37°c here today…we walked about 5.5km from midday to 2:30pm…and I feel awesome, hot and ready for a swim!
Pob kan mai = See you again