Chiang Mai was a night train (~13 hours) away from Ayutthaya. We arrived in the morning and found our accommodation for the next 5 nights (through Airbnb) with a couple of English expats.
We had a lovely night market nearby and just a short walk to the city centre. The historic centre was surrounded by a moat and had 4 gates, one on each side. Pretty interesting place to walk around and enjoy foot massages inside temple grounds.
Chiang Mai was our last stop in Thailand, but we had many of our firsts here: our first Thai boxing match (just watching, not participating), our first full body Thai massage (also an experience, at times a little painful), and our first run (read walk) with the Hash House Harriers. Ever heard of this club? They are all over the world. We haven’t until the English guys we were staying with introduced us to it. It’s a running club with a drinking problem OR a drinking club with a running problem, no one is really sure. Through this club we got to meet some locals as well as some Western expats and some Western expats who married locals (even a couple of guys from Sarnia, ON).
So we went on this run/hike with the club just outside of the city and paid a small fee for the ride out and the drinks afterwards. The run is set up a little like a scavenger hunt where you have to figure out where to go and find your way back to the starting point. And as a reward for your successful return you get unlimited beer. Then there is a whole ceremony-like event where everyone has to complain about something related to the hike and its organization. And so the organizers and various other members get to sit on these big blocks of ice and chug beer. And of course the newcomers get their turn on ice too. No matter how hot it was that day, I can’t say sitting on ice was a pleasant experience, but a new experience nonetheless. 🙂
The rest of our stay is summarized in the photos below.