after eating a bowl of "kao soi" noodles for 50 cents (which is similar to the cao lau in hoi an, except in the thai version there's a curry base) and signing up for two cooking classes, i decided to move to a different guesthouse. i didn't have to travel far, just across the street, where for 300 baht/night (around US$8) i got a room with AC, fridge, and a large satellite TV. i haven't had all these luxuries in one single room since saigon. i relaxed for an hour, lying in bed with the cold air, watching women tennis on television, before heading out.

western city wall

the chiang mai insect museum was where i was going (west of the city, beyond the city walls), i saw it on a map of the city and knew i had to be there. it was a bit of a walk in hot weather (45 minutes), and once i got to the general area, i couldn't find the place. i ran into a sri lankan father and his two young daughters looking for the same museum. finally after asking a bunch of people, we were able to locate the museum.

the insect museum is a private museum, and to enter you have to ring the doorbell to get the curator to come out, unlock the gate, and let you in. the admission was a pricey 300 baht, but i would've paid anything to see an insect collection. once inside, i was like a child in a candy store, i could've stayed there for days, just looking at all the different bugs. afterwards i talked with the curator/owner for a while, about insects, about life, about mosquitoes (part of his job, he used to collect mosquitoes).

chiang mai insect mseum

museum curator/owner

after the museum i prepared myself for the long walk back. there were trucks driving around that looked like public transportation, but i wasn't quite sure how to use them (didn't want to be driven farther from the city), nor have the language skills to communicate where i wanted to go, so i decided to just rough it and give myself another workout. i got a cold drink from a 7-11 and weighed myself on the penny scale outside. 60 kgs, i lost some weight, but not as much as i thought. as i got back into town, i wandered into a posh internet cafe that served drinks, and i decided to find out once and for all, this question that's been bothering me since i got into thailand: do they call thai ice tea just "ice tea" or is it called "thai ice tea"? well, the answer is they call it "thai ice tea" if you want "thai ice tea," not sure what just "ice tea" is.

i made a quick visit to wat chedi luang before returning to the guesthouse stocked with more drinks for the fridge. i then stayed inside for many hours, engorging myself on television, before i ventured back outside for dinner (11 hours later since i last ate). i was surprised to find most of the food places around where i lived were already closed (unlike yesterday, when food was in abundance), and i had to walk a bit of a distance before i found a guesthouse restaurant that was still opened. i had a spicy "jungle" curry which was a clear curry with okra and cauliflower and tasted pretty good (added to that a pineapple shake, my bill came out to US$2).

wat chedi luang