Chiang Mai is the largest city in Northern Thailand, although it doesn’t feel like it if you stay in the tiny old city surrounded by ruin walls where you can walk from one end to the other in less than 30 minutes. I was supposed to stay only 4 days in Chiang Mai but ended up leaving after 9…
I checked into Hug Hostel, lay in bed for a couple hours and ended up playing drinking games with a load of English people and one Argentinian before going to Zoeys, a bar/club which you should only experience once. After downing Tequila Sunrise cocktails to be able to dance to the heavy dubstep music, we wandered to a 7/11 to buy more alcohol since the bar had closed. Yeah, everywhere closes super early at around 1am.
The supermarket wouldn’t serve us drink, so we walked into some random hotel and asked for beers at reception. Unexpectedly, the receptionist handed us two cold ones from somewhere.
And then I spotted the bellhop luggage carts.
We ran around reception taking turns to push each other while the man who had sold us beer just walked into another room with a bemused look on his face. We arrived at the top floor and sat on the roof, drinking our beers into the early hours of the morning.
Of course, I was absolutely hanging the next day but the night before was completely worth it. Later on, Emily, Claire, Ed and I went to the Saturday night market which was filled with food, clothes and crafts. Getting through the crowds and around the live street bands was a mission. At the end of one street, there was a live show with kids dancing and playing music infront of temples. That night, we went to a UV reggae rooftop bar with live DJ, and then drunkingly paid into Spicy club for one hour before it closed.
My logic has always been that drinking again while hungover from the night before cancels the second hangover. For some reason, it didn’t work this time and I was bed ridden until that evening when we went to a restaurant hidden away under the trees. Afterwards, a few of us went to the Sunday night market where we shot BB guns and drank more beer.
Ed and I booked a cooking class where we met Jackie from South Africa. Our instructor, Nancy was the funniest, most dirty minded Thai woman I’ve met so far. We cooked coconut soup, Pad Thai, yellow curry and sticky mango rice which was all surprisingly easy and quick to make.
That night, Jackie, Ed and I went to the THC rooftop bar again where the DJ invited us to another venue to drink with him. Although it was tempting to go to an unknown location with a Thai DJ, we declined because we all had to get up early the next day…
In the morning, a mini-bus picked me up from my hostel to go to Flight of the Gibbon where I ziplined with 8 others through the canopy of the rainforest. I met a hilarious Isreli couple, one guy who had clearly been forced by his boyfriend to come here as he (a fully grown 24 year old man) screamed any time he jumped (or was pushed) off the high ledges. Afterwards, we visited a waterfall and drove back to the centre of Chiang Mai.
I visited the biggest temple in Chiang Mai, Wat Chedi Luang where monks were praying inside. Then I went to eat in a vegetarian restaurant where I met another couple from Germany and Northern Ireland who started speaking to me when they heard my Belfast accent. We sat for two hours until they left to go watch a Muay Thai boxing fight. I was too tired from the eventful day I’d had and was getting up early again to take a bus to Pai, a tiny town further up north. After spending 5 days in Pai, I would return to Chiang Mai again for a couple days to visit the Elephant Nature Park!