Saturday, 3 November 2012

Exploring Chiang Mai - Saturday

November 3
No photos in this posting, I have "misplaced" the SD Card that they were saved on.
Today I basically just walked around the city and explored the environment. Directly in front of my hotel was a main road and the other side of that a moat with some remains of the ancient walls that guarded the city. The old town is (was) bounded by the moats and walls in a square pattern. The moats still exist and provide footpaths but are not as aesthetically pleasing as you may expect.
After exploring the nearby moat I made my way to Chiang Mai Plaza which has a good IT and electronics outlets. Here I was able to replace my USB charger which was accidentally packed in a box and left in Darwin. At last I could recharge the plethora of devices that are "essential" for modern travel.
I also passed the area where the night markets are held, closed at that time. And I spent some time exploring some pretty bridges which spanned the river. It was a hot day and I was almost continually thirsty and found it difficult to quench my thirst. So I was drinking a lot and shortly after in need of a toilet to release the bladder. Overall the walk was maybe not as enjoyable as it may have been.
I persevered and came to a temple (I will look up the name later, and edit this post). This is a pretty little temple and worth the visit. While there I was approached by a person who claimed to be a Muay Thai boxer and had been training in Melbourne. He had just popped in for a bit of prayer and was now about to head of to a shopping centre. He kindly offered to drop me off at the shops, no strings attached. This is a well known scam where he takes you to stores and you are pressured into buying things and he receives a commission. He was persistent but eventually left me. Some time later I found him trying the same line on a group of girls, I decided to get my own back and interrupted his spiel, saying that he was meant to have left some time ago and that he was late for his appointment. He didn't like that for some reason. The girls walked off and he went on to his next victim.
It was petty of me and I moved on from there.
I wandered into the old town but did not stay long as I planned to visit later. What I did note was that it was nicer than the red light district where I was staying, with a number of temples, cafe's, nice bars and accommodation. I decided to move there later in the week.
My impressions of Chiang Mai are that it is a very interesting city and that there are many things to do for tourists. Also that there are many good restaurants outside the more seedy bar areas the city.
During the course of the day The Bludger booked some trips and these will be the subject of successive posts.

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