I arrived in Chiang Mai bus station at around 7am and took a taxi to get to Rux Thai Guesthouse which cost ฿80 (Rs. 118/$2.6/€1.8). Rux Thai is a place I stayed last year as well. It’s located just off Loi Kroh road, which is essentially Chiang Mai’s tourist-filled area with the Thapae Gate at one-end and Ping River at the other.
Since I was going to be spending 3 to 4 nights, they gave me a room I requested on the ground floor (because they don’t have a lift) for ฿450 as supposed to the rack rate of ฿490 (Rs. 700/$16/€11) — which includes Wi-Fi. No breakfast included, but they have a restaurant on the ground floor which offers a decent menu at reasonable prices.
After a hot shower, I took a nap as I barely got any sleep in the bus (as is the norm for me in any bus journey). I got up as it neared lunch time, unpacked and took out all the camera equipment I had bought.
Though I did test out the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 lens and the tripod before I purchased them, I didn’t get to play around with them as much as I wanted.
I loaded the equipment into my backpack and left the room at around 2pm.
Other budget hotels on this lane are Centerplace Guesthouse, where you get single rooms starting from 200 baht onwards. Vipa House (the one with yellow board pictured above) is right next to Centerplace and is priced about the same as Rux Thai. (Maybe I should check out Vipa next time).
Though there was a cookery class near Rux Thai, I had already booked myself into another cooking class (which was one of the things I would be doing in Chiang Mai).
I crossed Loi Kroh road and walked pointlessly through the alleyways on the other side.
I chose to eat lunch at the same cosy small eatery I ate at last year.
After lunch, I rented a moped from the travel agent in front of Vipa House and decided to go on a drive around Chiang Mai.
Though, I did ask around to find out when exactly the release of the hundreds of lanterns at once was going to be. From research online, I did learn that the event was something that is held at some University grounds at a place called Mae Jo, but when I asked the people at Rux Thai, they weren’t sure about anything. (Communication is a bit of an issue in Thailand, despite how touristy this country is)
I planned to ride up Doi Suthep on the outskirts of the city, which wasn’t too far away. The route is quite simple really, plus I had done last year. Chiang Mai city isn’t as complex as say, Bangkok. As I got towards the road leading up to Doi Suthep hill, I stopped again to take photographs.
I wanted to drive up the hill as I loved the ride last year. I wasn’t planning to drive all the way up to the temple, just up until the last view point before the temple.
It was at this hairpin bend that the viewpoint was located.
I set up the tripod because I knew I would be pitch dark soon.
As it neared 7pm, I packed up and left the viewpoint. I drove back down and this time, I took my jacket with me… because last year, I froze! 🙂
Once back in the city, I parked on the side when I saw some beautiful decorations in front of Saun Dok Gate .
I headed back to Loi Kroh road.
After parking the bike in front of the hotel, I stepped out again, this time choosing to go by foot.
I wasn’t hungry and wanted to know where all the major Yi Peng celebrations in Chiang Mai would be. I was told that the major gathering point would be along Ping River.
As I walked out, I saw a ‘roti’ vendor on the way out and decided to eat something as it was getting late.
As I walked back, I realized I took a much longer route as the temple itself was not to far from the night market.
The Frenchman in the above photo and I got talking, though I don’t remember how the conversation got started. Maybe I was wearing my ‘It’s Football, Not Soccer‘ t-shirt which has my website’s logo at the back and so he gave me his blog’s domain as well.
I called it a night after this and headed back to my room.
I had my dinner from a rather nice joint on the same lane as Rux Thai. Lovely pork spring rolls and a can of beer (came to ฿200). I hit the sack early because I needed more sleep. Tomorrow was going to be any early morning, for I had to get ready to learn how to make Thai curry!