We started off day 6 of our winter vacation by catching a somewhat dramatic (but definitely not the MOST dramatic…more to come on this later) taxi ride to the airport. A running theme of this trip seemed to be pushing the boundaries on just how little time we would give ourselves to get to and through the airports. This particular instance we managed to check in, get through security and then immediately board our plane.
The trip from Phuket (Southern Thailand) to Chiang Mai (Northern Thailand) was less than 2 hours and despite flying Air Asia we made it safe and sound to our destination. After checking in to our hotel we all took brief naps before heading out to get some lunch. In Chiang Mai I really wanted to eat the Khao Soi, which is a curry noodle soup. Josh, Natalie and I settled on a small restaurant not too far from our hotel and ordered food and smoothies. The food was delicious and for three meals, two smoothies and a coke the bill total came out to the equivalent of $10.
Although we were expecting Thailand to be inexpensive I have to say pricing here was quite scattered. In Bangkok everything was a bit more expensive, which is to be expected since it is a major city. Phuket varied and had some cheaper bars and restaurants and also some with pricing equivalent to the States. But in Chiang Mai pretty much everything was inexpensive. It also had the coolest temperatures out of the five cities that we visited. Apparently January is the coldest time of year to travel to Thailand, and thank goodness we chose this time as it was pretty comparable to SoCal summer!
Later on in the day the three of us attended a Khantoke Dinner Show at the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. It was great! We sat on the floor and ate a delicious meal that included beef stew, fried chicken, rice…and many other items that I do not know the name of! The food was limitless, with servers coming around to refill everything until you tell them to stop. After dinner there were many different dance performances with various costumes, all of which were entertaining.
The last dances of the evening were performed by actual hill tribe people in a mud floor amphitheater. These dances were much less ornate but still really enjoyable to watch and nice because it included multiple generations of actual hill people.
We ended off the night with an hour of shopping at the Chiang Mai Night Market, which was by far our favorite place of shopping our entire trip! Unfortunately we didn’t manage to take any pictures of this area…you can chalk it up to the fact that we were too busy bartering away with the locals.