Published: November 1st 2008October 22nd 2008
Chiang Mai, Thailand—Wow what a really remarkable place. We updated you last as we returned from our 3-day trekking trip on 12 October.
Upon our return to Chiang Mai, we had the cool experience of running into an old friend from Kuwait. While sitting in a Mexican restaurant in Chiang Mai, we happened to run into Jamil. This just goes to show just how small this world really is.
We originally were going to stay in Chiang Mai for two days following our return from our trek, but quickly discovered the real magic of this city.
Our original game plan was to stay in Chiang Mai for only a couple of days upon completing our trek. Those of you who have been following our journey know that when we like a place a lot, we stay much longer than planned. We adjusted our plans to stay in Chiang Mai until Saturday 18 October.
We began to explore the city to see what magic we could find. One of the things about this journey is experiencing new things. Well, I’ve got to admit that going for a full detox treatment may seem a little strange to most people,
it was certainly a new experience for the both of us. Without getting into graphic detail, I will share that we had our plumbing flushed out and had a steam treatment as well as a full oil massage. Lynne actually went back for a second treatment.
During our stay in Chiang Mai, we sampled plenty of different eating establishments and ate a wide variety of foods. Know you may think we have lost our minds, but our favorite place to eat was Mike’s Burgers, across the moat from Moonmaung Road 6. My favorite burger is called the double double. This is the best greasy burger I have ever had. I would recommend this burger to any future traveler to Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai, Thailand is pretty well known for hig quality, inexpensive dental work. We stopped by the Funsabi Dental clinic located around the corner from the SK Guesthouse. I originally went in for a cleaning, but the dentist found a cavity in the process. She did the cleaning and proceeded with the filling. She didn’t use any Novocain, but she did an awesome job drilling. It was much less painful than if she would have used it.
While still in the office, Lynne and I decided to go for the laser whitening treatment. We both decided we would do the treatment. Lynne’s treatment took one hour. Mine lasted one and a half hours because mine were stained much more than hers. While we were getting our treatment, the dentist brought in a masseuse and we got foot massages. Wow, this was an awesome service. I’ve never had this type of service while getting dental work before.
I could not believe how effective this treatment was. Years of smoking and drinking coffee had really stained my teeth. The difference was unbelievable. After looking at how white my teeth had become, I still had an ugly metal filling on one of my teeth. I discussed this and she said she could do a porcelain crown, but it would take three days to get it back from the lab. She took the mold and we decided to extend our visit a few more days. I also had custom gel molds made for future home bleaching treatments and received one syringe of bleaching gel.
Other people in the Travelblog forums have asked about dental care in Thailand. First I
and they said it didn't grow on trees
can only recommend the Funsabi Dental Clinic because I had a fantastic experience there. I can’t speak about other clinics. Let me give you a quick breakdown on the costs of our dental treatments.
Home Whitening Gel molds--$29USD--reuseable
Gel Syringe--$18USD—5 day treatment
Chiang Mai is also known for great massages and massage schools. Although neither one of us took advantage of the massage schools, I did find an exceptional massage place—Herbal Steam Massage. This is the best massage place I have found so far. I decided to get a one-hour oil massage. When I went into the place, I was led to a room and told to take off my clothes and cover with the sheet. She pointed towards the table. I saw a sheet under the table and covered up. I was beginning to wonder if this was one of those places that provided those “special” massages and got a little bit nervous. When Taw came back in the room, she started to laugh. I was supposed to cover up with the sheet at the end of the massage table. She quickly made the change for me. Boy, did I feel
like an idiot. Taw began to work on my feet. As she continued with the massage, she moved the sheet around and was extremely discreet in making sure I was adequately covered. As she began to work on my back, she found many tight muscles. She found each of these and worked them each until they released. Although it was painful as she was working them, she did a remarkable job. When I left the place, I felt like a new man. The cost of this incredible massage was about $7.50USD.
I was so impressed with the massage, I went back the next day, but added a one hour herbal steam treatment. Taw was busy so I got my massage from another lady. She found some muscles that need a little more work so she worked them with some tiger balm. Wow, I thought the other massage was great, but she was a master masseuse. I got hooked on these massage treatments. Over the years, I had had many great massages and paid premium prices for them, but none of them could compare to the massages I received in Chiang Mai.
Another great feature about being in Chiang
Mai is the abundance of Thai cooking schools. Lynne and I decided to take a one day Thai cooking class on an organic farm. They picked us up from the guesthouse and we drove to the local market. We selected the items we wanted to cook and our teacher gave the list to a guy at the market. She then pointed out a variety of products at the market and we picked up the essentials for the class. We then drove out to the farm. Once we got there, she outfitted us with hats and aprons and we toured the organic farm. She pointed out the selection of herbs, plants, fruits and vegetables used for traditional Thai cooking.
Lynne made green curry paste, green curry with chicken, chicken in coconut milk, chicken with cashew nuts, spring rolls and bananas in coconut milk. I made green curry paste, green curry with chicken, Thai vegetable soup, papaya salad, Pad Thai noodles, and Mango with sticky rice. We had an absolute blast and made so much food we could not finish it all. We ended up bringing the leftovers back to the guesthouse and put it in their fridge.
The Sunday Market
is quiet the sight to see while in Chiang Mai. They block one of the roads and hundreds of vendors line the streets with their goods. Thousands and thousands of Thais and tourist flock to the streets. The number of people packed into the street reminded me of the number of people crawling along Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras minus the drunkenness and debauchery. On the night we visited, the Crown Prince was also in the market so police were thick as flies. We didn’t buy anything. We just strolled the street to check out the scene.
One of the restaurants we visited in Chiang Mai had free wireless service so we ate there on several occasions. The Kafe 1985 was a few blocks from the guesthouse so it was convenient. One night, I left my power converter block at the restaurant and had to go back to retrieve it. On the way back to the restaurant I approached a busy intersection and noticed this young lady standing on the corner. She had shoulder length black hair and was wearing white hot pants and a pink halter top. I had to stop at the corner to wait on traffic and
she grabbed me by the arm. She said “you come with me” and told me very graphically what she wanted to do to me. I knew right away from her voice that she wasn’t a she at all, but was a ladyboy prostitute. I released myself from her grip said “I’ve gotta go” and bolted across the street. I retrieved my power block and headed back to the guesthouse, but had to cross the intersection again. She, he, it said again “you come with me”. I picked up my pace and high tailed it back to the room. After I determined that it wasn’t following me, I began to laugh my ass off. Now, I’ve been propositioned by prostitutes before, but never by a ladyboy prostitute. I returned to the room and shared this funny tale with Lynne. She got a big kick out of it and it gave us a chance to laugh about the whole situation.
We stayed at the SK Guesthouse during our entire stay in Chiang Mai. We were very pleased with the guesthouse and the entire staff. Although they were doing extensive renovations when we were staying there, they did the work during the
day. We did change rooms on the final day because they were jack hammering in the room right above us. The owners were trying to get the renovations completed before the peak season beginning in November. We enjoyed our experience at the SK House and could recommend this place. They conduct their own trekking tours and can arrange a variety of other tours and classes in the area. Special thanks to Aum and Nina for making our stay really special. They wanted me to post that they are looking for some rich boyfriends so keep this in mind guys.
We departed Chiang Mai via VIP bus back to Bangkok on Wednesday, 22 October.
Stay tuned for our next update from Bangkok as we plan the next phase of our journey. Right now we have no idea where we will go but we only have another week left on our 30 day tourist visa for Thailand.
There are more photos below