Monday, September 23, 2013

Day 2 .. Ghurkhas and Hmong

 Awake before our alarm and then had to wait to go down for breakfast which starts at 7.30am.  Fair selection of fruit & cooked stuff but I’ve never seen chocolate iced profiteroles on a breakfast buffet before – oh well a first time for everything – and no I didn’t have one!

Chiang Mai is tailoring central – they are everywhere but we’d been past a little guy yesterday with a sign about the Ghurkha Tailor .. I’d read about him somewhere so we decided to try our luck.  Tony got measured up for two of pairs of work pants & a couple of shirts.  We picked the fabric from a really large range, he paid a deposit and off we went in search of the Wororot Market and Hmong Lane (I was on a fabric hunt)

We walked from the Tha Phae gate down to the river, turned left and found the markets.  First stop was the Chiang Mai flower market. North of here were it is higher and cooler they grow masses of temperate climate flowers.  The first part of the market are all the growers & wholesalers -  roses, chrysanthemums (white, yellow, pink and an assortment of gaudy fluro greens, blues & pinks – these ones were pretty yuk actually)  What was amazing was the selection of tropical flowers – Singapore orchids, ginger, heliconia, lotus and alpinia and a huge selection of foliage. 


Into the Wororot Market itself – and if you have seen one huge Asian market (wet & dry sections) you can easily imagine this one.  By now it was getting really hot and we were having no luck finding Hmong Lane and stupidly I’d forgotten the map!  Back to the hotel.  Lunch on the way at a little hole in the wall restaurant across from the end of our little soi (side street) for the best mango shake I have ever drunk!

Tony’s knee was a bit sore from all the mornings walking so I headed out by myself to track down Hmong Lane – this time armed with the trusty Nancy Chandler map.  Funny how easy things are to find when you have a map – found in no time at all.  I spent a couple of hours wandering through this market looking specifically for traditional garments – and more specifically a jacket that a) would fit me and b) did not have masses of orange in it.  I saw lots of amazing textiles but came home empty handed except for a lovely book on Thai Textiles that I bought from Backstreet Books.

I did get to check out another of the Wats in Chiang Mai.. Wat Buppharam is beautiful, but since I was wearing a sleeveless top I didn’t actually venture inside the temple itself.


Chiang Mai is famous for its Night Market so tonight’s agenda was a visit there. We walked – and soon discovered it’s quite a bit more than the 15-20 min some maps suggest.  Dinner at the Ping Ping restaurant (squid in basil & chilli and hottest green curry ever, washed down with a cold Chang beer)  the  in the Anursan section then into the madness that is the night market proper.  Much more stuff aimed at the tourists eager to part with their cash for an obligatory “I heart Chiang Mai” t shirt or silk pillow cases.  Fun none-the-less and we will probably go back to explore more another night. We grabbed an iced coffee at a little stall in the Kalare section of the night markets and had another foot massage - 100baht for 30 minutes of torture.  Jumped a tuk tuk (thankfully Chiang Mai tuk tuk drivers are no-where near as crazy s their Bangkok counterparts) back to the Tha Phae gate and home.

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