Saturday, May 28, 2011


Because we had flights booked to Chiang Mai in the morning we had booked an airport hotel that came with free transfers to and from the airport. However, I couldn't remember whether I had given the hotel our flight info so it seemed logical that we should call the hotel to let them know we had arrived.

We found some telephones but after about 5 attempts to dial the number we gave up and went to the information desk to ask. They told us that the hotel had reps at door 4 so we walked down through the arrivals area to find the spot and hopefully get a ride to the airport.

Upon arrival into HK I had mentioned to Ren that someday I wanted someone to be waiting for me with my name on a sign. Imagine my surprise as we got to door 4 and there was a cute little Thai girl with ALANNA FOELL on a sign! I beamed and walked over to her and she asked my name. I pointed proudly at the sign (the smallest things can be so exciting for me, I swear!) and she ushered us over to the waiting area, telling us it would be about 10 min.

We chatted about what we wanted to do with our evening and the general consensus was to stay at the hotel, maybe find some food but overall just chill out and relax. The driver arrived and we piled into the van and took off.

The hotel wasn't terribly far from the airport, located on a side street off the main road into the city. On the drive we noticed a bunch of what appeared to be places to get a bite to eat and figured it would be walkable, or at least a cheap taxi ride if we did leave later.

Looking out the windows I was amazed at the difference in what I was seeing in comparison to HK. Lush green landscape and little huts along the road. Stray dogs everywhere and garbage and debris in amongst the trees on the side of the road. HK had been so clean, with modern buildings, even in Kowloon which was obviously not where the money was. Granted, we were by the airport on the outskirts of the city but still completely different. That being said, our hotel was a gorgeous structure with an outdoor sitting area. It was clean and well looked after. The room was huge (3 single beds! No sharing this time!) and a "proper" bathroom with a shower that didn't soak the toilet and sink in the process.

We unloaded our stuff and lay on the bed. Exhausted from the early morning, flight, copious amounts of food and free wine, and then the heat of Thailand (felt like a wall of humidity) an impromptu nap was the unspoken agreement between the three of us.

Too excited to stay still for too long, I hopped in the shower and put on a dress - it was just too hot for pants. I grabbed my camera and went outside to take a few photos of the hotel...only to find it had since started raining. A lot. Monsoon season was definitely upon us. Came back in and watched some tv with the guys while we waited for the rain to subside.

Eventually the rain did stop and we decided to walk in search of some food and drink. It had gotten dark much earlier than expected for this time of year- something we don't think of living so far from the equator. The air was heavy but there was still a breeze.

As we walked along we passed the locals sitting outside, talking and having fun. We waved, said hello and marveled at how different our evening walk was from the night before in HK.

Walking along we passed some restaurants with live music and food, and eventually stopped at a colourfully lit place with a decent amount of people to make us confident that the service would be friendly.
We were offered a seat, and very quickly the realization that we knew only the word for thank you came crashing down upon us. The woman offered us a menu, which we took and then stared at. Not a word of English or pictures.

One of the patrons at the restaurant gestured to Eric to follow him over to the food area to pick out something to eat. He came back and said he had chosen something that looked like beef salad.
Spent the next hour or so enjoying some cold beer and strange yet delicious food. The dishes that arrived appeared to be beef and chicken, stir fried and presented on some cucumbers. On the side was a chili based paste that was spicy but not unbearably so.

The woman who was in charge took a liking to Ren, fawning all over him and writing "pa love ren" on the palm of his hand. She even gave him her phone number, and indicated that he should call her.
After drinking 2 or 3 bottles of beer we started our walk back to the hotel. It had started to rain lightly but that was starting to seem normal. It is the beginning of the rainy season after all.

Set our alarms for 7am and went to sleep.

No comments:

Post a Comment