Part one of our holiday was over, we checked out, returned the rental and took an Air Asia flight north, to Chiang Mai.
With a complimentary airport transfer we arrived at Rimping Village, our next port of call. Unlike the previous resorts, this was a small, personal and homely place – all rooms overlook the pool, and the grounds are dominated by a grand Banyan tree. We traded in luxury for warmth, friendliness and new friends. We loved it, the guests and the staff.
Settled in, we headed out to explore the hot hot dusty hazy Chiang Mai. Without a sea breeze, the 40C+ temperatures were exhausting to walk in (even at night it was 33C), and mid-afternoon probably wasn’t the best time to start.
Crossing the Nawara bridge, we took up a tuk-tuk driver’s offer to show us the city and find us some food (obviously we bartered the price down). Chiang Mai was going to be a very different type of holiday, there was activity everywhere; markets, street food on every corner, monks, motorcycles, travel savvy tourists mingling with the locals, temples down every road, the dust never has a chance to settle.
We ate pad thai and noodles at a small local place, for less that 100B total (about £2), and took a whistle-stop tour around the city.
Overcome with the heat, we recovered by the salt water pool and air conditioned room. In the (slightly) less hot evening, we walked along the river to eat at the Riverview bar, a place popular with everyone, it was heaving with life and live music greeted you at the entrance. Time to try the local beer, Chang, a standard lager, but not too bad. With a platter of North Thai hors d’oeuvres, including pork scratchings, and VERY spicy chilli dip, we enjoyed the atmosphere and relaxed.