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From Another Point of View
By Adam Corney
17 February 2011





Location: Chiang Mai
Soundtrack: Edith Piaf
 
I was once a diehard backpacker.
 
Three shirts, two shorts, one pair of socks, and a well worn pair of Dunlop Volleys were my uniform. Showering was optional. Shaving was unheard of. Hot water was a luxury reserved for those rich toffs in the hotels. Why would you stay in seclusion for $66 a night when you could live in the middle of the action for $3 a night? Pfft.
 
But then, I got a bit older.
 
I got a bit wiser.
 
I started earning more than my Centrelink allowance every fortnight.
 
And $66 a night didn’t seem so bad, really.
 
So when I woke up every morning in Chiang Mai in air conditioned comfort, snuggled into two doonahs, then got up, shaved, and showered using hot water on demand in a pristine bathroom with no need to wear thongs on the tiles – well, it was a little bit like heaven.
 
And that’s the difference between the two travel styles – one is an adventure and an experience, the other is a relaxing holiday. And each viewpoint has their positives and negatives: but ultimately there should be no judgement. It should come down to what you want your holiday to be.
 
For me, this was a holiday. I stayed at the Centara Duangtawan, and it was like a slice of escapism from the world outside. Chilled, tiled, clean. It’s the kind of place you’d go with your family. Buffet breakfast every morning, pool with a view of the city, wifi in the rooms, and I’m pretty sure there was a gym in there but I kinda skipped that part.
 
For my first experience staying in a hotel in Thailand, instead of a hostel – it pretty much spoiled me. No other hotel I stayed in on the trip could compare.
 
So if you do travel to Chiang Mai, check it out. Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy your holiday rather than avoiding bedbugs.
 
Even if it’s only just once.

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