First off was the hilltop temple of Doi Suthep, somewhere Mahmoud had “definitely, 100% not been”. We drove up and up in our nice and comfy air-con car, our friendly driver chatting away. Upon arriving, we discovered that Mahmoud had, in fact, definitely 100% been before, he just did not remember until arriving. The temple was very interesting – unfortunately it was very cloudy and we could not see the city below, but it was still good to see it.
The only bad thing about Chiang Mai is that it’s full of dirty old sex tourists (ST’s as we call them). Shame really, as it kind of puts you off your dinner when you see a leachy old man draped over a young Thai girl (or boy). That’s a bit of an unfair generalisation, but a lot of the time it’s just plain exploitation, and I don’t really like to see it happening.
More on the week to come, but generally we enjoyed Chiang Mai. It was a nice change of pace after Laos, and a great introduction to Thailand. Mahmoud’s lack of memory of his last visit seems to make it like a first-time destination for him as well!