We’re already back from Thailand. We stayed 4 days, but it feels like we never left China… Well, aside from the exhaustion and soreness from adventuring.
Not this time Captain Hook.
We left 深圳 (Shenzhen) Saturday morning after a quick stop at 星巴克 (Starbucks) to pick up a coffee and muffin (cinnamon roll for me). I don’t get Starbucks often (maybe once every 2-3 months), but since my sister is here I’m drinking a lot more caffeine to keep up. We took the ferry from the new Shekou port to the 香港飞机场 (Hong Kong airport). When we arrived at the airport we still had two and a half hours before our flight so we grabbed some lunch, and I sat down to edit the Youtube video of us meeting while she caught up on social media with friends.
Our flight was delayed 30 or so minutes, but seeing how the flight to Chiang Mai is only about 3 hours we still ended up landing on time. We were both pretty exhausted though so we grabbed a taxi for 300 Baht (about $6) and headed to our hotel. Boy, was the hotel so nice looking when you first entered it. The lobby has a beautiful chandelier and they were all set up with pretty little Christmas decor. I was feeling pretty good about my choice in hotels (here’s me trying to make great, but affordable choices for my sister’s first experience traveling abroad) when we went to go look at our room. As we were waiting for one of the four tiny elevators to make its way to the lobby and have enough space to fit us a nice UK man began chatting with us.
He was here with his family for the holidays and was kind enough to give us traveling advice such as how to hold your bag and what to look out for, etc. While I’ve traveled quite a bit over the past 4 years, I’m not one to brush off or turn down advice from someone who’s genuinely trying to help. Just as the elevator finally arrived he asks us if we’ve ever stayed at this hotel before. Neither of us had, and this is when a funny expression came over his face and with a comical roll of his eyes said, “it’s nothing like the pictures… I’ve already started my list of comments for other travelers. The lobby is great, but get ready to rewind a few decades.” He laughed as he got off on his floor…
It’s true. As soon as we stepped of the elevator we were slapped in the face by a powerful scent of cigarettes and ancient looking carpet. To be fair, there were about 40 cigarette butts in the ash trays next to the elevators (later we realized why so many people were probably smoking out there – waiting for the elevators was no picnic). Our room fared no better, thankfully it was pretty clean and large although we had to keep the AC/fan going whenever we were in the room to get rid of the permeating smell of smoke. (I’ll insert pictures later from my other camera.)
At this point we decided we needed to eat something and look around a little before getting some shuteye. When we finally made it to the lobby we headed out in search of the night market. Now, I can completely understand why our hotel was ranked as a 4 star hotel if that was completely based on location. It was literally less than half a block from the night market. Less than a 3 minute walk and we were smack in the middle of everything. I’d been to this night market on my last trip so I knew where we could go to grab some food.
Unfortunately, I’m not the biggest fan of Northern Thai food as it mostly seems to be too sweet or salty for me (perhaps it’s just because I order the wrong things). However, I had to let my sister try for herself so we stopped at one of the dozens of food stalls inside the night market bazaar area.
I liked this noodle dish better than others I’ve had there in the past, but I’m still not a huge fan. The spring rolls were good, but the mango smoothie was absolutely delicious. (All this cost us less than $5). The lady running the stall was very accommodating and made sure we didn’t order too much, seeing how we didn’t realize the size of one dish was more than enough for the two of us.
We then walked around for about 20-30 minutes looking at various touristy things. I had to show my sister the special ice cream stall although we didn’t get any that night. At this point, now very full and really feeling the exhaustion really setting in, we made our way back to the hotel. There was a 7-11 across the street from our hotel so we stopped in to grab a bunch of snacks and drinks to keep in our room. Some really strange movies were playing on the TV, and to be honest I can’t remember much else. Apparently I passed out pretty quickly and grumpily – I attribute this to being half asleep – when my sister asked which kind of Pocky snack she should open first to try.
She opened the Choco Banana Pocky.
Day one done.
~ I took a ton of video footage while we were in Thailand so I’ll finish putting together our travel videos as soon as I can, but let me tell you… YouTube creators are hard workers. Remembering to film, take pictures, charge batteries, bring backups, and then go back and spend hours on editing and piecing together short clips into a semi-cohesive product… hats off to regular/daily vloggers!~