My home, as much as I have one these days, has for the past two months been a condo in the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand. I have been living in the university area of Chiang Mai and it is one of Chiang Mai’s best. The area around Tae Pae Gate in old town is incredibly touristy and awful. Out here it is true Chiang Mai life, no one speaks English and there are no tourists. I am still an alien but they at least presume I am a resident alien! My 10th floor ridiculously cheap condo enjoys a rather nice view of the city from my balcony:
Just a few minutes walk from here, there is a large collection of food stalls under one large roof. We call them the Uni kitchens and they serve brilliant Thai food all day long for no money! Meals are all either 25 or 30 bath – around half a Euro, a quarter of a dollar, 4 Danish Kroner! For a full meal with free drinking water. We shall miss the Uni Kitchens very much now that we’re moving on!
Good day and Goodbye Chiang Mai, Thailand – my impressions
As I prepare to move on from Chiang Mai to Kuala Lumpur and then Australia I would like to share some observations with you. To be enjoyed with a healthy amount of sarcasm and irony!
- where the weather is just about perfect every day. Except there’s no coast and beach, nowhere to relax and enjoy this nice weather.
- where traffic is absolutely insane and it is perfectly normal to drive 3-4 people on one motorbike, Mum on the phone steering with one hand, 3 year old holding on to the handlebars – no one wearing helmets!
- where young people find it perfectly normal to wear weird furry hats in the form of a panda, mouse, tiger etc!
- where wild dogs roam the street wearing T-shirts!
- where strange Thai soap operas play 24/7 on every TV
- where noise is no issue. Thai’s do not notice it, are oblivious to it. I on the other hand want to find the off switch in my ears before I go insane. There is so much noise here. PA systems from hell. Traffic making your ears bleed. Disco in the ZOO. Jam bands killing my ears every night from every pub in the area. Outdoor concerts making me want to nuke the area! Noise always noise! Drives me absolutely insane.
- where you have a hard time walking anywhere. Sidewalks are not for walking. Thai’s do not walk. Sidewalk is for motorbikes to park on, for trees, for phone booths, traffic signs, anything but walking!
- where dried fish on a stick is considered a lovely snack.
- where NYE was one great outdoor party dancing in the street best ever!
…and in the best Monty Python tradition I end with:
The Sounds of Chiang Mai
- The Grinder. Always someone doing construction work.
- The Rooster. Not just at sunrise either.
- The Hammer. More construction.
- Never ending traffic.
- The Rooster. Again.
- There is no number 6!
- Kings of Leon and Red Hot Chili Peppers Jam bands. Play every bloody night at the pub next to my condo.
The Smells of Chiang Mai
- Fried Chili – and sewage
- Deep fried banana pan cakes – and sewage
- Diesel exhaust!
Chiang Mai. Love weather and food. Noise and traffic have driven me insane. Well more than I already was. Going to Australia. Full stop. Happy for end of Report khrap!