We got into the bus station about half 8 this morning. We didn't really know where it was in the city so we got a tuk tuk to our accommodation, which wouldn't have been walking distance but wasn't far in the tuk tuk. The accommodation was down a side alley off a main road and was close to everything. Chiang Mai city was pretty small and everything within the city walls was in walking distance. When we got to 9 Hostel they told us that our room would be cleaned soon and then we could check in so we just waited in the common area until it was done. It took way longer than expected and we checked in at half 10 but still a lot earlier than we expected so it was good. The room was nice, just plain and simple but clean and had everything we needed. I understand why reviews said about it feeling like a prison though. It just had concrete walls and floors, not painted or decorated or anything but it was good really as it kept it cool. We only had a fan in the room but seemed fine because of the room. The temperature here was suppose to be 34 degrees, maybe more throughout the week so it was boiling! We are used to it now though! I'll miss the heat! The accommodation had a kitchen area outside for everyone to use as well and had a mini gym and TV area. The staff seemed nice and helpful too. We had a look at things we wanted to do here in Chiang Mai and it seemed like 3 days wouldn't be enough at all and we would need much more to do everything we wanted so we booked 4 extra nights, meaning we will be staying for a week- the longest we have stayed anywhere yet. We knew we would have a bit to do here though!
After settling in we made a pot noodle there for lunch then went out. We hired push bikes from the hostel for the day for £1 each and explored the city. The city centre was surrounded by a moat and in olden times it would have been surrounded by a wall, but this is now in ruins and there are only sections remaining. There are about 6 city gates remaining from the wall and the entrances to the city. Inside the city walls, or just outside them is where most of the sightseeing is. The main attractions in the city are the markets and the temples. Chiang Mai is just at the foothills of the mountains so there are many different trips to go on to explore different areas and do other activities such as zip wires etc.
For the rest of the day we rode around town, we rode to the train station to see about booking our tickets to Bangkok for our flight. The tickets seemed pretty expensive and it seemed like it might be a bit of a farse getting to the airport so we decided to go to the bus station to see what their prices were like. On the way to the bus station we ended up on the highway on our bikes! We didn't look very clever riding along a motorway on our little push bikes haha! Everybody on the roads were great though. Nobody beeped at us or got mad at bikes. Everybody was polite, let you get out to turn and always gave you room to ride. It wasn't difficult on the roads at all, even though they were quite busy. We had to weave in and out of traffic but because they were so good and we were a lot better and didn't hesitate there were no problems at all. At the bus station we decided to just book the bus as we knew the company (the transport co.) as we had used them twice and we knew the bus station mo chit in Bangkok. We hadn't been on a train so it might get a little stressful so close to get a flight so we played it safe! We booked the bus to Bangkok at 8pm, getting in at 5.30am so plenty of time to get to the airport for our flight at 11am. I chose the very front seats on the top of the bus, the death seats, as we would see everything clearly, all the dangerous driving! But we thought it would be a laugh and our last experience!
On the way back from the bus station we rode around the whole of the city walls on the big main loop road. We were looking for a barbers for Nath but didn't found one until we got inside the city walls and ended up finding one just around the corner from our hostel. He paid £3 for his haircut and he was happy with it at first, but then he decided later that he didn't like it. It still was good for £3 though. And it was like in someone's living room, so that was an experience for him!
We had a look at all the trips we wanted to book on later and made our decisions about what to to. There were so many!! When we were riding to find Sompet Market, the market closest to us, Nath popped his tyre thinking he was clever bunny hopping off a curb so we had to bring the bikes back! We walked down to the market, bought some fruit and then got pad tai for dinner. Oh we have missed you. Missed Thailand too! Everybody is just so nice! Love it so much! After catching up with our beloved pad tai and Thailand, we went back and chilled at the room. We were both still feeling run down so need a good sleep to sort ourselves out!