We flew into Chiang Mae with no problems and grabbed a cab to our apartment for around $4. The place was super modern and perfect for us. Unfortunately, all the building amenities like the pool, sauna and gym were closed for covid. Still, we really enjoyed staying there. We picked the area because we had stayed here the last time we came to Chiang Mae and wanted to compare it to now. The Nimman area is known to be a hub for digital nomads and backpackers with all it’s long stay rentals and western businesses. These days it is a shell of its old self. 75% of businesses are closed and from what we were told around 50% of those won’t be returning when the borders finally do open. We attempted to go to the famous Sunday Night Market and the Night Bizarre and both have been closed until further notice. We used to go to the big Maya mall for their local food market downstairs and most of the stalls are gone now. The street food vendors and tuk-tuk drivers that once lined the streets have been replaced by an army of food delivery drivers on scooters. It’s sad to see a government destroy so many lives and businesses over such low covid numbers. It’s painfully clear to us that Thailand will never return to the tourist paradise it used to be. The government doesn’t even want it to. It’s personality is changed. From what we have been told they want to rebrand themselves and focus now on luxury travel aimed specifically at the rich Chinese tourist instead of the budget and midrange travelers from the US, Europe and Australia. I guess that opens the door for Vietnam, Indonesia or the Philippines to corner that market. Whoever opens first will be in great shape. Tomorrow we are going to rent 2 scooters and head out into the mountains to see what life outside the city is like. Considering how bad things were in the south and in Chiang Mae we aren’t getting our hopes up.