Chiang Mai: The Dregs

Sometimes you unexpectedly hit lows on the road and everything seems dull, drab, forced.  Senseless.  We hit a low in Chiang Mai.  Wary of tourist traps advertising elephant tours, jungle treks, or authentic villages, we drank beer, smoked cigarettes, and wandered around the town aimlessly. As usual our spirits would lift while eating – and we ate very well in Chaing Mai – but for the most part we were hot and uninspired.  Had we been more alert or curious or tolerant of other tourists we surely would have gotten more from the place.  That said, Chaing Mai still felt like a pale, over-exposed version of the exciting northern Thai city that I heard so much about.  The night markets were neat and orderly and as a result completely boring.  Much of our time was spent spectating.  Incapable of joining in on the fun we simply watched others coming back dusty and frazzled from a day spent on the backs of slow moving pachyderms.  We sulked and pondered how to get on with the trip, looking ahead to Laos and other promises.  During our last night we caved in and bought tickets to the local kick-boxing event.  It was a revelation.  As if vicariously, our idleness was beaten out of us.  We were ready to move on.

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musicians at the temple fair

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night market

night market

learning about local toys

round one for the kids (they are 14)

we wondered if he had that killer instinct

prep-work

bets are on

ref

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he did not have it in the end

ref 2

the winner

Francis Bacon

man

another man

playing eight ball with Taffy

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