I ended up staying in Chiang Mai for a week. While I was there, I spent a lot of time walking around the city, including the old city inside the moat - and of course, eating everything in sight.
A couple of days ago the lady at my guesthouse told me it was Buddha's birthday, so the temples were all very busy. She mentioned 'up the mountain' having lots of people, and I realised she meant the Doi Suthep temple, which sits on top of the mountain that overlooks the city.
So the next day I decided to go up there and have a look. It was still extremely busy, with cars and songthaews (taxis) lining the roads everywhere. I didn't actually realise there were so many stairs to get up to the actual temple, either. Let's just say I earned all the food I ate that day! My legs were extremely sore...
I also went to the tailors to get another couple of fittings and pick up the final two dresses I had ordered. They did an amazing job and I'd go back there again. They were slightly expensive (I think, for Thailand) but the quality was worth it.
So yesterday I was feeling restless and decided it was time to move on. I told the lady at the guesthouse I'd be checking out in the morning and had decided to head up to Chiang Rai. This morning I got up early and did a re-pack of all my bags, then caught a songthaew to the Arcade bus station. When I arrived I went up to the Green Bus ticket counter and got a ticket for a bus that was leaving in half an hour. It was an aircon bus, so I was happy, especially because it only cost me about $5 for a three-hour trip.
The bus ride had beautiful, green and lush hill scenery. I slept for a while as I was on motion sickness tablets (bought for about 20 cents in Bangkok!). Now here I am, at my guesthouse in Chiang Rai, with my computer and a plate of delicious phad thai sitting in front of me. VERY happy with my deal at this place. The guest house has very comfortable and clean rooms (with ceiling fan) that come with shared bathrooms (also very clean), and it's costing me less than my bus trip (per night of course).
I love it. So now I'm going to look into what activities I can do here...maybe I should finally get my act into gear and do a Thai cooking class...
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