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Going Around the World

Chiang Mai 3

THAILAND | Tuesday, 30 May 2017 | Views [330]

On Sunday, a group of us had talked about going for a short hike to a waterfall near Chiang Mai but some of the people who were going to go were far too hungover from the night before to have any desire to go. Maddie and I decided to postpone the hike until Monday to give people time to recover. We all ate a late breakfast and I hung out at Stamps for a bit, working on my laptop. Martin showed up (yes he is still in town 3 days after he was “leaving”) and we grabbed lunch together. We hung out back at Stamps for another hour or so, just hanging out and taking it easy. Martin then invited people to come with him to a bar that had a really good happy hour deal on margaritas. 3 margaritas for the price of 2, and the 2 cost 100 baht each ($2.85). So a bunch of us went with him to have happy hour drinks and boy were they good. They were good until the bill came and they were charging us for all 3 drinks. Turns out the 100 baht price is already a special price and is not included in the 2+1=3 promo they were advertising for happy hour. We talked with our waitress for about a half hour about how it was false advertising and very misleading. Paying an extra $3 was not the issue, it was more about the principle of the dispute. We lost the argument, paid 100 baht each and were on our way. Later in the evening a bunch of us from Stamps went out to the huge Sunday night market. It is a lot of people crammed into a small space, so after grabbing a few sticks of “street meat” (chicken or pork on a stick from a street vendor) we went to a bar to hang out for an hour or 2. Everything was going great at this bar until an English girl just exclaims “So what do we think about Trump”...the dreaded words that I have been able to avoid for most of the trip. It would come up here and there but I usually was able to move on to the next conversation pretty quickly. This time however, I was with a very opinionated girl, Olivia, from New York City and her and I got into a debate about voting philosophy. She just could not comprehend my approach to voting and I would not give in to say what she wanted me to say. After about a half hour of intense conversation, while the other nationalities were just watching like a monkey show was going on, I just got up and told her we were not going to agree on the topic and it wasn't an issue. I left to go to bed, as I knew there was never going to be an end to that conversation.

Yesterday, Monday, was the day for the hike. Maddie and Claire recruited some other to join us. I think there were 7 of us in all and we jumped in a red truck taxi over to the zoo. The Huay Kaew waterfall is very close to the zoo and we walked up the street to the park. It was a little strange having a waterfall so close to civilization, but once we made the 15 minute walk into the forest, we came upon the waterfall. It was a very different style than the one I had seen a few days before. This one had more steps to it and you could climb up part way, but you had to be careful with the slick rocks. It was easier to climb up barefoot than it was in my hiking shoes. One of the group members found a path up to the very top of the waterfall and it was a steep path up, but we all made it. Once we made it to the top, William and I decided to try and go further up stream to see what we could find. The others decided to go back, as the rocks got more steep and more slippery. We were moving up stream, going from rock to rock, following a dirt trail for parts and once in awhile when we would lose the trail, we would make our own. There were areas where it again was too slippery to have shoes on, so I would take them off to be able to grip. There were a few places where we had to go wading through the 2 foot deep stream to be able to move further upstream. As we climbed higher and higher you could start to see the entire city of Chiang Mai below. I think the others really missed out, but William and I kept moving up stream. We made it to a formal lookout point which had some covered pavilions and an amazing view of Chiang Mai. We hung out there for about 10 minutes then decided we would work our way back down to the rest of the group. When we started going back down, we see a sign pointing to “Monks Trail”. We decide we should try out the new way back down to the bottom of the mountain. Turns out his was the trail we were supposed to take up to the lookout point. It had stone pavers most of the way and also had actual steps. We made it back down in a fraction of the time it took us to climb up. We met back up with the group, told them what they missed out on and made our way back to the hostel in a taxi.

The group grabbed lunch at this salad restaurant right next to Stamps. It was a little pricey for what it was, but it was so good to have a salad for the first time in over a month. We then all decided to go get massages. 2 more friends joined up with us so we had 9 people that were trying to get massages at the same time. The first place we went to did not have enough space to accommodate us, but we found one on our second try. They had open space but they had to call in backup, i think some of the people were off the clock because it took some of them about 15 minutes to get to the massage parlor. I got a foot massage, others got the Thai massage or an oil massage. Thai massages are a lot of bending and twisting and I did not think that my back could withstand that. After the massage I went back to actually hang out at my real hostel for about 2 hours at The Living Place 3. I just needed to lay down after the hiking and massage. I went back over to Stamps and was going to find people to get dinner with and right as I walk in, I see Tyler. Tyler was one of my scuba diving buddies from a few weeks back on Koh Tao. I had no idea he was going to be up in the city, but there he was, he just checked into Stamps. Tyler and Olivia (the girl from the Trump argument) joined me for dinner and afterward we prepared to go checkout a new rooftop bar. At the rooftop bar, I brought a Smirnoff Ice that I had purchased a few days earlier and I wanted to “Ice” Claire or Maddie. Icing someone means you hide the drink somewhere for the other person to find it, under a seat cushion, in a cabinet, wrapped up in a towel. Anything to make them “find” it on their own, then they have to get down on one knee and chug the drink. Most people do not like smirnoff ice because it is too sugary. I was telling this girl, Jewels, who I had met earlier in the evening, that I was going to be icing someone. She apparently loves the game too and wanted to join in. So I successfully got Claire by putting it between the couch cushions she was sitting on. About an hour later after my mind had left the icing, I turn to get up out of my chair and kick over a bottle that is sitting next to my foot. Jewels just got me. Throughout the night, I was iced a total of 5 times (some should not have counted but I allowed it as a good sport) between Claire and Jewels. I started a war that I ended up losing. I was only able to dish out 3 that night. The group stayed out dancing and we even experienced the two late night bars, Spicy and The Living Room. They were both overrated, but I had to try them out once. 

The saying goes, “When in Chiang Mai, go to Spicy”...



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