Thailand: Getting to work in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai street

My last blog outlined my top tips on how to make connections abroad, which I used before heading to Chiang Mai. The upcoming posts will hopefully demonstrate how I put them into action. I’ve included a couple of tips on disabled travel for good measure!

Being resourceful in Chiang Mai

After arriving in Chiang Mai, we gave ourselves the weekend to settle in. We were pleased to find the room we had rented as we remembered it and threw in our bags, keen to explore the local area once again.

This first foray doubled as a mission to obtain a key piece of equipment for our bathroom. After a brief search (walking to the nearest bar), I found my target. Making a shop owner an offer he couldn’t refuse (about £1.50), we returned to our room with a rather fetching blue plastic chair, complete with fake Liverpool FC sticker.A plastic chair

Coupled with an old towel, this chair turned our shower room into an accessible bathroom. This ladies and gentlemen, is the art of being resourceful as a disabled traveller.

The rest of our weekend was spent catching up with friends and visiting some of our favourite places in the city; as well as scouting out suitable venues to watch the Rio 2016 coverage.

Come Monday, it was time to get to work. We met up with our translator, Ying, to plan our speech at Sri Sangwan School for children with disabilities later that Friday and got to have lunch with Jen – our new “tour manager”.

A perfect host

As well as being great fun, Jen was super organised. She quickly set about introducing us to more of her colleagues, scheduling visits and even arranging a birthday dinner for me at the best restaurant in Chiang Mai. Alison and I were certainly lucky to have had her help during this part of our trip.

We met people from various charitable organisations over the next few days, finishing my Sri Sangwan speech. We also arranged a visit to a local stable with a difference (more on that in another time).

This was just the start of a truly unique, rewarding four weeks in Chiang Mai. We made new friends and discovered just how much people there are willing to do for those less fortunate. Hopefully our visit was to make a slight difference too.

Inspirational tips

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