So the first thing for us to mention is that we arrived in Chiang Mai on the first day of their Thai New Year...Songkran!! It was absolutely insane! So locals basically shut up shop to have a massive street water fight, by water fight – I mean at no point in the next 3 days will you be dry if your outside, (well after 8ish at night when everyone carries on partying in bars instead of on the street!). From water guns to buckets filled with massive ice blocks and iced water! (where do they even get ice blocks the size of a bedside table from in 35 degree heat??) Usually, it goes down the back of your neck once you’ve walked past! F**k! Everyone you walk past, and I mean everyone, will soak you! If it be down the back, shot in the eye balls with a water gun or most men tended to go for my lady coconuts… I did ask one guy ‘why?’ and he said ‘its just something I’ve got to do!’
Even if you thought walking in the road would save you, well look at the picture above! Stand still traffic! So it was either the road way.. freezing cold water or the path- which meant you would then have warm smelly river water thrown at you instead. We did have one bucket thrown at us that smelt like pure sh*t, (Tip** try and keep your mouth closed, you don’t want that going in the mouth! It isn’t very pleasant on the old gut, if you get the jist!). So we opted for the iced water, at least we knew that was cleaner even though it was a constant shock to the system!
The first day of Thai new year was great, running around like a kid with a water gun! If your lucky enough like we were you might just be invited onto the back of one of the locals trucks to party on the back of it! Blaring music, Chang beer and a lot of dancing and giggles while you soak oncoming people and other trucks!
As fun as the first day was, we ended up having a heavy night on the drink, not big or clever. The day after we were dying in our own self pitty and needed a famous 7/11 cheese and ham toastie and a f**k ton on water down us. (by that I didn’t mean we wanted to join the crazy water fight again!! We got pi**sed up and lost our water guns anyway) Lets just say it was a f**king nightmare, we just wanted the shop but instead we got soaked, terrible hung over feeling like dog sh*t. That was not fun! By this time we had enough of being soggy wet.
It was pretty decent to be honest! The beers did seem to be a little more expensive in the places that have the blaring music on compared to the quieter places but you just pay it don’t ya, when you’ve had a few! ‘Zoe in Yellow’ was the was the most lively. We only managed one night partying and literally died the next day, but if your hardcore you’d defo have a good time here!
Thai Secret Cooking School
If your going to Chiang Mai and fancied a cooking class, this is the one for you. The lady who runs it is amazing, so friendly and really knows her stuff! We paid about 25 English pounds each for an all day cooking course (sorry apparently my keyboard don’t have a pound sign.. I did buy the laptop in the middle of Vietnam so yeah!) It included pick up and drop off, a local market tour to get your ingredients and – a starter course, a noodle course, side dish, main curry dish and a desert to finish! You get to pick from about 3 or 4 options on each course too! Every dish you make from scratch and you get to eat everything you make! May, the lovely lady who lets you into her home to teach you traditional Thai dishes, also prints you a personalised recipe book to take away with you too!!
Sunday Night Market
Absolutely massive market with everything you could think of being sold. The street food here was really nice and very cheap too! Anything from clothes, food, bags, souvenirs or oils to keep the bugs away, it had it here! Probably the best and biggest night market weve ever been too! If you fancied visiting its along Ratchadamnoen Road.
We are a little peeved we cant comment on Chiang Mai more as a whole but with the Thai new year going on it was impossible to explore! So our personal advice would be to check what dates you book to visit, unless you don’t mind being soaked for three days straight! If you manage to miss this crazy event, our plans WERE to visit the vast aray of temples, the national park ‘Doi Inthanon‘ -which is the highest peak in Thailand and to explore the city as a whole. The bits of the city we did see in between getting absolutely drenched were pretty cool.