Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saying goodbye in Chiang Rai

After our extremely eventful and amazing few days with the hilltribes, all the volunteers decide to spend the weekend (or at least one night) in Chiang Rai. We're staying at the Mirror Guest House - only $10 per night (200bht), the Guest House was still in its final stages of completion when we stayed there (the opening is the following weekend an unfortunately i'm going to miss the celebrations as i'll be in Bangkok). The Mirror Guest House is one of the best and tidiest guesthouses I've seen in Thailand.

Owned by the Mirror Art Foundation, the guesthouse was built using money that the group has raised. 10% of the accommodation profits will go directly to sponsoring the education of local villagers, as well as assisting in their anti-human-trafficking program. 

It takes about 15-20 minutes to walk from the guesthouse into the bus stop and night bazaar. We're lucky enough to be walking through on a Saturday night, which means that the Saturday Night walking market is in full swing and there are literally blocks and blocks of items for sale, from lamps and sunglasses to modern clothing, accessories and even baby clothes. 

Right alongside the bus-stop and night bazaar there is a huge eating area, where i managed to get myself fried rice with chicken for a whole $1.50. 

In celebration of some of our volunteer group going seperate ways, we decided to let our hair down at the TeePee bar - a tiny little indy/rock inspired bar. It was the most unusual bar I've ever seen - filled with guitars, wigs, rock music, marley momentos, and an eclectic collection of plastic hands, neon skeletons and a hangmans noose as you enter the toilet. They played Cobain and Queen on a music channel and was the furthest thing from Thai culture that i could possibly imagine. 

Just around the corner from the Mirror Guesthouse is the Chian Guesthouse. They have their own restaurant and swimming pool and it makes for a good place to direct tuk tuks and taxis too (it probably didn't help that the Mirror Guest House hadn't even been opened so no one had any idea where it actually was). We had a great meal from there and its a good place if your missing the tastes and texture of Western-style food - i had an authentic schnitzel baguette and it was DELICIOUS!!!

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