Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Recounting Chiang Mai (no photos)

Went to Chiang Mai in November 2014 with my secondary school buddies to look for our Thai friend based there. Booked my trip through Tiger Airways (again) way ahead in June that same month and it cost me only SGD 300 return but no frills. We were supposed to fly on Thursday and return Sunday afternoon but the airlines had to reschedule the flight (due to lack of passenger load?). This in turn meant that we spent only 2 days and 2 nights in Chiang Mai and that we could not fully enjoy our stay at the luxurious Shangri-la Hotel. We got a corporate rate on our accommodation (sans breakfast) and it set us back only SGD 65 per night.

Highlights of the trip were:

  • Dinner at Baanrai Yarnyen a traditional Thai restaurant, where we had nice Thai food and then fried insects (for us tourists). All the insects were deep fried so they tasted basically the same.
  • Visit to an elephant sanctuary, where we rode an elephant. It was a scary ride for me especially when going down hill as the seats were not very secured. You are advised to bring alot of THB 20 notes as tip and to buy the elephants food. There were also other miscellaneous rides - bullock cart ride, sampan ride - that were aimed at taking all our small change.
  • Dinner at Mix a fushion cuisine restaurant opened by my friend's auntie.
  • Drinks at Warm Up Cafe. I was told by my friend that it was the most happening place to be at and when I was there, I felt that it was the equivalent of Timbre in Singapore. Although there were eight of us, six of us finished a bottle of whisky in the hour we were there because the two host had to drive!
  •  En route to the hotel, we visited the Anusan Market and played with air pistols.
  • On the final day, we made a short trip to the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. It was the only temple we went to and the place was very grandly decorated. The dome of the temple was covered in gold leaf!
Overall it was a great trip because of the company. Got to catch up with a long lost friend who shared great insight. Had we spent one more day there we might have stayed in the hotel to chill, although the pool water was very cold since it was "winter" time

Breakdown of cost

Airfare: SGD 300 return by Tiger
Hotel: SGD 130 for two nights
Guide+Driver+Van: THB3,000 for three days

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