Thursday, November 05, 2015
Chiang Mai I: The City of Somtheaws
Unlike your garden variety 'pious' gay lou, I don't make a yearly pilgrimage to Thailand. Truth be told, my last trip there was in 2008 with the BFF. SK, Apollo, Lifebook and QueerRanter-D planned a trip to Bangkok during the Malaysia Day weekend while KH and I did Chiang Mai. I didn't feel like going to BKK again. Might as well visit a different part of the country. But I think after seven years, the capital should be pretty different from what I remembered. Our flight was at 2:50 PM departing from KLIA2. Lunched at CBTL, Gateway @ KLIA2. Thrilled that I could use my Citibank B1F1 privileges there since technically it's not an airport branch.
The flight was smooth and we reached CNX on schedule. At the arrival hall was surprised that all the men were required to fill up an extra form. No idea why. KH and I didn't take a taxi out of the airport but he hailed a somtheaw (covered pickup truck) from the roadside! That only cost us THB50 per person. Pandainya suamiku. The preferred way to get around in Chiang Mai it seems. Somtheaws are more common than tuk-tuks. We dropped off at Ta Phae Road but we kinda took the wrong lane. Doubled back and found the City View Condo. Dao greeted us at the lobby and brought us to the studio unit. From the looks of things, many of the units there are rented out on AirBnB. Our unit was newly-renovated and had all one would need with the exception of a washing machine.
The first thing on our minds was dinner so I fired up Foursquare to find something to eat. Found a famous Pad Thai nearby, a branch of Pad Thai Ha Rod. Being specialists, they only had Pad Thai and Omelette (Pad Thai wrapped in omelette) on the menu. KH didn't quite like it, he complained that it lacked wok qi. Bought a piece of pumpkin custard from a stall next door and crossed the road to have iced Lao Coffee and homemade palm toddy ice cream at Baan Narumit. Lovely, strong coffee in a cozy garden environment. Sat through the heavy rain. Thankfully they had WIFI. When the rain stopped, we slowly walked back to our room, hand in hand... In bed, we had a romantic session of beer and bugs. Not quite wine and chocolates, but it works too. LOL.