I’M BACK!!!! And I have a new and profound respect for travel bloggers. How do they keep up with all the names of places they’ve gone, restaurants they’ve eaten at, alleys they’ve wandered down, events they showed up to, and all the things they’ve seen and people they’ve met?! I’ll try my best anyway.
Thailand surprised me in many ways.
First of all, I was really confused with the currency. It’s basically the same as in Taiwan, and that threw me off a lot. Despite prior research I still had it in my head that everything would be dirt cheap in Thailand. Well, 1NTD (Taiwan) =1.01 Baht (Thailand). 30NTD = $1 USD (AMERICAAAA). So I guess, living in Taiwan is dirt cheap too.
Second, tourists in Thailand are not a commodity anymore. They are everywhere, and for the most part have a bad reputation. Thais do not go out of their way to help visitors, unless they can make money off of them. These are just conclusions drawn from my own observations, and experience. And they don’t care where you’re from either, unless you’re me.
My third shock was discovering my alternate ethnicity. Almost every single person I came in contact with in Thailand thought I was Thai as well. They always spoke to me in Thai and when I looked confused, they also got confused. “You look like Thai!! SAME SAME! You not Thai?! WHERE YOU FROM?!” At first I was a bit offended, but after seeing a few pretty Thai girls (…or maybe boys?) I came to terms with it. I do look kinda Thai, because they are slender, petite, have delicate facial structures and are tan. So now we know-I look Thai.
K let’s do this. Plane landed in Bangkok, and from there we headed straight up to Chiang Mai. It’s the biggest city up North, and famous for lots of things. Such as:
THE NIGHT BAZZAR: There is one huge night market in Chiang Mai. It’s packed with fake Ray Bans, Thai art, lamps, colorful bags, jewelry, everything. We ate at this huge seafood pavilion and realized it was Chinese New Year Day when a huge dragon came dancing over everyone! I love dragon dances!! We didn’t buy much because the next day we were scheduled for a mountain trek!
MUAY THAI FIGHT: Got convinced by the end of the night to check one of these out. It was pretty authentic, the ring was outside and there were Thai people in the audience. This combat martial art originated from Thailand is very well known and entertaining to watch, if you’re into the MMA thing. It’s easy to find one, people are along the streets everywhere you go handing out flyers for local fights that happen every night if you’re in the city.
Next morning, we went on a small hike and then to the Elephant Riding place. I rode an elephant, but was shocked when our driver started whacking the poor beast on the head w a metal rod. It was terrible, and I will never do it again. Here is me sadly petting a baby in chains. I was embarrassed for not researching and being only vaguely aware of how badly these animals are being treated in this industry. Here is a good article and short clip on what goes on behind elephant riding camps.
After we got driving back into town, we grabbed dinner at the Sunday Market and then jumped on the bus to start our journey down south for the islands!!