When I began to plan my trip to Thailand, I knew that I wanted to explore various cities throughout the country. Although I enjoyed the bustling city of Bangkok, I was excited to see Chiang Mai. The city is known for its beautiful scenery and various temples.
After researching various modes of transportation, I decided that it would be most cost-efficient to take an airplane to Chiang Mai. We took a quick (1 hr and 10 minutes) flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai for only $53 on Thai Airways International. I noticed several things about the airline: flight attendants uniforms and the food provided on the plane. I loved the flight attendants outfits because they were various shades of purple and super fashionable. I also enjoyed the mini warm snack they provided on the plane because we often don’t have these luxuries while flying within the United States. US air carriers are known to only provide beverages and MAYBE peanuts, or a cookie. Some airlines, (I don’t want to name any names, but SPIRIT even charges for beverages.
Horizon Village & Resort Chiangmai
We stayed at the Horizon Village & Resort Chiangmai. It was $47 per night, and we paid a total of $167 for 4 nights. My cousin Tanesha and I arrived at the resort around 8:30 pm and quickly settled in. Our stomachs were growling because we had been traveling half the day with no lunch. We were told that the restaurant would be open until 9:00 pm. After settling in we attempted to find dinner but they explained that restaurant was closed for the evening. Due to the fact that the resort was a distance from the city and not near any restaurants, we both went to bed hungry. In the morning time, we made sure to grab breakfast before going on our excursion for the day. The breakfast buffet was delicious, but I still think I was slightly annoyed about not having dinner the night before.
I would describe the room as being rustic. If you are afraid of tiny lizards, outside of your room this may not the place for you. In addition, the mosquitoes were really bad in this area, they were both inside and outside of the room. The resort advertised Wi-Fi services but I could not connect to the internet. I’m addicted to Facebook (Yes I willing to admit to my flaws) I was really sad to have no Wi-Fi while staying there.
If you enjoy great scenery, live animals, and hot air balloon rides, this resort maybe for you. They have an option of riding in a hot air balloon for a fee of $250. I didn’t have the opportunity to ride in the air balloon but it is on my bucket list. On site, the resort also had a mini zoo with several animals.
Although there were things that I enjoyed about the resort, I personally would not go back due to the distance of the resort from other attractions, lack of Wi-Fi, mosquitoes and limited time slots for dinner.
It took some convincing but I was able to convince my cousin Tanesha to go see Tigers. We hired a cab driver to take us to the Tiger Kingdom. They are open daily from 8am-6pm. They have lunch but we did not eat at the restaurant. We decided to choose the packet where we could interact with the baby cubs, large cats and have professional photos taken by staff and placed on a CD disk. They will provide you with a lock and key to place your belongings and shoes inside of the locker.
I enjoyed playing with the smaller cubs. Before entering the cage you will be required to wash your hands. The cubs and human have similar immune systems and they do not want you to transfer germs from your hands to their bodies.
Obviously, I was super scared to go inside the cage with the large cats. All I could think about was the possibility of the tigers waking up and attacking me. Thank God, I’m happy to report I made it out of the cage alive.
People often ask if the Tigers are drugged? Staff stated, “Tigers are less active in the day and more active at night”. It is also suggested that the Tigers are reared by humans and are used to human interaction. If you prefer more interaction with Tigers it is suggested that you visit in the early morning or late evening.
A Night out on the Town
Prior to going to Thailand, I sent out a bat signal in the Nomadness Tribe Facebook group. A bat signal is when you post in the group asking if anybody is available to meet up with you while traveling to various destinations. Stephanie Perry responded and stated that she would be available for dinner in Chiang Mai.
Dinner was great and I learned that Stephanie was completing a gap year around Asia. Hopefully, we will get to learn more about how she completed her gap year in a separate blog post. We ate a delicious meal in the city. After dinner, we were going to go back to the resort because we didn’t have any other plans for the evening.
As we were leaving the restaurant an African American male came riding down the street on a moped. He stopped on the street corner, greeted us and asked, “What were we about to do?” We replied, “nothing” and asked, “Did he have any recommended places to go”? He replied,” there was an open mic down the street and he was going to be performing”. Stephanie and I walked down the street toward the venue and my cousin asked if she could catch a ride on the back of the moped because her feet were hurting. I’m so happy that we found the spot, it was a mixture of both locals and tourists in the lounge. The atmosphere was great and the artists performing were talented. After the show was over, we headed next door to listen to Thai singers sing popular American R & B songs. It was fun to hear them belt out American tunes and sing along.
As the night was coming to a close Binky took us outside and said, “I want to show you something”. We went outside looking for something spectacular but he simply pointed and said, “This is what I want to show you”. He wanted to show us the city of Chiang Mai. He said, “I am a black man from Chicago living in Thailand and this is life”. He informed us that he came for vacation and never left. Once he decided that he was going to stay in Thailand, he found a job teaching English and shares a house with a friend. I was so happy that we met Binky on the street corner in Chiang Mai. Binky taught me that sometimes you may not have a plan or have it all figured out but you have to take a chance on life and see what happens. “Take a leap even when you cant see the whole stair case” It may just work itself out.
What are the odds that three African Americans from California and Chicago would randomly meet up for a night on the town? Meeting various people from different walks of life is one of the perks of traveling the world.
What are some things that you love about traveling? My favorite things about traveling are meeting new people, experiencing different cultures, and going on new adventures.