After the long and arduous flight, only time would tell if jet lag would be our enemy. Upon arrive at Chiang Mai airport, we were flung head first into the pulsating nature of life in SE Asia.
The rain was falling as we journeyed via taxi from the airport to our AirBnb, the driver weaving to and fro between lanes without thinking or looking. We passed markets and shops, wound down through narrow roads and alleyways, a seeming labyrinth of short streets and dead ends, until arriving at our destination.
We had arrived before check-in but arranged to leave our bags, so after a quick change of clothes, we headed out into old town Chiang Mai. Still a drizzle in the air, we meandered around just taking it all in, not knowing what to do first.
As usual, we let our stomaches do the deciding, and food became our first course of action. We stopped into a small street side spot to grab our first, but most definitely not our last, Khao Soi and a delicious ginger cold tea. I honestly think this dish helped fully calibrate us to our surroundings. So full of flavor, it told our bodies we had arrived, we were in Thailand.
Khao Soi w/ ginger cold tea
Our wandering continued, through back alleys and side streets, with stops along the way to view a couple of temples and shrines. The sun was beaming now, and the heat was picking up, so we took respite at a juice bar to enjoy the free AC and some mind bogglingly fresh fruit smoothies.
Finally, check-in time had arrived so we slowly made our way back to the apartment. Once settled in, we headed back out to the nearest 7-Eleven (they are everywhere) to grab some bottled water and a few snacks not available back home. While out, we decided to stop and book a Thai bamboo massage for later that evening.
After a brief spell at the apartment, where we freshened up, we headed back out onto the streets to lazily make our way to the massage, before grabbing dinner.
What can be said about a Thai massage … all massages aren’t created equally, and Green Bamboo was leaps above. Complimentary tea and foot bath while we waited, followed by a hot bamboo stick massage.
With our bodies rejuvenated, it was time for more food! Unfortunately when we stepped outside the rains had returned. Not to be deterred, we found our way to Dash, where we indulged in another round of Khao Soi, and a pork laarb with sticky rice. What’s incredible is that this meal would be considered splurging here in Thailand, but at only $12 it was still a steal.
Belly’s full, body’s restored, we headed back to the apartment to take our long dreamed about first sleep in Chiang Mai.