Me hanging out in Wat Phra Singh
So I left you in Bangkok where it was hot, busy and still with more adventures to be had. However it was time for me to head north to Chiang Mai where I wanted to spend the bulk of my holiday. Why you ask? Mostly because I wanted to hang out with elephants, practice some meditation and learn to do some Thai cooking. But before I could do any of this, in Mangal tradition I took the train. It was a 12 hour journey made more pleasant by Dutch travel companions and the Thai novel ‘Four Reigns’ which gave an interesting insight into Thai culture. Regular tea and snacks also helped.
My first impressions of the old city as we drove through at night to my hostel were that it is small, geared up for tourism and much more relaxed than Bangkok. After spending a few days here-all of this is true.
I spent my first day wandering around the various Wats, getting slightly lost and propitiously (sp?) ordering tea. The heavens opened not once, not twice but several times that day but I had read about an open mic night at a jazz bar so decided to keep going despite my soggy feet. I found the delightful cafe ‘Into the woods’ and happily ate cake whilst reading Amy Tan’s autobiography.
The open mic night was great. I got talking to some Texans and hung out with them; got a bit lairy with some 20 year olds and got a tuk tuk back to the hostel after a great night out. I am not a fan of jazz but live I found it more interesting. The quality was good and I will check more out in LDN.
Today I went to meet a friend in Chinatown and spent all my money on clothes. Not a bad thing you might say. However this clothing was two sets of white long sleeved tshirts and trousers. The uniform required for a beginner in Buddhism and meditation. I am all booked in for 4 days next week. It’s exciting but also scary. Scary because you only get two meals a day- one at 7am and the last at 11am. This is going to be a challenge to say the least. I guess I am going to learn some proper discipline.
Having got that sorted, I also decided to book a day with the elephants- happening tomorrow and also booked a cooking class for Friday. Saturday is my shopping, massage and rave it up day and Sunday is a chilled one as I am hoping to be hungover! Maybe I am planning too much given I was meant to be going with the flow but sometimes a little planning helps facilitate a good time…
Hopefully I have an amazing time!!