-It’s refreshing to bring back all those memories. I stored everything I did on my calendar so I could look back and know when I did what, but writing about it brings back feelings and even more memories …-

Arriving in Bangkok is a bit much. A friend of mine had told me that already but I choose to ignore it, only to regret it afterwards haha … though I did appreciate it more at the end of my trip.

As I told you in my previous blogpost, I wanted to get out of Bangkok as fast as I could. I thought Chiang Mai would be better, and in many ways it was. I needed quietness and I guess most of all nature.

I feel people romanticize backpacking. As much as there are benefits to it there’s also a downside. For example, arriving at 4 am in Chiang Mai at a random bus station after taking a night bus. There weren’t (a lot of) taxis around so I sat there again thinking ‘what am I supposed to do now?’. You rely on yourself during these trips, which is good. You trust your judgement more. You know what’s best for you.

I found a cab and shared it with 2 other travelers whose hostel was close to mine. Here’s another thing about Thailand, they’ll always try and get the most out of you. Sometimes you have the energy to bargain, and other times (like at 4 am in the morning after an 8 hour bus ride) you just go with it. I also suck at bargaining.

I didn’t stay at a good hostel. Mostly because there wasn’t a good communal space where you could meet people. If you decide to go to Chiang Mai, I would recommend Hug Hostel. The people I met in Bangkok stayed there and I hung out there too. That day I met up with Emma & Daniel and we decided to go to the Sticky Waterfalls in an attempt to escape another busy city.

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We were thinking of scootering there but Daniel was the only one who could drive one. Emma was scared of driving one and I considered trying it. I was allowed a test ride … we ended up taking a ‘red truck’ for the afternoon to the ‘Waterfalls’.

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Red truck to Sticky Waterfalls

A red truck operates as a shared taxi in Chiang Mai – picking up passengers along the road. You pay around 20 baht a ride within the same district. Sometimes you can rent them for the day for a higher price, of course.

I was happy being out of the city. Nature, water on my feet. Yup I needed it.

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The second day I just walked around and visited some markets – which you end up visiting many times in Thailand. Temples and markets everywherrrree.

Still feeling anxious but less tense, I decided to move further North with the intention of finding some more peace of mind. SPOILER: I did.

TIPS:

  1. Stay longer in Chiang Mai than I did (I stayed 2 nights). I was just anxious because of Bangkok but there’s definitely more in Chiang Mai that you can visit. If you love temples, go visit them. I actually went back and spent an extra night before I crossed the border to Myanmar.
  2. Try and find a hostel with good communal spaces when you travel solo.
  3. RELAX, you’ll be fine. (I said that to myself a bunch of times that first week)