Everyone has that point while traveling, when things are going wrong, you are tired and you hate packing and moving every few days. If they say they don’t, it’s a lie. For me, it happened in Chaing Mai. After leaving Siem Reap, I hadn’t stayed longer than 4 nights in a single place, and apart from Vang Vieng, I hadn’t stayed longer than 2 nights in a single room.
The fact that I hadn’t stayed more than 2 nights in a room might seem slightly rushed. There was reasoning behind the quickness. I’ve moved to be closer to friends, to save money, to get visas, out of necessity when I checked into a place and was promptly told I would only be able to stay one night. Then there were night buses, and road trips. And before you know it, it’s been weeks since you saw the bottom of your backpack and the majority of your clothes.
So after the Mae Hong Son road trip with two friends, I decided to take it easy in Chiang Mai. I could have rushed through, hurried to the Thai Islands just for the sake of seeing them, but not really enjoying them. But instead, I stayed in this great little guesthouse very close to the main gate in Chiang Mai. I spent a full seven days eating, sleeping, reading and wandering around. There were a few times that I did touristy things, but they were very limited. It was during this time that I was fortunate enough to meet up with other travel bloggers (the Globetrotter Girls and Skinny Backpacker). Meeting them was a very enriching experience and it was interesting to talk shop with people who’ve become very successful.
I didn’t end up experiencing many of the activities that people rave about in Chiang Mai. There were no elephant riding courses, jungle adventures or cooking courses. I managed to make it to Doi Suthep, and to many of the temples around the centre of town. The situation turned out to my advantage, as I have plenty of things to see whenever I make it back to Thailand and leaving the city, I felt recharged for the first time in weeks.