Sex is to Chiang Mai as Kok is to Bangkok
So I think Angelo and I quite literally got pushed out of Bangkok. Seems as though we out stayed our welcome haha. Here's the thing, we got tired of having to pay triple or sometimes quadruple the price just because we're farang (foreigners). We started to show our distaste to the touts and kept low balling their price, which would actually be a fair price, well they didn't like that very much. Had a few people walk away from us mumbling obscenities under their breath haha.
The last day in Bangkok was quite nice actually. We took a trip to the Grand Palace which would be the equivalent of England's Buckingham Palace. It was gorgeous to say the least. The architecture was amazing. It seems as though the Thai's take influence from everyone else's architecture then adapt it however they see fit. They have influence from China, Japan, Cambodia, etc. After the Palace we took a water taxi to Bangkok's Chinatown. It was impressive! I felt transplanted into China. In Chinatown we got to sample the infamous Durian fruit. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it is this large prickly looking fruit that is so smelly and supposedly disgusting in taste, that hotels, and trains, and other establishments do not allow it inside. It's an aquired taste that you have to grow up eating in order to like. Some describe the smell as pungant dirty/sour gym socks, I guess I can agree with that. However, I don't think its disgusting tasting like most do. Angelo spit it out immediately, even Andrew Zimmerman who makes his living off of trying bizarre foods can't stomach it, but I went back for seconds. It wasn't the best tasting thing I've ever had but it wasn't bad either.
Stories from Chiang Mai...
One 15 hour train ride and 2 hour bus ride later, we found ourselves on the streets of Chiang Mai. The city agreed with us from the start...200Baht private room with shower in suite which is the rough equivalent to 6-8 US dollars. After a nice meal we decided to wander around for the night, and found ourselves in what we thought to be the vibrant bar scene. We started to notice a lot of older caucasion gents walking about and from then on decided to affectionately refer to them as "Lions" the male equivalent to a Cougar. We also started to notice quite a few young Thai women in these bars we were at and when I say young, I'm talking 15-20 years old. Thats right, we landed ourselve smack dab in the middle of Chiang Mai's red light district. For 900Bhat you can take these girls home for a good time and thats exactly what these Lions were doing.
Chiang Mai seems to be a stopover city for us, because as I write this we are waiting to catch a local bus to Pai. Pai is further north and hopefully some good trekking and rural cultural vibes.