Chiang Mai is a really nice town, even with how touristy it is, even when you decide to take a walk and get lost for more than an hour and your shoulders achive that attractive lobster red so sought after, even if you think you'll kill the next person who tuk-tuks at you, yes, even then. The heat, as always kind of crazy but there's a moment that you start to deal, after all, you drink water, juice, you sit on the temples with a gentle Buda and the monks and the fans, you sweat and that's ok, it's not exactly the end of the world when afterwards you can shower at your nice hostel.
Oh, and the spicy soups and the currys are to die for.
Chiang Mai Day 01:
My hostel is outside the old city of Chiang Mai and because there's not what you can call public transport, tuk-tuks and sarangawe and the strange red van cabs are the way to move around, except if you like to walk, which I do, but that's how instead of walking to the city, I started to walk to the 'fabric' (which is what the man who helped me called it, I suppose he meant the factory), and that's how I got my shoulders sunburned. But I arrived and it was a temple day, and Chiang Mai is easy to walk through... sometimes, there also tons and tons of little soi and losing your way is very easy.
I learned two things though: there's no drivers like the thai drivers, an opinion no shared my friend because she is italian, which, yes, she's somewhat right except for the second reason and that's the fact that nobody uses the their horns, and that's why I believe they are better.
Chiang Mai Day 02:
One of the things I set myself on doing in this trip was learning to take somewhat serious trekking trips, which I never do back home because I'm so lazy, so the second day in Chiang Mai I decided to do a only nature trail at Ban Mae Tae. We were only 8 people, curiously enough there was someone from Tarragona (my father hometown), which made us laugh like silly girls because, what are the chances? Tarragona is not that big.
For someone more trained I'm sure it was a middle in difficulty... for me it was really hard, but I enjoyed myself so much that I think I got the bug. There was a silence and this amazing and overwhelming presence of plants that I just felt small and scratched and tired and great.
Chiang Mai Day 03:
That was a pet peeve of mine, and I don't want to appear neither a snob or a stuck up, but I admit that when I see how some mahouts treat elephants my heart completely breaks, that's why I wanted to do something else when it came to learning about elephants; so, that's why a friend I've made and I decided on going to the Nature Elephant Park in Maetang. I know it's essentially a tourist thing, but it made me happy to see that the money I spent went that way, to caring about injured, maltreated and to rescuing other elephants in situations of abuse and need.
And they are so imposing, so smilie and big, they looked happy in there, even when they had their hips broken, some where blind, others had no feet due the presence of mines or of neglect.
So, tomorrow it'll be down south for me, taking the train if we can and using one of my favorites modes of transporation ever.