After a week, I changed to the Chatachuk area, across town. I stayed at the Plim Place, another nice hotel and only about $20. The room was huge, very clean and while far from the BTS stop, it was near shopping and restaurants. I moved because two of my favorite people from Mandalay were staying there that weekend. It was perfect - sort of like being neighbors back in Mandalay, with amenities.
Next I flew north to Chiang Mai, where I spent several days (most of them rainy) in another huge hotel room. Prestige Chiang Mai Residence is new and while outside the old city center, was a great place to stay. And, at $25 a night, another bargain.
Today, I moved to the Villa de Chiang Mai. It is a 3 minute walk (if you're a gazelle) from the Thae Pae Gate into the old city. It's also very near where I stayed when I visited Chiang Mai 12 years ago. This hotel is very nice, but more expensive - about $36. Still, location, location, location.
I Skyped with a friend this week. She spent over a week in Italy recently. The six weeks I'll spend in Thailand and Vietnam before coming home will cost about the same as her week in Italy. Both are terrific options - just different in price.
I'm doing a mix of going for walks, eating street food, reading, watching marathon sessions of cooking shows, handling business via internet and just relaxing and thinking. I'm still confident that I made the right choice. I think it was best for everyone. Everyone except my poor housesitters who thought they had months more of comfortable living and instead are scrambling to find another place to live. I feel bad about that.
Here are some photos from Chiang Mai.
|The fanciest presentation of mango and sticky rice I've ever had. From a street vendor. There was a little bit of puffed rice on top which added a nice crunchiness.|
|Villa de Chiang Mai - my latest hotel room. At $36, this is high end. It was also the smallest room so far.|
|I was standing in the door of the hotel, facing toward a wat (Buddhist temple). Wat did you say, Mary Lou?|
|Beautiful but I've seen enough wats, pagodas, etc. to last a lifetime.|
|On the other side of the alley was this door.|
|I was sitting inside this Italian restaurant. I took a photo of the seat on the small porch because that's where I had my first dinner in Chiang Mai. In 2003.|