Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Chiang Mai: The Trip

The first time we go anywhere on holiday is always a little nervewracking, a little tension-filled. Would we like the place? Would HM be overwhelmed by dust and noise? Would we be bored? Would the hotel turn out to be dark and dank?

We picked Chiang Mai for a number of reasons. HM had never been there before; I had, but that was twenty years ago and I don't remember a thing from that trip! As the unofficial provincial capital of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai, we hoped, would be the perfect blend of small town charm and big city convenience. The weather in December was supposed to be cool and dry, a nice change from Singapore's heat and humidity. Moreover, the food was supposed to be different from that of Bangkok and the south. We could expect more northern and northeastern influences. And of course, Chiang Mai is renowned for being the marketplace of the North, as far as the arts and crafts are concerned. That it is also a city of some antiquity was something I, not HM, was interested in. Yes, crumbling walls and cobbled stone streets, just my kind of thing.

Still,something could always go wrong.

FYI, the conversion rate used here is SGD $1 to 20 baht which is a little conservative but easier to convert. The actual rate was SGD $1 to 22.7 baht at the time of travel.


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