Daily Archives: 2010-01-09

Bed hopping in Charming- Chiang Mai, Thailand

I arrived in Chiang Mai which is just 700 km north of Bangkok a couple days ago but already, I feel a strong affinity with this place. I am not sure if it’s the people, the atmosphere or the scenery, but I feel a strong sense of calm laced with little flecks of delightfulness. Certainly a big change from the aggressive hustle and bustle of the smoggy metropolis that I just came from. Don’t get me wrong…there is place for everything. But this is the place for me right now.

Where the tallest spires of temples are not shrouded by modern skyscrapers and where the street trash is sorted into their respective recycle bins. Where the busiest streets are still tame enough to walk across rather than the run for your life speed one must adopt to navigate CM’s bloated big brother, Bangkok.

I am sitting on the 5th floor rooftop restaurant of my hotel having breakfast as a morning breeze caresses my cheeks. Although the sun is beating down on me unfettered by clouds, it’s not too hot but I can feel myself already getting a tan. Nine AM and the city hasn’t quite woken up yet. The occasional market goer plods on briskly to discover what’s on offer for today. The birds chirp merrily as I admire the stunning mountain backdrop which surround this quaint gem.

I am feeling much better now. I am still a little sick with my cold but I am convinced the worst is over. My heart and soul feel a lot better too though I am not sure what changed. Perhaps it was the couple days I dedicated to serious self care. When I first arrived I stayed in a 10 person dorm room of a cheap ($3/night at A Little Bird Guesthouse) but cheery hostel. This was great for socializing and getting tips from other travelers, but not very restful.

The next day I splurged on a highly rated hotel ($80/night Rimping Village) a bit further from the center. It was very quiet and comfortable but rather isolated in its remote little neighborhood. This can be easily remedied by taking the complementary bikes for a spin and I saw many families doing just that. As for me, I was determined to heal my sore lungs. The caring staff brought me limes and honey for my tea and I crawled into my king size bed. Tucked in snuggly into the fluffy duvet, I watched the DVDs that I borrowed from the front desk until I fell asleep.

The next day, I felt a little better though not quite out of the woods yet. I decided to find somewhere in the middle where I could be comfortable for a few days but not break the bank. I decided on a cute little boutique hotel called The Small ($30/night). I thanked the owner of Rimping Village who insisted on driving me and checked into my new home for the next three days.

As soon as I entered the lobby, I was impressed by the vibrant colors and bold design. The fun continued up into my room on the 5th floor which was adorned with a pink and bright orange color scheme. I loved the high ceilings and sharp lines agreeing with almost all the artists choices. I was fascinated by the open shower concept. With glass on three sides, one could lift the blinds and look into the sleeping area or out to the street to watch the city below. I decided this could be a entertaining feature for couples and exhibitionists especially.

I am delighted to have found this place and am contemplating extending my visit already. I thought about taking some cooking classes as this is one of the major activities this region is famous for, along with massage schools and spiritual pursuits. I get the feeling my plan of heading to Laos may be delayed some as there is so much to explore here first.

Grateful for changing skylines.


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