Chiang Mai Arrival
While waiting at the gate in Krabi, Shannon ate her leftover Pad See Ewe. We both had wet feet from wading out to the longtail boat. We flew Air Asia from Krabi to Chiang Mai for $50 each one way. We arrived in Chiang Mai in late morning and grabbed some blizzards from the Diary Queen there. They had a Coffee Oreo flavor that was delicious. We took a taxi to a hotel we had researched but not yet confirmed availability or booked. I think maybe I have done this before (show up to a hotel with no reservation), maybe during my Accenture consulting days, but if so, I can't remember the specifics. There was availability though and we checked into a room for US $26/night which we were pleased about. $13 per person hotel accommodations is pretty sweet!
The Wi-Fi was not slow! And there was much rejoicing and we both spent a while catching up on Internet stuff basking in the goodness. We got confirmation via email that the apartment we had tried to book Friday night was available so that was nice to have that settled.
We took a walk up Huay Kaew Road, stopping briefly in the Maya Mall, then down Nimanna Haeminda Road which is the main drag in the Niman area. In the Maya Mall we past a group of Thai choir students who seemed to be filming a music video or live concert or something. Along Niman are countless coffee shops, massage parlours, clothing stores, restaurants, bodegas, etc. It's very much a bustling hipster strip but minus useable sidewalks.
We continued East making our way into the moat-protected square that is the Old City. We looked at a few Wats and ate Thai food on the central "walking street" in the Old City. Afterward we took a tuk-tuk through thick traffic back to our hotel. Since the hotel was on a side street (Soi in Thai) off the main Huay Kaew Road, which has a median, and they drive on the left here, it was logistically tricky for the tuk-tuk driver to make the right hand turn to get onto the hotel's actual Soi, so how he dealt with this was to just stop next to a small space in the median where they have brick instead of shrubbery so pedestrians can cross the divided road one half at a time, so we stepped out of the tuk-tuk onto the median and then made our way back to the hotel.