Wat's Going On? (Chiang Mai Day 1)

Maybe I would have been more nervous about the prospect of a 14-hour flight if I had really stopped to think about it, but in the days leading up to my Thailand trip, I didn't really have time. Between getting two weeks of web features planned out and edited for work and gathering all the things for my trip, it seemed like suddenly, April 8 was upon me and I was headed to the airport for a total of 28 hours in transit. After an uneventful flight to LA, I made it to the gate for my flight over the Pacific just as people were lining up to board.

As it turned out, I would have had nothing to be nervous about anyway. I ended up getting a whole row to myself, so as soon as we were in the air, I took some Advil PM, lay down in the little bed I had created out of my three seats, and slept for most of the flight to Guangzhou.

I'm pretty sure I was the only American on the third leg of my trip. I watched a very dramatic Chinese movie and tried to figure out what exactly the black jelly stuff was on my tray of Chinese airline food.

Finally, I arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at about 11 local time on Friday morning. My little brother, William—who had been studying abroad there since January—was waiting for me at the airport. We took a rot daeng (aka "red car," one of the red trucks with seats in the back that serve as Thai taxis) to our B&B, Finlay's Cottage, which was right outside of Tha Phae gate, one of the gates in the wall that surrounds the old city. It was a great little place, and cheap. I'd definitely recommend it if you ever find yourself in Chiang Mai.

We got an amazing pineapple smoothie (for 20 baht, or about 70 cents) and walked around the city and went in a few wats (Buddhist temples).

I had to buy some pants and a scarf in order to go inside—they don't let in women without their shoulders and legs covered.

By then I was pretty tired, since I had been up since about 5 a.m. Thai time, so we went back to the hotel and I took a nap, then we showered and grabbed a tuk-tuk to go meet some of Will's classmates for dinner.

On the way there we saw a guy riding in—no joke—a bathtub that he had somehow attached a motor and wheels to. I'm sad I didn't get a picture of it, because it was glorious.

After dinner (where I finally managed to successfully use chopsticks just out of necessity and hunger), we walked over to the night market with some of Will's friends and then went back to the hotel and went to bed at a perfectly respectable hour for someone who had just jumped 12 hours ahead.