Hey all! I’m currently in a minibus on my way to Chiang Rai. I’ve just spent the last few days in Chiang Mai and it was amazing! I’ve done quite a lot here so this is going to be a long post. The first day I arrived in the afternoon and decided to just walk around the old city. I popped into a random temple as I was walking around (of course) and while I was looking around a monk came over to me and decided to show me around. His English wasn’t very good but he showed me a building they’re constructing which will be for the monks to sleep in and we also fed the fish in their pond.
After the temple I walked around the huge Sunday walking market that was on that night. I felt like this market was actually a lot different from most of the other markets I’ve been to. One, because it seemed to have different stuff that people were selling but two it was huge! It spanned a few streets and felt like it kept going on for ages.
The next day I did a full day at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. This was probably the highlight of my time in Thailand so far because it was absolutely amazing. We get there and first have to put on these patterned shirts. Then we got to feed the elephants which was really fun. They aren’t shy at all and will come right up to you, poking their trunk in your pocket trying to get all the rest of the food you have.
Later in the day we learned about “elephant medicine”, basically just a combination of natural ingredients to keep the elephants healthy. We then made the medicine, which I tried and it was pretty good, and then we fed it to the elephants. When I say feed, I really mean stuck our hands right Ito their mouths. It was pretty wild. The last thing we did that day was have a mud bath with the elephants and then wash off with them in a pool by a waterfall. Needless to say it was an incredible experience. And just as a reminder, or maybe you aren’t aware of this, but you should never ride elephants! It’s bad for their spine and they’re treated really badly.
That night I went on a quest to find this woman with a cowboy hat at a night market who makes this special pork leg. She’s world famous for it, she was actually on Anthony Bourdain. We managed to find it and the food did not disappoint. It was delicious! (Sorry my photo is so blurry!)
The next day I rented a motorbike and went with a guy from my hostel to check out the sticky waterfall. I tried driving on the left and it went totally fine! This waterfall is really cool not because of how it looks, but the fact that you can climb up the waterfall! Most of the stones are really grippy due to limestone deposits, so it’s easy to climb up. We ended up doing it twice.
In the afternoon I took a Thai cooking class, which was really fun. We started off by going to a local market to learn a bit about the ingredients we were going to use and to see what it looked like. After that we got to the school, which was located in the middle of this garden with lots of statues and a bunch of dogs running around. Once we got situated, we selected the dishes we wanted to make. I decided to make pad Thai, a chicken coconut milk soup and green curry paste/curry. We also all made Thai milk tea. Everything turned out so well! There was so much food that I couldn’t finish my pad Thai and didn’t even touch the curry, so I took it back to the hostel. Unfortunately I left it in the fridge at the hostel, but regardless, it was a really fun experience. Plus they gave us a cook book so I can try making those dishes at home!
After the cooking class I met up with an old camp friend, Justin for drinks. We hadn’t seen each other in years so it was really nice to catch up. He’s actually in Thailand teaching English at the moment.
All in all Chiang Mai was awesome! I was sad to leave and definitely want to come back at some point. I’m looking forward to Chiang rai though, especially since this will be the place I spend my last two nights in Thailand. Keep an eye out for my next post!