Existing Member?

Running away from Home

How do you spell "chotchskies" anyway?

THAILAND | Thursday, 28 January 2010 | Views [833]

I didn’t take it personally that the monk in the cubby next to mine hid himself until we were in the station at Chiang Mai. Apparently they are not supposed to come into contact at all with women and as clumsy as I am I probably would have ended up falling into his lap. I hefted my pack off of the train and took it to a nearby bench so that I could strap it to me. This was about the time that the unpleasant Brit came along and I could tell that he was going to have a few clever words at my expense. He only managed to get a few words out before I said, “F*** off.” I know that it is unladylike and I should be ashamed, but if you saw the smug look on his face you would understand.

I had been on a train for 15 hours and I was desperate for exercise. It was 10:30 in the morning and about 80 degrees outside. Just perfect for a hike into town. I found a room at the Riverside Hotel that was a bit more than I wanted to pay (700 Baht), but it was clean and close to the night market.

I spent the day exploring Chiang Mai on foot, politely declining the offers for rides from all of the tuk-tuk drivers and browsing in shop windows. Chiang Mai is the handicraft center of northwest Thailand, but I’m always a bit wary of places that have become so touristy. You could be in a shop looking at a coin purse or a knitted scarf that was supposed to made locally, and then you turn it over and it says “Made in China”. I have met expats who told me to skip Chiang Mai and go further north if you want to get a genuine Thailand hill-tribe experience. Indeed, the guidebook that I am carrying says that most people are disappointed with the package tours that offer treks into the forest and encounters with the tribes. Sir Richard told me that if you purchase something at the market and pay too much, the vendor gives you a pink bag to tell the other vendors that you are an easy sell. I processed all of this as I watch the vendors set up their booths.

Mostly, I just wandered. It’s amazing the things they sell at these markets, the little trinkets and chotchskies, anything with Chiang Mai on it, and the amazing thing is that they only sell them because the tourists are buying. I got a definite same-old, same-old feeling from this market, even though there were a few garments that caught my eye. I purchased a few small things because the strolling vendors would not leave me alone otherwise. They are so clever with their little noisemakers and if you show the slightest bit of interest, they will not back off until you purchase something.

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About melissa_k

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries

My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Thailand

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.