Around Chiang Mai

The new hotel room isn’t quite as nice as my last one, but it’s clean and comfortable. Again, there’s a device near the door that controls the electrical power to the room. The power comes on when the large rectangular key fob is inserted into it.

Hotel room in Chiang Mai

Hotel room in Chiang Mai

An interesting difference with the bedding here in Thailand, is that they don’t use a top sheet, only a bottom sheet and a comforter. I don’t really miss the additional sheet too much, but sometimes it’s nice to have a cover somewhere between a comforter and nothing.

I have rented a motorbike; it’s a 125 cc Honda Click scooter. Top speed is governed at 90 kph (56 mph) at wide open throttle. That’s not a problem around town, but can feel a bit slow on the super-highway. The first day’s rent was 250 baht ($7.80). I opted to keep the bike for a week and the price dropped to 220 baht. At the end of that week, I opted for a monthly rental package finalized at 3000 baht ($94 or about $3.15 per day), playing one rental company against another.

The 125cc Honda Click I rented, in front of one of the many Temples.

The 125cc Honda Click I rented, in front of one of the many Temples.

The bike has a 2 liter gas tank and filling it up costs about 65 baht ($2.00). This lasts me nearly two days of zipping around town, sightseeing, shopping, and running errands.

Gas station in Thailand - about $4.50 per gallon, Jan 2014

Gas station in Thailand, prices are baht per liter – about $4.50 per gallon (US), Jan 2014

There are many,many temples here in Chiang Mai, and all around Thailand for that matter. I haven’t started to venture out to look at them yet, but I snap the occasional photo now and then, as I pass by.

One of the many Temples in Chiang Mai

One of the many Temples in Chiang Mai

The “old city” is a nearly perfect one mile by one mile square within Chiang Mai. Also in a square shape, are two ring roads separated by a moat, around the perimeter. The outer road’s traffic runs clockwise and the inner runs counter clockwise. There are at least 16 bridges that cross the moat as you travel around the ring roads, so switching direction is pretty easy. There are many fountains in the moat that make for a very pleasant scene as you wander along water’s edge. The water appears as unspoiled as a mountain stream due to renovations of the moat started in 1992 that included filtration, as well as the fountains.

The mote around Chiang Mai has many fountains

The moat around Chiang Mai has many fountains

It’s not uncommon to see workers around the city keeping it free of litter. I often find it difficult to find a trash can for an empty cup, or skewer left from a tasty food-cart snack, but I almost never see trash on the street in any quantity. I have discovered that the 7 Eleven convenience stores always have trash cans out front, and there almost everywhere.

Caption here

A city employee working to keep the moat area neat and tidy

I’m finding that I don’t have as much free time for blogging as I thought I would. I’ll keep posting, but probably at a slower rate.

I seem to have lots to do, and I was once told, when you have lots to do, get your golf game taken care of first.

5 thoughts on “Around Chiang Mai

  1. Hi, Sounds like you are really enjoying everything. Sounds like everything is inexpensive except gas. Enjoy because you are missing all this GREAT weather

    1. I’m enjoying most things. Like everywhere there’s good and bad, I’m writing mostly about the positives to keep the tone of the blog upbeat and be polite to my host country; I am a guest here after all.
      Not everything here is inexpensive. Luxuries like golf can cost more than $100 at the nicer courses (I haven’t played any of them yet). Also, nearly anything imported can be expensive. A Harley Davidson motorcycle, for instance, has a 120% import duty applied to it. So, a $20,000 Harley in the US costs $44,000 in Thailand, or about 1.4 million baht. I also saw fresh Norwegian salmon at the grocery store for $17.75 per pound.
      If you have to have the western brand names your used to, it will be expensive. I really like spicy Thai food and don’t mind trying things that I don’t even know what they are, so for me it’s pretty cheap here.

  2. Another interesting post. The picture of the moat and fountains is lovely and also conveys some history since they apparently needed a moat for protection long ago.
    The temples too are very interesting; they really convey the local culture. It’s interesting to read your account of the prices of various things; some are very different from here in the U.S. Sorry you can’t post often, but I know how easy it is to be busy.

  3. Hi Traveler,
    I just love reading your blog. It’s interesting and informative. Hope you find the time to continue writing. The weather looks a lot warmer than it is here.


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