Chang Puak Gate - June 25th 2015

We have been keeping an eye on a large construction site next door to our hotel for the past couple of weeks. It is a 4 storey hotel to complement our one. When we first got here it was a vacant site with a couple of trenches being excavated by an ageing machine. Many workers in floppy hats have been beavering away and when we took some pics from our roof area you can clearly see the rapid progress.

We have watched as the steel reo was wired together in the blazing sun. A truck load of “Sticks” arrived a week or so ago and now from above we see they were used to hold the formwork boards in place before the foundations concrete pour. They have all been hammered in by hand. Whilst this method does not produce the dead straight form work we would require in Australia it is still perfectly satisfactory.  The Pool concrete is already in place and they have used a nifty method whereby they do not install the plumbing first but put large blue short pipes through the form work to carry the plumbing after the concrete pour.

It is amazing that these workers have achieved so much so quickly. The minimum wage in Thailand is currently 300Baht per day or $11.53 Australian and for an 8 hour day would be only $1.44 an hour. Low wages by our standards but with super low living costs not as bad as it seems. It certainly keeps building costs down! We will keep an eye on the site for the next 5 days we are here as the roof area is a very pleasant spot to watch the sun set over Chiang Mai’s largest Wat called Wat Prah Singh.

Our 99 The Gallery Hotel has become like home to us. We never tire of the friendly smiling faces of all their staff. The Hotel is spotless and kept at the highest standards. Any request is met with a smile and is never too much trouble. Had occasion to put some laundry in and it came back the same day done to perfection. (And Erica is fussy!) Most items cost about $1.20 Australian maximum so it did not blow our budget.

Pork hock with cabbage pickle

Pork hock with cabbage pickle

Headed off on foot to the Chang Puak Gate where there is a market visited by Anthony Bourdain who ate the slow cooked pork hock with cabbage pickle, chilies and raw garlic. The lady wears a Cowboy hat and is Chiang Mai’s most famous street food vendor. I watched while Erica consumed the dish. She loved it! Got some great pics.

Walked along Chang Puak road to Tops Supermarket behind the Mercure Hotel. The whole way we walked we did not strike a westerner and it was so busy. It gave us a great window into the everyday life of Chiang Mai locals who live in that area. Wisely took a Tuk Tuk home with our groceries including some biscuits for our trip out of town in the morning.