So, after our adventerous day of elephant riding, white water rafting and jungle trekking, the next day was a more laid back and relaxing one. After enjoying our free breakfast at our hostel (a nice perk!) we went on a walk to try to find postcards to send home. The rest of the afternoon was spent hanging out by the pool…reading, swimming, and trying to think of things to write on the postcards that we hadn’t already said in blogs or emails.
We had been looking into getting Thai massages and decided that since we didn’t have any specific plans for that evening that we would try to go before dinner. We’d heard that traditional Thai massages could be quite aggressive but, after speaking to a nice little Thai lady that runs a massage parlor by our hostel, we decided to try it out. She had reassured us that the pressure or intensity could be varried based on the individual. I had been questioning what the proper attire was to wear for a Thai massage but, it turns out, all my worrying was in vain because once we got there they had laid out a white linen shirt and a pair of GIGANTIC pants that we were to change into. As the massage began Kelsey and I both had the giggles but after a short while the giggles subsided and we were able to enjoy our massages. My masseuse kept telling me that I wasn’t “relaxed” but hopefully by the end I was more so… :S
Before seeking out dinner we walked to the night bizarre which is a market similar to the ones we’d seen in Bangkok on Koh San Road and at the Weekend Market. People are selling everything from clothing to bags to knock off sunglasses and watches. While walking around we stumbled into some sort of pavilion that had a boxing ring in it. (Muay Thai seems to be very big in Chiang Mai and people pass around flyers every night advertising upcoming fights.) There was no action going on when we were there but the ring did say that they had training everyday at 10am so we tried desperately to find it again this morning but, unfortunately, were not successful.
We ended the night with dinner at a little restaurant where we each tried a traditional Thai dish. Kelsey had Pad Thai with chicken and I tried a dish that had noodles and chicken in a cocunut, curry soup.
This morning, after our unsuccesful attempt at finding the Thai boxing ring, we came back to the hostel for a while to hang out before heading up to Doi Suthep National Park for the afternoon. Doi Suthep is a temple on a mountain that overlooks the city of Chiang Mai. On our way there, our driver told us that “if you’ve come to Chiang Mai and haven’t gone to Doi Suthep than you haven’t been to Chiang Mai”. To get up to the temple you can walk up 306 steps or take a motor car. We decided to walk up, thinking it was more of a genuine experience. Only slightly out of breath, we arrived at the temple, bought flowers and incense as an offering to Buddah and walked around the temple three times which is supposed to bring us good luck. After taking in the beautiful sights of the temple, the bird’s eye view of Chiang Mai city and paying 3 Thai Baht to use a toilet, we were driven back to our hostel.
We’ve decided to extend our stay in Chiang Mai from 4 to 5 nights so we booked the extra night at our hostel, booked a cooking class for tomorrow and also bought our tickets to get us to Luang Prabang, Laos, a three-day journey that we will embark on once leaving Chiang Mai which I’m sure will bring us many more adventures.