Another 5 hour bus ride from Sukhothai and we arrive at Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is quite cool compared to down south, at night and in the mornings I feel a need to wear long sleeves. You even see the locals bundled up in down jackets, scarves and knitted hats!
As we arrived in the evening, we went to the nearby night bazaar. Again I got confirmation by the hotel worker that no one walks in Asia as when we asked her if we could walk to the bazaar instead of taking the songthaew she said ” I have never done it!” , it took 20 mins.
The night bazaar was as usual full of tourists and over inflated price. They all sold the same knick knacks. But I did eat a delicious noodle dish that had curry broth for 30 baht.
The next day after walking around the city for a couple of hours we decided to check out the “tiger kingdom” that is heavily advertised around the city. I was at first hesitant to go as I thought the tigers were going to be malnourished and such. It was so worth it! We paid 300baht for a round trip tuk tuk. And once you get in you have a choice of paying to see and pet four different sizes of tigers ranging from 420-640 baht. ( the smallest being the most expensive) D went for the big and smallest size while I only went for the big tigers.
The tigers were big! And we got to basically “spoon” the different tigers and take lots of pictures with them. They were so calm and just like a really big cat.
I didn’t see any signs of mistreatment and I doubt the tigers were drugged as they frequently went and played with the trainers trying to play “catch”. They were jumping around and stuff so they looked pretty alert. There was one lonely lion in a cage by itself, that looked pitiful. But overall an excellent experience.
Along the same road one could also go watch python farm, and monkeys doing tricks ( which I think is cruel).
The next day, we went climbing with Thomas at the flying horse buttress. To get there without scooter, the Chiang Mai climbing association has trucks going there at 830am and leave again at 430p, for 250baht lunch is provided. Gear can be rented. I managed to do a two pitch climb with Thomas so that was pretty fun. I saw that climbing courses was around 2800 baht which is comparable to Canadian prices, but from the way the guides taught, the quality is much much much better than in Railay where the guides told the person belaying to just ” give me a lot of slack.”
At night we checked out the Saturday walking street which was full of locals shopping. It was huge! And the prices were amazing and most shopkeepers had set prices. I went a little wild.
Now we are off to Chiang Rai!