Transit to Chiang Mai and failed attempt at a night market
Tambon Phra Sing, Thailand
As we leave the hotel somewhat reluctantly behind, we receive a final offering: a Cambodian silk scarf. What a wonderful for them to continue to give us warmth in the years to come.
The day centers around transit. Getting through Siem Reap airport for our flight to Bangkok is a piece of cake. No lines. Getting from our arrival to departure gate in Bangkok, not a problem. Picking up the luggage from Chiang Mai, easy. Getting a taxi, rip off. We immediately know we're back in Thailand. We asked for a taxi, ended up with a 12-person van that took us on a 10min ride to the hotel (which I had to Waze for him) for 300 Baht - too much. They are cleverly positioned at the exit, and you don't know (and there are no signs to indicate) that there are real metered taxis just around the corner. Now it had been a day of travel, and I was happy to just get to the hotel. I know I should have been more assertive, but I'm on vacation and sometimes just want to go with the flow, so it was a bit of a sour experience after the easy experiences we had in Cambodia.
However, once we arrive at the hotel (really more like a B&B built around a courtyard), things are great! Ladies greeting us with big smiles immediately check us in, ask if it is okay to upgrade us to a suite (let me think about that… yes, that will be okay), and we are settling in at the beautiful, super clean and very friendly and humble Baan Klang Wiang. Anyone coming to Chiang Mai should check this out. It's lovely.
A quick trip to the night market and I find once again that night markets aren't for early risers. We are there at about 6:30 and most of the stalls are closed and some are beginning to open. We are too early. The steet food not compelling us this particular day, we go back to the hotel to a gastro bar on our street, off the main street, called Faces. The staff informs us that cooking starts at 8 today, because they are resolving a water issue. I appreciate their candor. We have a drink and wait until 8 and end up having a great dinner. Our server is a high school graduate who speaks great English, and we find she is looking to study business in Australia, where she can stay with a friend's family. I love that ambition.
We come back to the room early because I have some significant blogging to do on the Angkor Wat trip (39 pics, long blog) - yes, I blog in the evenings about the previous day. Tomorrow we can sleep in, our pick up for our cooking class with A Lot of Thai isn't until 9:30.