When I was in my 20’s, I had romantic ideas about Chiang Mai. They were fostered in stories from travellers, and embellished through fantasies cultivated out of B grade movies about the golden triangle!
Twenty years on, riding a bamboo raft down a muddy river, trekking across jungle suspension bridges and drinking coffee and whiskey made by villagers… my fantasies were given some foundation.
The ideas I had back then have now been shaped into a view that reflects a more realistic picture of this beautiful region.
I’m sure Thailand has changed a lot in 20 years, but not so much that it is a completely different experience to that of travellers back then. I think that the way I travel now probably influences my view as much as the developing country around me. I look at twenty-something backpackers arriving in the country and I cant help thinking that their thoughts & experiences will not be too dissimilar to my own from 20 years ago. Even if I can now see that there are changes.
When it come to travel, the motto is: It doesn’t matter when you go, just go.