Yesterday, we slept until 10 (luxury!) and then everyone had to check some things on the internet first, to look what each person wanted or had to do afterwards. It was Myriam’s departure day 😦 Was perfect to have her with me since she was interested in the same things and very compatible to my way of traveling, so we never had to split and go on a crazy adventure alone. Thank you :)!
Before breakfast, I finally dropped all my laundry off at a shop and just kept one set off clothes to wear. Before, it worked well with hand washing but it will be nice to have completely washed clothes again. I’ll probably be afraid to start wearing them because they just get so sticky again right away. I would be able to pick them up at 8am the next day.
We eventually had “breakfast” (I had sweet and sour with rice) at 12 at Jimmy’s restaurant, between Thapae and Chiang Mai Gate. The prices are very good and our food was delicious.
We met some people from England and Australia and after talking to us, they also booked a trekking with Piroon 🙂
We went back to the hostel, where Myri checked out and I switched to the dorm room. Matrasses on the floor with mosquito nets again. What a downfall from last night’s private room. But there was only another girl there, so we each had a fan to ourselves 🙂
I hugged Myri goodbye at the 7/11 and then went to check out the city on foot. My goal was the Banyen Botique Massage place, because it received good feedbacks on tripadvisor and the tripadvisor map on my ipod showed me that it was within reasonable walking distance. I went to a few tourist offices to see whether they could check the reservations on the train again but they were still full. So it will either be a bus to Khaosan Rd for 450Bht or a bus from Arcade terminal for 600 Bht (plus the taxi back to the city center in Bangkok). I’m rather tempted to take the tourist bus (sometimes things get stolen out of the bags though).
On my way I saw many nice temples and schools. Chiang Mai is a good place to discover by walking or on a bicycle. Although the distance I walked didn’t feel that far, it was tiring because of the heat and so I bought an iced Thai tea from a street both. At Wat Phra Singh was a market and one man had this very cute animal on his shoulder. According to my ipod, the massage place should have been close to the market. However, after walking back and forth several times asking people where the boutique or the street was and most people not even knew the name of the street they’re living or working on (so frustrating!) I thought that I would go back to the hostel and go to a spa near there. Just when I wanted to go back to the main road an elderly lady with a poodle in her arms came out of a gate. I took another chance and asked her whether she knew where the Banyen boutique was. She didn’t speak any English but told me to wait and called what probably was her son. He spoke English well and told me to come inside for a minute he would call the information. I passed the Mercedes in their driveway and entered a nice cold house. He called several places nut they didn’t find the right one and so he said that it was probably the Spa up the road and he offered to drive me there. I usually don’t get into cars with strangers but he really seemed trustworthy. He used to work for Thai airways and had been to Switzerland before but retired with 49. I didn’t dare asking how you can afford a Mercedes, such a house and retiring so early with working as a stewart…
Anyways, he was like an angel coming from heaven who saved me from the heat with his a/c Mercedes.
We first drove to the Spa he thought was the one I was looking for. It was very beautiful and smelled good (Oasis Spa) but had at least Swiss prices. He asked them to look the place up on the internet and finally, I knew where to go. The address was correct, just not at the right position on the tripadvisor map. I should have trusted my instincts when I passed Soi 5 of the Soi 6 I was looking for at some point in the afternoon.
We rode in the Mercedes again and I passed many of the places I walked past earlier in the day. Finally, we reached the spa and I said a 1000 thanks to Nawin. He gave me his phone nr. and e-mail in case I needed help with something again.
At the spa, they first washed my feet with limes (:)) and then I was ushered into a private room with a massage bed. I liked the massage in Bangkok better because the woman there made more movements with her fingers and this woman always used her whole hands. Plus, right when I thought it was very agreeable, she started slapping me, out of the blue. It happened several times during the massage. Plus, she kneeled on top of me with her full body weight and it wasn’t the most typical petite Asian woman. On top of that, she really bent my back and neck in the end, that everything cracked and my neck hurt a little afterwards. I guess this was a more real Thai massage experience this time. And for 250 with oil I’d still do it again because I felt great the next day. Not even back pains from the hard matrass 🙂 But next time I might even try a massage without oil, to see the difference.
A woman from the Netherlands was finished at the same time as me and she accompanied me back to the canal, from where I knew that I could orientate myself better. 10 meters after the massage place, we passed a small food market where I found the Thai tea mix I was looking for. And another 10m later, we were at the canal and when I turned my head to the right I saw Loco Elvis, our beloved Mexican restaurant. The Spa would have been soooooo close to where I lived but I walked around the whole old town 🙂
Didn’t matter I had a good time looking at the sights and who gets to ride in a Mercedes in Chiang Mai?
I met up with Hedi and Moritz for dinner. That time I had a delicious burger with free refill ice tea (so American there :)). Afterwards, Hedi and I walked to Saturday walking street and even led a couple German tourists there (another couple who had quit everything in Germany and had been traveling for the past year. Thailand was their last stop now before going back to find work.)
The walking street was great! Around it a huge chaos of cars and Songtaews but the street itself was closed to cars. So just loooads of people and booths with vendors. I finally found a scarf with the fabric I was looking for. Chiffon is so agreeable to wear while sleeping in order not to get a cold from the fan or a/c but it’s so thin that you don’t sweat!
Hedi was trying to get a fresh fish for the cute black kitten at the hostel but nobody would sell one to her. Maybe, it was too late because usually everyone wants to sell you something.
When we got back to the hostel, my legs felt very tired. I postponed updating my blog and just went straight to bed (it was 11.30pm after all).
Although there were weird sounds (either an animal or a thing to keep animals away) I slept until my alarm clock woke me the next morning.