Friday, December 28, 2012

Leaving Hong Kong

The morning after Papau's birthday party Ming Ye and Eugena picked us up to take us to the airport.  Mom was staying in Hong Kong for a couple more weeks but still wanted to ride to the airport with us.  We were treated to our final yum cha before we had to report for our flight.  I was so sad to leave and felt like a week wasn't nearly long enough for me to be in Hong Kong.  I was already plotting when we could make our next visit.  Here we are making frowny faces.  At least that's what I told Ryan to do.  He doesn't listen.
We had a stop in Bangkok because I had originally planned for us to spend some time there.  I changed my mind because I felt like just one or two days in a place wouldn't be enough so we nixed the nights in Bangkok but still kept the flight pattern.  We felt more self portraits were necessary in the Bangkok airport.

After only a few hours of travel time we reached our destination:  Chiang Mai, which means New City.  We were told that Chiang Mai has 1.5 million people and I couldn't believe it because it really didn't look like a city of that size and the infrastructure didn't seem able to support a city of that size.  I soon found out that it was a sprawling city.  Here is the view from our room.
We decided to eat at a place recommended to us that was close to the hotel.  The walk there was certainly an experience.  We quickly found that our American understanding of traffic flow and crosswalks was not going to help us as there were no crosswalks and there weren't a lot of traffic lights either.  Oh, and did I mention that speed limits and driving lanes seem to be mere suggestions?  So, we did as the locals did and stepped confidently into the chaos and shockingly came out unscathed.  It's kind of a simultaneous game of frogger played by both the pedestrians and the drivers.  Phew.  Ryan needed a beer after that.

 "Chang" in Thai means elephant.  Chang beer is good. The restaurant was really cool.  It was set back off the road in a wooded area and you could go upstairs and sit on a wraparound balcony/porch.  This was our first experience with the Thai way of taking your shoes off when you enter places.  It was a little strange at first to be barefoot in a restaurant but after awhile it kind of made you feel like you were at home because that is pretty much the only place we eat with our shoes off.  You can kind of see the place in the background of this picture.

Here's my beautiful and delicious fresh squeezed watermelon juice.

Here's an awesome fried banana thing.
After we completely stuffed ourselves we were on a quest to find the Sunday Market.  Chiang Mai has a Night Market every single night of the week but the Sunday Market is completely different and only guessed it...Sundays.  We had heard it had better selection and prices than the Night Market so we wanted to check it out.  We walked and we walked and we walked and we walked (all while risking our lives every time we crossed the street) and we finally found it!

Except it was not what we expected.  There were only a few rows of stalls with not much selection.  We couldn't figure out why everyone was making such a big deal about it.  And then we found out later in the week that we weren't at the Sunday Market at all.  Oops. 

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