Laos in now in the past, Thailand is now our present. The quaintness and charm of third world Laos is replaced with the busier pace of industrialised Thailand.
We arrived in Chiang Mai after easy boarder crossings, passport approval and 30 day permits for Thailand. Roads are in good repair, multi lane and faster than Laos, as is the pace of life generally.
Our first night was at the Jasmine Hotel just inside the old Chaing Mai city. The original city walls are pretty much gone,however there is a four sided narrow canal that marks the old city boundary.
We are reminded of Spain or Turkey in relation to tourism. Everything is motorbike hire and day tour orientated for trips and adventures of one kind or another including elephants and zip wire adventures and for people much younger than we are (that sounds awful, but bars, massages and tattoos are not our thing).
So we need plan to escape the city and it is coming together. Saturday we leave for the town of Pai for 2 nights in a bamboo hut and then 3 nights at Cave Lodge near Soppong.
This means we can visit caves, waterfalls and villages in the hills of Chaing Mai province before returning to the city later in the month. On 23 December we start a house sit on the outskirts of the city to care for a house and 3 cats. This sees us through to 2 January 2017 with a new year and new adventures.
In the meantime our challenge is to give the city of Chaing Mai a chance and remember to take great pleasure from small things.