The last stop on “Courtney and Edward’s World Tour” was a weekend in Chiang Mai, Thailand. From there Edward would head home and Courtney would continue on for a couple more weeks on her own. We had heard from many people how great the city was so we were very excited to see it!
We arrived at our hotel and checked in, where Courtney would be spending 9 days there (or she thought – more on that later!). However when we went to our room to unpack, there was a huge leak in the ceiling from the air conditioner! The manager was very apologetic and upgraded us to the suite since we were there for so long. SCORE!!! The place was bigger than our apartments!!!
Admittedly, on Friday after all the traveling and running around we were a little burnt out on seeing temples and sight-seeing. So we decided instead to do something a little more relaxing – hit golf balls. After Courtney continued to show her aptitude for a new sport, massages were next on the list. In case you haven’t heard, they’re dirt cheap in Thailand. So we walked over to the closest massage place and got hour-long massages for $6 each. After being beaten up for an hour, we looked at each other with the same thought – how long has it been since those sheets we just put our faces on have been washed??? Since neither one of us got headlice or came down with a strange disease, we seemed to be OK.
Saturday Edward ventured out to try a Muay Thai boxing class and Courtney went in search of a cheap mani/pedi. Two hours later Edward came back, sweating and looking like he’d been in a fight. An ice pack and a couple beers and he was ready for the evening. When the going gets tough….take two beers and call me in the morning. Speaking of tough, Courtney learned that the Elephant reserve in Thailand where she was going to volunteer next week in fact had a spot reserved for her on campus and they’d be picking her up on Monday morning for the entire week. Ooops. So much for 9 days in the suite. And based on the photos, the accomodations at the Reserve would be, well, let’s call them spartan to be diplomatic. More on that in a later post, to be sure.
Chiang Mai is known for their night markets – it’s one of their big draws. It goes on every night, but Saturday night is their big night. Not only do they have the market for shopping, they have a street food area, and you know how much we love our street food! So the first thing we did was head over to eat. For around $6 we got 10 dumplings, some of the best freshly-made Pad Thai ever, and two beers. As we were eating, one of Thailand’s infamous rainstorms moved in. Wind, intense rain, and massive amounts of thunder and lightening. It actually got so bad that the streets flooded and everything started to shut down. This went on for over an hour before we decided to just make a run for it and try to get back to our hotel. Thailand isn’t known for their underground powerlines so there was no small fear that we could get electrocuted.
Fortunately we were only a few blocks from our hotel. At this point, most of the vendors had closed up shop and headed home. The streets were so flooded the water was up to our mid-calves. But do you really think a little flooding is going to deter Courtney from shopping? No way! So as we made our way back, we stopped and picked up a few things from the vendors brave enough to stay open. The other thing out and about in this rain? COCKROACHES!!!! And we don’t mean the little ones we have back home. These are big, huge (like 2 inch long), flying things. Courtney provided plenty of entertainment, screaming and flinging her arms around and running down the street every time one came into her sight.
Surprisingly, Sunday dawned bright and clear. Not only that but the streets were totally empty and dry. Thailand may not have the best power line system but they do know how to drain their streets. Another lazy day for us. More golf balls, food and drinks during happy hour at the hotel. We ventured out Sunday night to the market, but our hearts weren’t in it and it was apparent neither were the locals. The street food area isn’t open on Sunday nights and half the stalls were vacant. Not sure if it was the day or because of the rain, but it just wasn’t the same. We picked up a few more things and headed back to the hotel.
Monday morning and it was time to go our separate ways. Edward, while sad to leave, was up and off early to start his 26 hour journey home.
Courtney was preparing to shovel poop, I mean go work with the elephants for the next week!