Today, thanks to Austin (and the willingness to pay his sungtow fare–a sungtow is a truck with seating in a large, covered cab that serves as a very low cost travel option between Mae Rim and Chiang Mai) I got the chance to see Mae Rim this afternoon shortly after lunch.
The town itself is larger than the small village where Legacy is located, but it’s not a very large town (I’d say it’s somewhere on the order of Temple Terrace, probably somewhat less–5-10,000 people is a fair estimate). Mae Rim is large enough to have a post office, a small hospital, a sizable Friday afternoon market, where I was told they have excellent food, a soccer pitch, and a police station. It would appear that the standard way town are designed here in Thailand, from what I have seen so far, is along major routes with the business district along the major road (or roads) and then smaller ring or side roads that lead to very shallow residential districts. Rather than being built along blocks, like American cities, they are built along large lines with smaller lines going off on either side for a short distance.
As town and city design interest me, it was a useful experience. It was also a very enjoyable one, as I got the chance to eat some pineapple from their street market (and see a lot of meat out in the open, not all of it particularly appealing). One remarkable feature of Mae Rim, and something I will have to try out, is the outdoor chicken stands that sell very reasonably priced fried or roasted chicken. I love to eat chicken, so I am definitely going to have to try that–and at only 10 baht each way on the sungtow, I will be able to try a good deal.
I also got the chance to stop at a small Topps grocery store, where I picked up some fruit juice, some snacks (so I would not have to come early and hope I was lucky enough to catch brunch on the weekend, where the timing is a little off), and where I got myself a can of some tasty local-brand root beer (it reminded me a little bit of Dad’s Root Beer) that serves as a welcome reminder of home. After all, finding root beer outside of the United States is a difficult task, as the taste does not seem to suit many foreigners who think it should taste like beer. All in all, the trip to Mae Rim was a success–with a new route of travel discovered and also a Topps customer card received that makes me seem like a bit of a local, able to get discounts on groceries.