Every part of my body felt broken after the hill tribe trek. It wasn’t till I landed back in Chiang Mai that I realised I hadn’t even looked in the mirror for a few days. Just as I suspected I was battered, bruised and luckily a little bit bronzed!
If I thought Chiang Mai Gate Hotel was luxurious the first time round it had now become a little taste of heaven. Showered and relaxed we made our way to the Riverside restaurant in a nice part of town. We managed to nab a table for 16 of us. I massively over ordered and ate spicy soup, followed by a traditional Northern Thai curry with spicy vegetable rice. Washed down with a couple of traditional Thai Mojitos (well maybe not traditional but nice all the same). The live music was an enthusiastic Thai guy with a guitar belting out Beatles tracks – not sure if it was the mojito effect but he was surprisingly good.
Next we hit the famous Night Market, but a few of us got side tracked by the Muay Thai taking place down a side street. I was ridiculously excited and paid 200 BT to get a ringside seat. I was a little surprised when I realised the first fight were too young lads, if I had to guess I’d say they were between 10-13 years old. Literally loved the atmosphere, the mesmerising music and the way the boxers warm-up and fight to the hypnotic rhythm. It was a fast fight, lots of action and an impressive amount of respect and compassion shown between the fighters. We stayed to watch the adults headline fight and a large Thai guy was up against a fitter looking American guy. Within seconds the Thai guy had knocked the American off his feet with a sweeping kick but the US fighter ended up knocking the Thai fighter out with a blow to the side of the head in the 4th round. Again the fighters showed an amazing amount of respect for each other and embraced at the end.
Finally made it to the Night Market with 30mins before closing. I could have bought so much but knew I couldn’t fit anything more in my rucksack. At some point I’ll bulk buy and send a package home. Beautiful clothing, lamps, purses, ornaments, jewellery, cards, notebooks. Prices are cheaper than in Bangkok and the quality seemed much better. So if you’re doing Bangkok then Chiang Mai save your pennies till you get up t’north.