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Chiang Mai

Written on: Tuesday February 10th, 2009

A journal entry from: Thailand 2009

Bummed around Chiang Mai some more today. Went about 1 hr outside the city to a Wat at the top of a hill, Doi Suthep. The best Wat seen so far, but my camera's battery died 3/4 of the way through! It's hard to show the full buildings in photos, they're very big and usually have walls to stop you from standing far back enough.

Then, I went back to the old city and promptly lost my eftpos card in an ATM. They give you the money first here (not the card), so I just left my card behind after getting the money out of habit (I didn't realise unitl about 4 hrs later!). I also did this once in Vietnam! I'm okay for money though, I can use my Commo eftpos card, which slighty sucks, because the fee is about 5 times higher through Commonwealth than good ole BankWest.

Then, I spent some time in the Chiang Mai Women's Prison. They run a massage serivce here (about $9 for 1 hr), using prisoners close to being let out. It's part of their "rehabilitation". I'm not keen on massage in general, seems kind of wrong to pay someone to touch you unless it's remedial or for physio; but a massage from a Thai prisoner is too good to pass up! Thai massage is pretty painful, a few times I had to tell her to stop what she was doing. The next 2 days my legs were sore, the only time they were sore during the trip!

The prison was pretty funny, they seem to try to "ultra-feminize" the jailbirds to make them upstanding members of society, the office was full of emboirdery, knitting etc.

That night, I went to the Night Bazaar, on my way home I was both (a) teased for wearing glasses for the 1st time in my life by some stupid Indian guy "Are you a teacher?" "No" "A librarian?" and (b) stupid enough to make the mistake of walking back to my guesthouse via the bar strip, seeing all the old European men with young skankily dressed Thai women draped all over them. Pigs.