BarclAysia Day 10: Back to Thailand

(posted by Emily)

28 December 2014
Siem Reap, Cambodia and Chiang Mai, Thailand

On the day we were leaving Cambodia, we decided to pack up early in order to have time for breakfast. We did one last walk around the hotel, printed our boarding passes, and grabbed a tuk tuk. 

The main courtyard of the hotel

Since Peace Cafe opened at 7:30, we knew we would have plenty of time to grab food before getting to the airport. We sat down to eat in the garden, which reminded us a lot of Chocolatree in Sedona. 

Breakfast was filling and cheap--only $11 for tofu scramble with toast and a "coffee plunger" with soymilk, apple and pomelo juice, and sweet and sour cauliflower. I have become more and more of a fan of the savory breakfast on this trip!

The trip to the airport was quick and fast--the airport is clean with nice shops and in better shape than Don Mueang in Bangkok. Boarding took place out on the tarmac again. 

Tree made of baskets made by a local artist

We passed through immigration at Don Muang and then headed over to the domestic departures terminal to be ready for our flight to Chiang Mai. We had about a 3 hour layover, where we hung out by our gate reading and checking the Internet. 

All was well with our Air Asia flights that day--we didn't actually hear about the missing plane until after our first flight. Strange to be using that carrier the same day they lost a plane. 

Our flight to Chiang Mai was actually longer than the flight to Siem Reap. The countryside is very different, hilly and cool. 

We hopped in a (very flamboyant) taxi to head to our hotel, another Le Meridien

Our room is modern and recently refinished, with a stunning view of the city. 

The big event on Sunday night in Chiang Mai is the Sunday Walking Street Market. There are stalls selling food, arts and crafts, clothing, herbs--everything. It was packed with people, tourist and Thai, and even spilled over into some of the temple complexes as well. 

coconut water vendor
Food stalls with seating in the middle of the aisle way 
vegetarian Pad Thai and spring rolls
one of the many, many vendors selling scarves

tons of fancy hanging lights
these guys were sitting in the street playing music

Inside one of the temple complexes
surrounded by bells--ring each one for good luck and prosperity

serve yourself sushi stall, in the temple complex
giant gong you could ring
Barclay for perspective
inside another temple

Behind the temple, beautiful hanging lanterns

Another huge, very ornate temple
colorful banners suspended from the ceiling
This guy had a bunch of birds on his cart
Passing through another temple

Fine art laid out on the street
The market goes on for blocks and blocks and blocks. The streets are closed to cars, and smoking and drinking is not allowed. Rick figured we could make our way through the whole thing, but once we realized the scope of it all, we scaled back our expectations. We did a bit of shopping, picking up Thai herbs like saffron, star anise, kaffir lime, and chili, a few scarves, dried herbal mushrooms and ginkgo leaves, and a small candle holder. 

Rick had spotted a bar just off the road, which was playing classic music (Beatles, EW&F, etc) and decorated with vintage Coke products. We stopped for some beer and peanuts, and enjoyed people watching. 

The owner is the fellow with the John Lennon glasses
Then, it was back to the hotel. After some debate, we realized we weren't sure of our room number. Rick was convinced our room was on the 18th floor, but I was certain it was on the 16th. Interestingly, our keys were coded wrong for the elevator--so, we got off at 18 (the only floor it would let us choose) and tried "our room." No luck.

Trying the wrong door
We went to the front desk, discovered we were in fact on the 16th floor and our keys had been coded incorrectly. Gotta love it! We finally made it back to our room and headed to bed. 

Massage Count: 6

Thai cooking school tomorrow!


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