Chiang Mai – April 2014
I finally took the recommendation to visit Thailand and touched down in my first stop at Chiang Mai on a scorching day in April. I jumped in cab and headed to my hotel Buri Gallery which was quaint if not a little tired, but made up for it with a great pool and fantastic location. Being a sweet tooth I set out of for a cake shop recommended to me, which was probably a terrible idea as it was in the middle of the day and oppressive heat. I didn’t find the cake shop that day but I did find my favourite iced coffee with condensed milk.
On another recommendation I had pre booked a visit at the Elephant Nature Park set in the Chiang Mai jungle, so the next day I made the trek up with a lovely elderly New Zealand couple, on the way up we watched a very sad video about how tourism has affected Elephants and the tortuous conditions they are subjected to. After a couple of hours we arrived to a gorgeous nature park with Elephants roaming freely around the park. We got to feed the Elephants and if we were lucky grab a quick pat, but there is strictly no riding the Elephants. After a delicious buffet lunch we got to go in the water with the Elephants and wash them down in the river. We saw baby Elephants with their fiercely protective parents, and learned about how the owner has been tirelessly working to improve the lives of the Elephants. It was an amazing day.
I spent a wonderful day at the Thai Farm cooking school learning how to cook Thai curries and salads from scratch and eating the rewards. It was a fun if not an exhausting day from cooking in the open air in the 40 dg heat, thankfully I went back to my hotel to recuperate with a beer by the pool.
I spent the next few days wandering through the streets, eating Vegetarian khao soi (coconut soup) at Aum, visiting the Museum of world insects (not for the squeamish), cycling around the beautiful inner and outer city (Chiang Mai has a river running around the centre of town) and weaving my way around all the night markets. The food was so good in Chiang Mai I wish I had more stomach space.