Everyone I’ve met raves about Pai, a little hippie town near Chiang Mai. Yes, there’s not much to do there, but the vibe! The people! The ambiance! Then I visited Pai for myself, and found the town to be rather boring. Yes, it’s a little hippie town, but no, it’s not particularly interesting. It’s also chock full of Chinese tourists, which is an automatic strike in my book. Talking with some locals, a couple of years ago a Thai movie named Pai in Love came out, it was a hit in China, and an endless stream have been coming here ever since.
Continue reading Travelogue: Pai
According to a friend who lives in Chiang Mai, there are four main reasons to visit this city – cooking, elephants, motorbiking around, and trekking. And trekking is the most famous, and one of the biggest reasons tourists have come to Chiang Mai over the years. And so, I booked a trekking tour! For only ~$50, I spent three days trekking around Chiang Mai, with 7 new friends.
Continue reading Travelogue: Trekking in Chiang Mai
On my first trip to Thailand, I spent almost all my time in Bangkok and the southern islands – which which were very nice, but reportedly very different from Chiang Mai, the jewel of the north of Thailand. So this visit, I had to take the train up toe Chiang Mai, where I enjoyed the fact that nights are much cooler than Bangkok, which was an absolute furnace.
Continue reading Travelogue: Chiang Mai
For some reason, I decided to visit Bangkok again – to get my visa for Myanmar, to see the protests, and to finish other unfinished business.
Coming to Bangkok during the protests, while a state of emergency has been declared, is surprisingly normal. While the US shows all sort of sensational alarming news, depicting Bangkok on the verge of civil war, it’s actually quite tranquil on the ground in Bangkok. For the most part. Arriving in Bangkok and taking a taxi to Khao San Road area, we passed through several checkpoints, with barricaded roads and military police with rifles checking everyone’s identification. Being in a taxi with three other backpackers (white, loud, and rather obnoxious), we were quickly waived passed – tourists are left unmolested – but it was still quite an experience. I didn’t expect to have to ever ride through military checkpoints in the streets of Bangkok. It reminded me of a dystopian movie that I recently watched – Children of Men.
Continue reading Travelogue: Bangkok again