11,301 km so far.
We spent most of the day eating our way around Chiang Mai. Today was a true day off, with nothing pressing on our to do list, and the city is filled with eateries, so why not partake?
Food, Glorious Food
We started by trying to go to Dada, which Google had told us was closed Saturday. We found this hard to believe, so tried our luck. Apparently we are supposed to sleep during the coolest part of the day, because when we got there at 8:30am they weren’t open yet. They open at 9am, but to us newly-early risers, that is too late for breakfast.
We continued on, and stopped in at a small bakery to get something to tide us over until we walked up to Blue Diamond. A slight mistake, as the service was terrible, but Jane really enjoyed her homemade yoghurt, and the cinnamon roll was OK.
Blue Diamond was like something out of a dream. Vegetarian restaurant by night, breakfast diner by day, they also serve fantastic locally roasted coffee, incredible vegan goodies baked in-house, and have a small grocery store and produce section. Well worth the effort it took to get to. We will definitely be back.
Jane’s note: Next time we stay in Chiang Mai, we’ll look for a guesthouse at this end of town, just so we can go to Blue Diamond every morning, and afternoon.
Walking To The iBeat
We lost GPS on the iPad a couple of days ago, and have been waiting to get to Chiang Mai, where there is an official Apple Reseller (iBeat) who should be able to help. On the day we rode into Chiang Rai, with its 20 km of dusty, bumpy, construction, our lighting adapter got bounced around a bit too much, which caused it to malfunction. At least I was hoping this was the problem, as it would be fairly easy to replace.
Fortunately the staff at iBeat were accommodating and opened a 30-pin/Lightning adapter for me so I could test it before buying. Thankfully, I plugged the Bad Elf GPS dongle into the adapter, plugged the adapter into the iPad and it immediately began searching for a signal.
Crisis adverted. There is a newer version of Bad Elf with the lightning connector instead of the 30-pin one, but alas we have the older version. As I said the other day though, just buy the 3G iPad with GPS built in and you will save yourself all of this hassle.
Our hotel has a small pool in the courtyard that is hardly ever used, so today I went down as the sun was setting to practice yoga poolside. I worked on the sequence I am planning for my class at Wild Rose Yoga tomorrow.
Even though it was evening, I was sweating within minutes. Who needs hot yoga when it’s already 100F outside? The sweat, combined with my natural attraction to mosquitoes, meant that when I went up into headstand I was soon getting attacked.
I ran up to the room to put on Skin So Soft (a truly amazing mosquito repellent) and came back down to finish my asana. The mosquitos left me alone. Thanks to Avon, thanks to David in Budapest for telling us about it, and thanks to my parents who brought it over for me when we met up in Kraków.
Wild And Crazy Night (Market)
We went back to Dada for dinner, this time finding them open and bustling. We both got their vegetarian pad thai, our first serving of this consummate Thai dish since we arrived in the country. It was spectacular. We added a couple of great smoothies – most notably Jane’s vegan Peanut Lover which was sensational – and topped it of with a few locally made chocolates.
Then it was time to walk it all off.
The Saturday Night Market is something everyone talks about round these parts. Not too dissimilar from Luang Parabang’s night market, it features locals selling a mix of locally made crafts and clothing, factory made t-shirts and skirts, and lots of street food.
Unlike the Luang Prabang market, it was swarming with people, tourists and locals alike. It’s nice to be in a country where at least some of the local people can afford to shop in the same places as the tourists.
There was to be no walking-off of the day’s food intake as walking at any speed was nearly impossible. It was ram-packed full of people. The sea of bodies was so overwhelming we only spent a few minutes looking around before pulling out PocketEarth and finding the quickest route out.
I am really not sure what the appeal is of being shoved together with so many people. Definitely not for me.
Give me an empty country road and the two of us and our bikes, and I am much happier. ♥