Heading North to Chiang Mai, Wednesday, 12/12/18

We really hate to leave this hotel.  Food and snacks are only a few doors away, and the location of the hotel couldn’t be better.  I hadn’t realized it before, but we’re only a four blocks from the American Embassy. Now that I know where it is, I could spot it from the windows in the Club Lounge.

View of the hotel as we came in last night.

I forgot to mention in yesterday’s blog that Judy lost her only functional pair of reading glasses as we transferred from a dock into a long-tail boat.  We didn’t see them fall.  As we pulled away from the dock, Judy was checking her purse, and realized they were missing.  The boat driver said something fell out of her purse.  Darn!  Guess we should be glad it wasn’t her phone!

Back at the hotel, later I went on a search for an optical shop to purchase another pair.  I also have her first pair, which lost a screw and had a loose earpiece.  I found a spot in a nearby mall, handed them the old pair and asked them to fix them (language issues).  They said they would try but couldn’t guarantee it.  They also checked the strength and showed me where the reading glasses section was.  Since we’ve been looking for weeks (as far back as Abu Dhabi) for a 2ndpair, I went ahead a purchased a pair.  The workers told me to come back in 30 minutes to check if the original pair were fixed.  I also wanted to make sure the glasses were the correct prescription for Judy, and if the frames were fashionable.  Everything passed and I went back to the shop, where they had the original glasses repaired.  We’re back in top shape on reading glasses!

Caught a taxi in the lobby at 8:30 to head to BKK Airport.  The taxi prices are a set price from downtown to the airport, so no fears of any possible scamming by the driver.  We checked in easily enough with Bangkok Air.  We knew our luggage was going to exceed the maximums for these domestic flights in Thailand.  Fortunately, there is a set rate of 90 baht per kilogram for anything over 20kg. We’re at 27kg for each of our two checked bags, and are charged 1260 baht or the equivalent of $38.50.  I was afraid it might be the standard $150 per overweight bag.  What a relief.

Catching up on writing in the Bangkok Air lounge.

Bangkok Air has a convenient lounge for all their passengers with drinks, snacks, and wifi.  What else could anyone want?  (washrooms are just down the hall).  The flight departs on time at 12:05pm, is comfortable with lots of room, and takes slightly over 80 minutes.  The taxi from the airport to the hotel is also a fixed price, so no haggling necessary.  We’re checked into the Chiang Mai Shangri-La and in our room by 2:00pm.

After unpacking, we head out to explore the local neighborhood.  We found a local laundry a few blocks, so as we leave the hotel, we’re packing two bags of laundry, trying to look nonchalant.  Found the laundry, he weighed our two bags, and our charge was 148 baht, about $4.50.  A single piece of laundry would have cost that much in the hotel.

  DD Laundry, near hotel

After the laundry, since we’re saving so much money, I decided we deserved a foot massage, and found a local massage across the street from the hotel.  It was great!

Scrubbing on my feet before the massage

Time for dinner, and we walked down the street to a local restaurant.  I had asked the concierge about local Thai food, and it was his recommendation.  The food was good!

  Inside the restaurant.

   Steamed rice

   Cashew Chicken

We stopped at a 7-11 on our way back to the hotel, purchasing some soft drinks and ice cream (necessities).  Back in the room we get ready for our early (6:00am) departure for our temples tour of Chiang Mai.

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