Chiang Mai, Thailand — Week 3: Star Wars, Relocation, and a Red Truck up the Mountain

At the beginning of our third week in Thailand we decided to branch out and try somewhere new for breakfast. We’d seen a sign for a cafe with an all day breakfast called Saded Cafe. I wasn’t impressed. It was way more expensive than our usual places. I had the pancake breakfast with bacon (undercooked or just really fatty), rubbery mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, crinkle french fries, and a fried egg. The french fries and egg were good. The pancake wasn’t bad, it was just super dense and I really like pancakes the way I make them…

I skipped out on having breakfast/lunch with Alex the next day so I could squeeze in another two hour thai massage at Nuad Thai Jai Dee — the same place I had my very first thai massage. I’ve decided I’m not going anywhere else for the rest of the time I’m in Thailand. The massages there are just wonderful!

Later I met Alex for dinner at our favorite place Guu Fusion Roti & Tea. At dinner I realized Star Wars: The Last Jedi was coming out soon. It’s been five-ish years since I’ve seen any of the first six episodes of Star Wars, so to get me ready for the new movie, Alex explained, in great detail, all of Star Wars.

The next day, before we headed to the movie theater to watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we relocated to a new Airbnb. I’m obsessed with our new place. It’s very posh. It’s in a newer building with lots of natural light, which I love. We can see the mountain from our bed and there’s a rooftop pool with an amazing view of the city!

View from our final Airbnb in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

We splurged and got First Class movie tickets to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the movie theater in MAYA mall. First Class tickets were 400฿ ($12) each and came with a cocktail, a soda, and our own medium sized popcorn. The best part about the First Class theater was the loveseat-like reclining chairs. I felt like I was watching a movie curled up in someone’s basement. Especially because the First Class movie theatre included a blanket at every seat! I really appreciated that because I’m always cold in movie theaters.

First Class Movie Theater, MAYA mall, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

After the movie we went to the Kad Rin Come night market by Chiang Mai University — one of the bigger ones we’ve been to. There was live music when we arrived and it seemed like a very happening place. We ate dinner in the food area there and then wandered around, but after we finished eating it was pretty late so everything was closing down.

The next day was such a fun day! We had a little bit of a late start but had breakfast/lunch at Smart Hostel near our new Airbnb so Alex could try their “American Breakfast.” Apparently the people at Smart Hostel think Americans eat a lot of meat for breakfast. Alex’s plate had one fried egg, two pieces of toast, two pieces of bacon, two pieces of ham, and two pieces of sausage. He liked it though, so that’s good.

We took a trip up the mountain to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep — the temple on the hill. After a little research we found that there were public red trucks (which are sort of like buses, but they don’t have a set route) that took people to the temple from two spots in the city. One near the north gate of the Old City, and the other near the Chiang Mai Zoo which was only about a thirty minute walk from our Airbnb. We planned to walk to the zoo and then take a red truck up the hill. At Chiang Mai University, just before the zoo, we found red trucks and ended up getting on a red truck there and heading up the mountain within five minutes. It only cost us 160฿ ($5) total, whereas everywhere online said to expect 180฿ each if we chartered our own red truck — score!

Dragon back handrail on the steps up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

There are three hundred and six steps up to the temple. That’s a lot of steps. I really liked the dragon handrails. The temple was beautiful and I appreciated that while it was touristy it wasn’t overwhelmingly so like some of the places in Bangkok had been.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The driver of the red truck gave us two hours at the temple before he took us back down. I was concerned that wouldn’t be enough time, but it was actually pretty perfect. We saw what we wanted to see in the temple and took pictures. We wandered the grounds and checked out the view of Chiang Mai from way up there.

View of Chiang Mai from Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Thailand.

Then we wandered around all the stalls in the market area along the road near the temple and when we were done it was time to find our red truck and return to the city. If we had had more time I would have loved to explore the hiking trails nearby and to check out some of the waterfalls — hopefully we can make that happen at some point.

During our trip up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep I caught myself trying to say thank you in Thai. I’d looked it up earlier, but wasn’t super confident so I only mumbled in response to someone who’d said it to me. When we got back to our place I looked it up again and watched a video to check the pronunciation, so we’ll see if that helps.

The rest of the week was relatively uneventful. We did manage to score a housesitting gig in Melbourne, Australia for part of January, so that’s happening. We already bought plane tickets and got our visas and everything! Crazy! Alex is super excited to go to the Australian Open!

Khob Khun Kha (thank you) for reading!

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