Chiang Mai After Dark
So far we are having an amazing time experiencing the culture and exploring Chiang Mai. We met up with Kyle’s business partner and wife, whom we’ll be traveling with for the duration of the trip and live in the same apartment building. They arrived about a month ago, so they’ve done all the dirty work and have scoped out where to go.
Chiang Mai is beautiful and provides many experiences to be had during the day, but turns into a whole other world at night. I’ve begun to realize that as the sun sets the city gets even livelier. Chiang Mai also seems to be a carefree kind of place. The streets are packed with motorcycles, cars, taxis, and tuk-tuk drivers. Traffic isn’t the best yet everyone seems to be calm; motorcyclists hang out on their bikes drinking cans of pop and taxis hang out in the middle of the road coaxing tourists to take a ride versus walking. On the side of the road there are street food vendors as far as the eye can see, people jaywalking and patios packed. It’s chaos but in the best way possible.
While walking the streets at night one can find fantastic food and live entertainment. Turn down any street corner and you are bound to find an amazing bar packed to the gills serving Chang beer for dirt cheap and featuring a Thai band singing American songs. There’s always something going on no matter what day of the week it is.
Sunday Night Street Market – Tha Phae Gate
I absolutely love the night markets! First of all the size of these markets are insane; take a farmers market and multiply it by 20 and you’ll have an idea of how huge these markets are. There are all sorts of vendors selling authentic Thai, Indian, Chinese and yes, American food. You can find paintings, clothing and little gadgets no one will ever need. Would you like a knockoff North Face jacket for $5.00? Ok, it’s yours!
I’d say, besides the prices, people watching is the best part of the night market. I sat down for a 30 minute foot massage, that cost about $2.00, and simply watched the world walk by. Thailand brings people from around the world together. You hear so many different languages and accents. It’s absolutely amazing! It’s interesting to watch what products people buy, which stalls are popular with the locals, which are popular with the tourists and which stalls everyone loves. For example, while my feet were getting rubbed down I was watching this little ice cream stall. They weren’t selling traditional ice cream, but little disks that looked like macaroons and seemed to have some sort of frozen marshmallow type substance surrounding the ice cream.
That little stand was packed; it appealed to locals and foreigners alike. So I figured why not and got a cookies and cream macaroon lookalike. It wasn’t bad, I think I’ll stick to Ben and Jerry’s, but it was worth trying.
One of the best experiences at the market that night was a group of 4 guys sitting in a line jamming out. They were so much fun to watch and obviously love to play music. Plus the group was quite talented; they were the only musician group that had a crowd surrounding them.
All in all, Chiang Mai after dark is the place to be. There are so many sights and sounds to experience plus food to eat and people to watch. Our night out at the market including transportation, 2 fruit smoothies, dinner, a bottle of water and 2 foot massages cost us about $12.00. You can’t beat that! Who know’s where we’ll end up next. There’s an Indian fair every Thursday night, various markets, $1.00 Wednesday movie night and tons of live music. Can’t wait to see what our next adventure will be!
See you later,
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