Of all the things to take back from Pai, I took back with me a throat infection. My obstreperous approach in taking care of my throat, even once I detected early symptoms, made things worse. I mean I took the basic cough lozenges – but when have they ever worked?
I was suffering mildly through the bus journey from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, but by nightfall when I was trying to sleep in my hostel room, it was unbearable. I had swollen lymph nodes, and was coughing so heavily, I’m surprised none of my roommates complained or asked to shift rooms. In the morning I got a local, herbal cough remedy, and it worked like magic! Opium meds are legal in Thailand, I think that could be it.
Side note: the hostel I stayed in was one of the nicest hostels ever. It’s a new hostel run by two sisters who smile all the time and go out of their way to help you. Loved it.
When I was not coughing, I spent my time exploring this tiny little city that’s full of culture and coffeeeee. I don’t know why they call themselves a city, because the place is so tiny, they’re more like a town. And they really love their coffee; you’ll find coffee shops / stores every few metres of the ‘city’. They sell the famous doi chang (northern elephant) brew of coffee – which is served with condensed milk. Everything tastes better with condensed milk, trust me.
The centre is marked by a clock tower that rings every hour, and if you visit it at 7, 8 or 9 pm, you also get a sound and light show where the clock plays some Thai music with colourful LED lights lighting up the tower. #Adorbz
I also got a chance to visit the famous white temple, which is so whacky, and so beautiful. There are life sized cut outs of the key designer of the temple at various points (he’s like 4 feet tall and needs better clothes); but the temple itself is beautiful! And the bathrooms… so clean and shiny. Top 10 bathrooms I’ve visited in my life for sure.
Besides this, there are the usual 20 million wats you find in every Thai city. I did visit them, but I’ve seen so many of them now that I’ve stopped spending lots of time at there / clicking pictures.
Chiang Rai also has a cat cafe called Cat ‘n’ A Cup. This whole cat cafe trend seems to be the new in thing in Thailand. I don’t know why I decided to go, my experience was not too different from the cat cafe in Chiang Mai: the cats here ignored and rejected me as well. I need to stop going to these cafes – it’s really damaging my self esteem…
And even though I have already mentioned this in my previous post, it’s been a month in Thailand. I’m back in Chiang Mai for a couple of days, and then I move onward to Koh Phangan for the full moon party!