Illumination 2: “End of Treatment” Celebration Trip

Linda had her last chemo a week ago and with our doctor’s approval, we are already off on an ‘end of treatment celebration’ trip to relax, recoup and just rest from all the medical appointments for a while.   But instead of our planned destination Vietnam,  we ended up with an unexpected detour to Chiang Mai after an unusually long and mishap-filled journey (missed connections, non-existing accommodations, visa troubles).  But we’re safe and finally recouping after 72 hours of various states of transit.  Phew… Definitely not as nimble as our hectic business travelling days but still able to roll with the punches when needed!  


Our first night in Chiang Mai, we had to take into probably the oldest remaining unrenovated hotel in the entire city – circa 1975 after spending an hour trying to find the swanky villa that we had booked – address didn’t correspond, taxi driver had no clue and the owners were trying to problem solve from China!!!   Anyhoo, by 1 am we were so hooped that we just asked the driver to take us anywhere there was a bed and a free room.  Turns out Chiang Mai is at peak tourist season so that was easier said than done.  Hilton/Hyatt were $400/night and all the boutique hotels we dropped by were full.  So, enter… Wangburapa Grand Hotel where the “grand” refers more to the awe-inspiring flawlessness of original features including doorways at my eye-level, bathroom sinks reaching close to my knees and décor that defies description and possibly age.  But they had beds, with sheets and soft pillows and hot showers if you could figure out which button to push on the giant hot water cabinet thing inside the shower.  บน or maybe ปิด.  But no time for such trifling matters.  We were just grateful to be off the streets and have a place to sleep for the night, mushroom/earth/ancient library fragrance notwithstanding thanks to the antique Carrier aircon unit semi-attached to the window. 

We’re still planning on getting to Hanoi eventually, probably on Feb 20th with our new and improved visas and where we’ve booked another swanky accommodation near the lake with the hope and sincere wish that both exist as indicated.

The joys and perils of travel!  Just like life.  Gotta embrace both the good and the bad. 

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