I have been doing a fair amount of riding back and forth between Changhua City 彰化市 and Yuánlín 員林 as of late. I often take country roads, hoping to run across something interesting, but most of rural Changhua 彰化 is an unremarkable industrial wasteland. Today I gave up on those explorations and took the main highway for a change. On the edge of Huātán 花壇, just before entering Changhua City 彰化市, I was amused to find an ordinary sheet metal building with Thailand emblazoned on the garage. This is a curious synchronicity—for I will be landing in Chiang Mai a few days from now for a visa run. While doing the research my article about cheap flights from Taiwan I found out about Tigerair Taiwan, a new low-cost carrier offering dirt cheap flights to the land of smiles—and at USD$105 for a return flight I really couldn’t say no.
There is another reason for returning to Thailand, of course (for I almost never do anything without there being an alignment of multiple reasons). Two years ago I had a terrible time in Chiang Mai, a place that most people I know recommended highly. I happened to visit during burning season and was laid up in my hotel the entire time I was there. It didn’t help that I had just found out my girlfriend had been cheating on me—but that’s another story entirely. I mean to give it another shot and have a positive experience on my own terms, just like I did with Hong Kong 香港 last year. My operating philosophy is that the best way to overcome disappointment and adverse experiences is to try again and—hopefully—overwrite bad memories with good ones.