Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Trip to Chiang Mai

I am staying away from our fitness topic for this week and want to talk about my recent trip to Chiang Mai in Thailand. All in all it was a pretty good trip, and probably one of the few non-beach holidays I have done. To be honest, I had more fun than I thought I would.

I stayed in Holiday Inn, which was next to the river… from the description I read on line, it said the hotel offered various river / water activities, which was the reason why I chose that hotel. Problem was the description was very false. Yes, its next to a river, but the river was extremely calm and murky like kopi susu. There was no activity at all around on the river and it was just still water. The other whammy about this hotel, it’s a little far from everything… meaning no restaurants or shops nearby. So we had to depend on the shuttle to shuttle us to and from town.
The hotel itself was very nice… after all it is the Holiday Inn, but just the location could have been better.

What is there to do in Chiang Mai? Well there actually are quite a few things to do. One main thing, is shopping… and traveling with my mom, one of her friends and my wife… you can bet we did a whole lot of shopping. But even then, I still managed to do a few fun things besides just shopping which made the whole trip worth it.

Chiang Mai is the 2nd biggest city in Thailand after Bangkok. It is on higher ground, but unfortunately, it did not feel any much cooler than KL.
Some of the activities you can do there are:-
a) shopping – Famous spots include the Daily Night Bazaar, Sunday Market & the Shopping Complex
b) visiting temples – there 4 to 5 big temples in Chiang Mai. The crown jewel of these temples is on which is located on a hill
c) Factories – Silk Factories, cloth factories, rare stones etc.
d) Animal Shows – Tiger shows (I mean the animal and not the other Tiger show, please see below), Snake, Monkey
e) Waterfall – I think there are 2 huge waterfalls, but as it was raining everyday, even the water of the waterfalls became like coffee
f) Shooting range – I shall talk about this shortly
g) River Cruise – Have dinner on a boat as it cruises down the river
h) Bars – from your standard Irish bar to the Go Go kind, you can find it all here.

There are probably other attractions as well, but these were the main activies.

Anyway after waiting for so long, I finally got my chance to shoot a hand gun. It was a little pricey. RM 170 for 30 bullets, but since you can’t do it here in Malaysia, I thought what the heck. I asked them if I could split the bullets over 2 guns – meaning 15 bullets for the revolver and 15 bullets for the Glock 9mm. It was extremely fun, but shooting is not as easy as your TV shows make it out to be. What you aim at, ain’t necessarily what you will hit once you pull the trigger – due to the kick back. The Glock 9mm was a little easier to shoot, but the revolver had very powerful kick back so my shots flew everywhere. Out of 15 rounds, 12 rounds hit the target (not bullseye unfortunately) while 3 was a miss. Not bad for first time shooting. With the revolver I only managed 6 hits out of 15 rounds. Although I workout heavily, my shoulders still felt sore the next day… so it does take a toll on your arms and shoulders. Like I told everyone…. Feeling the force of the gun, I cannot imagine the pain of actually being on the receiving end of the gun.

We did check out one waterfall and we hiked for about 1km up… but the water was too murky to swim in. So me and wifey just dipped our legs in the water, took some pics and hiked down. It was a pretty good hike as we had to climb over rocks and other obstacles to proceed forward. Check out the pic below… as I was hiking down, I saw this and it looked like a perfect spot to meditate.

We also did the river cruise dinner… food was so so but it was an experience by itself. You have dinner on this wide boat, which tavels at a ridiculous speed of 1 km per hour while the sun sets. Its something different all right, but if i do go back to Chiang Mai again, I might skip this altogether.

We visited the night bazaar almost daily. Just like Petaling Street, there are loads of things to look at and buy in these stalls and yes you can bargain for a cheaper price. I bought a few cool items for myself and it was actually fun to walk around and see what each store had. Cool.

So, all in all, it was a good holiday…but I do miss the beach. So the next holiday I do, has to be a beach one again. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments.

PS: OK time for a new poll. Similar to the previous one, but this time its about whether its OK for your PT to be overweight / looks out of shape. Cast in your votes and make them count.


The Corporate Athlete said...

the pics look great.

Try spending multiple-day hiking trip there. I went to this area called Pai and we stayed with different hill tribes each night. We even went out hunting for phythons one evening as the villagers wanted to prepare us a phython breakfast the following mrng. Lucky we didn't catch anything except a big rodent.

And yes, they cooked us the rodent for bfast!

Rajan said...

CA: Wah... you makan apa... nasi lemak tikus ke? hehehehehe

But that sounds cool... maybe next time i check it out, i will try this out.

Thanks for the tip.

anfield devotee said...

waah, life of leisure ah.

Kereta baru.

Asyik holiday.

Oi, you ni BN crony ke?

Rajan said...

AD: BN Crony...if i was, i wouldn't have to sit in the opis everyday-lah. hehehehehe

But honestly, the trip was my mom's treat... meaning flight and hotel she belanja, but the rest from my own pocket lah. So me and wifey did spend quite a bit on shopping and eating.

Layla83 said...

i think the trip was good for you and your family??? but what was your most favourite time or expreince?

premo said...

Guns! I'm goin!!