Seems only a couple days have passed since arriving in the north, but here it came, moving day again. As I told you in an earlier post, we had decided not to book the entire time at one hotel. We wanted to leave the second half open…in case. I must tell you we are both glad we waited. Not because of location but hotel quality. Certainly it could have been worse but it just was not comfortable. No second key was the start of our discord. It’s been a long time since we’ve stayed anywhere that had not advanced to electronic key cards but neither of us could ever recall being presented with only one key upon our check in anywhere. This equated to being latched to one another or being locked out upon return. Both occurred. Certainly not the end of the world but strike one. Next was the lack of care in a shower whose tile grout had certainly seen better days along with its slow running drain and tepid, at best, water temperature. Another negative, not the end of the world, but, we prefer carpeted floors in our living space, this was aged, low quality faux wood. Then we come to the bed. Low caliber linens and the mattress might as well have been cement, I guess I needed a definitive reason for massage and that bed created it for me. The real strike out was the thin walls. Cardboard thin to be precise. The result was late night reprimand for us from security. We were in normal conversation with friends we met from England, Texas and Brazil who came back to join us for beers after the bars closed. We still had great fun with these compadres by sneaking out to the pool area to carry on. On the flip side, 6am chattering in Indian dialect from the neighbors that roused us way before our preferred rising time was irritating. We however did not complain as we knew we could hear all voices in normal level from both sides at varying times of day. Thin walls were the icing on the cake that urged us to move on.
Moving however, did not mean a great distance. We love Chiang Mai and although we entertained a jaunt away to take in the entirety of the Mae Hong Son Loop, we decided against it. This neighborhood is walking distance to the Old City, close to the Ping River, the night market, Chinatown, great restaurants at unbelievable price points, easy transportation access, beautiful temples, massage and salon services.The entire city and the attractions nearby are completely accessible. A little slice of heaven which we intend to continue to take in for eight more nights, residing at the Dusit D2 Hotel, we just checked in, but already we are satisfied by the move. It is amazing how important it is to read people’s comments not simply take the rating number at face value, regardless of what booking site you prefer. Here, we have found that luxurious feeling again. Our welcome on check in was iced lemongrass juice. Royal treatment and first rate accommodation and excellent service standards with warm and friendly staff is our first impression here.
Everytime I turn around, my wonderful companion says, “You hungry yet?” I told myself before leaving home I was not going to fall prey to his temptations. Also, that I cannot consume the same as a man weighing in well above my preferred body weight. I succumbed to his query nearly every meal thus far, sad face! (There is a bathroom scales in this room… tomorrow will be weigh in day.) On the bright side I have diligently exercised everyday and walked 3-5 miles at a minimum in addition. Eating and exercise could be the theme for this blog, seriously. Chiang Mai is totally walkable and between the site seeing, the people watching, the street vendors and the hole in the wall bars and eateries I would be happy doing nothing else…But then you might get bored!
In these days we have tried traditional Thai massage (150 baht), oil massage (200 baht), leg, back and neck massage (250 baht) and the highlight was a combo foot and fish massage (159 baht). All were an hour long and delightful, although at these price points of $4.28 to $7.14 American you won’t find us complaining and there’s no need to. The Thai feel strongly about the value of massage. The Fish Doctor was a first for us. Wow! This sensation is so ticklish that upon trying to settle into his seat my hubby jumped, pulling his legs out of the water and throwing two fish to the sidewalk. Talk about belly laughs! Alas, the owners saved the flopping, gasping little critters, scooping them up and tossing them back in the tank and we got ourselves settled in. By the end of our time we both were actually wishing for more. I am posting a picture here. Take the time to read the theory, makes sense to me and leaves your feet feeling supremely lacking in dead, dry skin and it doesn’t hurt like those skin shavers used in pedicures. This is a must try when in Thailand or anywhere else you spot it. I would not have thought I would be recommending it as I was grossed out by it honestly and was just doing it to humor my man, he was right again, awesome.
On a side note, I want you all to know I am somewhat in a quandary over the elephant farms and sanctuaries and the programs they sell all of us. I saw absolutely no sign of mistreatment you will read many places practice in order to control these wondrous beasts. But they are still not truly free. I understand that true freedom is not a reality for them in this day and age but I’m not certain this selling of time with them is okay. Then again, how in the world could these locations afford to insure these lovely creatures get enough to eat if they didn’t sell these visits to us? Quandary…
Recently, I saw a wall hanging that said it perfectly, so let’s work together friends on remembering the wise thought that is now my Facebook cover photo: “Nature doesn’t hurry and yet everything is accomplished.”
I already have more to share with you but my living of life has been infringing on my writing time! I’ll work on it and catch you up some more soon. #travelwithme
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