Thursday, January 26, 2012

We're Charmed by Chiang Mai! 1/25/2012

Today was a travel day for us, and a loooong one it was.  We woke up early and had breakfast at our hotel in Bangkok.  We finished just a little last minute packing, checked out  the lovely Adelphi Suites and caught a taxi to the airport.

We'd allowed extra time to get to the airport, as we'd seen plenty of traffic jams in the past week in Bangkok.  No traffic jams today, and we arrived at the airport 4 hours early!  It was too early to check in for our flight, so we relaxed for a couple of hours.  Great people watching at the airport!

Check in was quick, and getting through security was even quicker!  That was a little surprising to us, as we'd noticed a lot of security in Bangkok.  At shopping centers and the subway there are airport type metal detectors, with bag checks at every entrance, and we noticed a heavy police presence in the Sky Train stations also.  We assumed there would be heavy security with multiple checks at the airport, too.

After zipping right through security, we headed to our gate.  We sat in some nice comfy chairs and waited to board.  And waited, and waited.........our flight was delayed over an hour.  We were flying with Nok Air, a budget Thai airline, and our one way tickets from Bangkok to Chiang Mai flight were only $35 each.  Other than the delay it was a fine one hour flight, and we landed in Chiang Mai about 3:20 pm.

A very short wait for our luggage, an easy 10 minute ride to our hotel ($4) at here we are at the Parasol Inn!

Hmmmm...this is not the Ritz, for sure!  But it was a bargain, at less than $45 a night, breakfast included.  Check in quick and easy, the young lady at the front desk was sweet and welcoming.  She escorted us up several flights of winding stairs to the the 3rd floor, apologizing for no elevator.  Oh well, maybe the stairs will burn off some of those Thai beers and mojitos we're drinking!

Here's the pretty door to our room:

Our room was a bit smaller than I'd expected, as I'd chosen the "superior" room, but it's spotlessly clean.
Here's the pretty bed, complete with "towel art".   Note the funky designs painted on the walls!


We gave the bed a quick test, and holey moley!! It's as hard as a rock--we think it's actually just a box springs.  Oh well,  I'm sure we'll survive.  $45 a night, $45 a night, $45 a night......

Here's the view from our window, looking out onto Wat Pan Tao:


We quickly unpack and get a bit organized, and head out to the street to explore our neighborhood. (and find a cold beer!!)

We hear some loud music and see many people gathered on the streets.  It's a parade--they must have known we were coming, what a nice welcome!  The parade started with several flag carriers:

And then two gentlemen carrying a large picture of their King:


And some drummers dressed in handsome red costumes, the flute music is lovely:

video



 Followed by some lovely Thai ladies (and men) all dressed in white:


And then several novice monks:



Followed by pretty dancing ladies, dressed in Traditional Thai clothing:


And after the lovely dancing ladies came some young men playing drums and dancing.   They were really rockin' out, and obviously enjoying themselves:



they were followed by two very official looking gentlemen on a truck, we're pretty sure that sign says "Welcome to Chiang Mai Dave and Di" (but my Thai might be rusty??)

And lastly, a monk, seated on a carved gold chair which was mounted in the bed of a pickup.  He was very serious and serene:

And there you have it--Our Welcoming Parade!

How lucky are we?  Great timing.  We did ask  a couple of locals what the parade was for, and couldn't quite get a definitive answer.  Maybe something about that monk having ascended to the 3rd level??  Regardless of the reason, it was a lovely and fun surprise.

After our parade, we settled into the Terrace Bar at our little hotel and enjoyed a nice cold Sing Ha beer.
We then roamed around the neighborhood, exploring a several block area, and looking for a likely spot for dinner.  We chose a small restaurant right around the corner from us.  We settled in, ordered a beer and a mojito.  We were joined by a friend, he was in the lantern right on our table!

We had a nice, refreshing green papaya salad:

  A delicious curry dish with rice:


  And a pork stir-fry with glass noodles and great crispy vegetables:


A very short stroll back to our hotel, and it's another early evening for these two travelers.

Tomorow in Charming Chiang Mai:  A trip to the Warowot Market and explore a few temples.

3 comments:

  1. What a grand welcome- I'm pretty sure the parade was just for you two. Dinner looks yummy! Glad your room is clean and brightly decorated - so traditional looking. Have a good time and I am finally all caught up on reading your blogs...beautiful pictures and writing-thanks.

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  2. Love the bed! And glad that you are far away from today's bombings. Of course with all those monks hanging around you surely will be protected by all that serenity. Ommmmmmmmmmm When you get home maybe we can try to make some of the wonderfully-yummy-looking meals. I wanted to reach out and gobble up the curry dish. Oh yea..... glad you were drinking a Sing Ha beer. Tonight I plan on having the Samuel Adams Cream Stout that Dave gave me. Cheers! Or would that be Sing-Cheers?

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  3. Towel art on the bed...watch those sharp corners on the end of the bed Di. I'm certain the parade was for you two! (Why do I giggle every time you say your Thai is rusty). Such vibrant colors every where you look. Your pictures are wonderful. Lots of stairs to your room each night...but then again...YOU are the climbing Lundbury's! The rice looked delicious...LOL And once again I envy the time on a terrace having a cold one. 10 degrees cooler, I was glad about that. Can't wait to see and read about the rest of your visit in Chiang Mai. How about that door to your room! Take care and keep on blogging. I loved your pose on the couch....

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