I have been living in Thailand for more than three years.
During this period I have explored 18 provinces from the center, the
north-east and the south of Thailand but I failed to visit Chiang Mai. The
reason why I postponed my trip to the northern provinces was that everybody
mentioned them. Almost every single taxi driver whom I started a
conversation with asked me if I had been to Chiang Mai, and assured me that
the girls there are suai and the food is aroi mak mak, while
the weather is nau.
Being bombarded every day by such praises of beauty I felt that I had better
stay out of that part of Thailand, probably full of tourists and scams. In
the meantime, however, I read enough on Thai culture to realize that indeed,
Chiang Mai is a special place, full of history and wonders of the past.
deciding factor of planning a trip to Chiang Mai was the necessity of
writing an article for a Romanian newspaper about the ancient capitals of
The four days and five nights spent in Chiang Mai, with a day-trip to the
Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai, proved to be one of the best holidays I have
ever had. The city itself had a special charm that made my sojourn
unforgettable. Being a person interested in languages, I was excited to
learn a few words in the northern dialect, and to listen to the languages
spoken by the hill tribes.
Iím not a night crawler, but a day walker, so most of the time spent in
the north I was either walking in temple yards and on mountain paths, or
riding the rot daeng (not the Bangkokian songthew) to the
must-see national parks and other points of interest. At dusk, when I could
barely feel my feet, I made supernatural efforts to drag my girlfriend and
myself to the Night Bazaar and the numerous street and wat markets,
where we enjoyed traditional Thai massage, northern food and bought
handicrafts from the locals.
I parted with Chiang Mai and the north of Thailand with a feeling of both
loss and fulfillment. I knew that there were so many other things to do, see
and explore in this forest-covered part of Thailand that I hadnít even
been close to in my short holiday. Nevertheless, I know that I will come
back to the north again!
Assumption University Bangkok