Thailand’s Second City, A Photogenic Cultural Hotbed & Jumping-Off Point For Forays Further North
Leaving Chiang Mai proved harder than it should have been. Each and every time I went to Chiang Mai train station to try and secure a train ticket back to Bangkok I was peddled the same line.
I went back ‘tomorrow’, but only once and to hear the same line from the same stone-faced attendant. So now I’m on a bus instead, even though they also only offer seats. Umm. Guess I didn’t think that one through.
Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second city, the largest & capital city of northern Thailand, a cultural hotbed & a jumping-off point for forays further north. Since leaving Bangkok to get here I had too much of a good time on the overnight train, a 16-hour journey that seemed to fly by with the aid of Chang Beer.
Chiang Mai, or just CM if you’re a cool kid, proved quite photogenic. I wasn’t expecting it to be but it was picturesque from the get-go, as soon as I stepped off the overnight train from Bangkok.
There were some pretty cool things to see & photograph when visiting the touristy Chiang Mai Night Market/Bazaar.
I spent a few days even further north of CM – in Chiang Rai & even further north again in the so-called Golden Triangle near the border with Burma (some call it Myanmar) – before returning to the city. Shortly thereafter I found myself in an enclosure petting a few adult tigers.
I played around with a few more always photogenic reflections, these ones on the streets of the city.
And I have had my camera out while riding the city’s ubiquitous sawngthaews.
But that was all then and this is now & for all of Chiang Mai’s charms, I’ve had my fill of city noise & pollution & thus I’m heading to the beaches of the south in a bid to escape them. I’m presently sitting on a bus, the 2nd of 2 buses that’ll get me, I hope, to Krabi, a town on Thailand’s southern Andaman Coast used as a jumping off point to access some of the country’s most backpacker-friendly and thus popular beaches. It – the journey I’m on – is a bit of a jaunt; back-to-back long-distance buses (one overnight) & 21 hours of bus travel in a 24-hour period means I’m tired & I smell. But tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day & the thought of being off buses and on a Thai beach to sample that most Irish of days is the (green) light at the end of this particular tunnel.