In all honesty, we hard core CHILLED after returning from our trek. We decided to do a Visa Run to we could stay in Thailand longer because we only had a few more days. It was about 5 hours to the Myanmar border and 5 hours back to Chiang Mai. It was incredibly easy. We really just crossed the border, got a few stamps, paid, and crossed the border again. From what I could see, Myanmar was gorgeous, I wish we could have stayed to explore a bit.
In addition to that, we went to a Muay Thai fight. SO cool. There were about 7(?) matches total ranging in age and size. My favorite was a girl match, it was the closest fight we saw, lasting all 5 rounds. We got moved up to the front row so we saw EVERYTHING. I’m not much of a fighter, but I did seriously enjoy it. Many boxers did traditional dance/prayer routines before the start of the match, accompanied by traditional music. Muay Thai is so embedded in the culture here, I was glad to finally see it. Oddly enough, in the last match, one of the contenders was Scottish. There was immediately a different energy in the arena when he stepped up. I feel like he was there just to get tourists excited. His opponent looked miserable before the match even started. It was probably because he was about to get knocked out in one punch. It had to be staged, none of the other fights ended that quickly. We were all confused once it was over, wondering what really had just happened.
The Sunday Market was one of my favorite things about Chiang Mai. We got there on the earlier side, when it was not too crowded. The market was filled with hand crafted items and goods. I was overwhelmed by all the beautiful things. Of course, I was most turned on by the food. There were just so many options at such great prices. I obviously tried as much as possible, regardless of the fact that we had just eaten. The boys went a little shopping happy on this trip, surprise surprise. They did get some cool stuff though. Mainly matching silk boxers and elephant pants. I was a good girl and only bought a necklace that I had been eying.
boys I had wanted to visit Long Neck Village, a hills tribe in Chiang Mai. They’re famous for having many rings around their neck to elongate them. Spense wasn’t feeling well so he stayed home while we set out for our ‘adventure’. Little did we know, but entrance to the village was 500 baht. We were not willing to pay that much so we decided to go to the ‘Elephant Poopoopaper Park’ instead. What a great choice that was! It is exactly as it sounds. Its an entire factory/park dedicated to making paper out of Elephant poop. For only 100 baht, we got the grand tour. The whole process is pretty amazing. Our tour guide explained to us that Elephant poop is very fibrous, so if the poop is cleaned and dried properly, it sort of starts to take on the elements of bark. the pictures do a better job of explaining. We were brought through each stage and even got to participate in some of them. I liked making our own cards the best. It had been a while since any of us had participated in Arts & Crafts. So moms, if you’re reading this, expect a poop card coming your way in the future.
In terms of partying in Chiang Mai, we’ve learned a few things. Drinks are expensive like anywhere else, so drink before hand. Also, everything is closed on the King’s birthday (December 5), so don’t expect a big party like we had. We mostly hit up the Reggae Area, which all Tuk Tuk drivers will know. The bars are all clustered together there, the biggest and most famous one being Zoe. We actually preferred Babylon Bar, right next door. They always had live music and a friendly staff. The best part of these bars was the food stands on the way home, mainly Kabobs. Ugh those Kabobs will be the death of me, I wish I had never discovered them.
After about ten days in Chiang Mai, we finally left. I loved Chiang Mai. It served more of a purpose than just sight seeing. It broke up the trip for us a bit, and allowed us to take a much needed break from the constant go-go-go of traveling. That being said, we wasted time and money just sitting around. It is easy to be lazy when you do nothing, so I am eager to find activities everywhere we go, a bit of a challenge is never a bad thing. I’m not sure how eager I’ll be to jump into the next trek, but I’m sure similar things will come our way.
Chiang Mai is a wrap. One love.