'The Blues Bar is over there,' said Dave, pointing at an elevated metal roof. Yes, I recollected a past conversation where he frequented the venue with a couple of his mates, usually on a Saturday night.
'Good idea,' I said, 'I'll stay in town overnight,' - both my partner and I preferring that option to drinking and driving in a country soon to be declared with the world's highest road deaths.
'Monday is jam-night,' he said. 'Musicians take turns in fronting the regular band.' He shrugged his shoulders. 'Some of it is good.'
It didn't put me off, and I resolved to join the crowd later that evening. As it happened, my local restaurant bar, was celebrating the owner's son's birthday, and as an extensive free buffet was available, time passed enjoyably.
At around ten p.m, I paid my check-bin and hiked it down to the Night Bazaar where I was greeted by a cacophony of noise, some of it musical.
The Bazaar - a tourist souvenir trap where road stalls are erected every day around 3 p.m. and dismantled at midnight is a honey-pot for visitors - and quite famous for the variety of goods on show. You name it - they got it or will find it. I often wonder why the dead insect stall is an attraction, but for one who isn't into tarantulas or any bug come to that, I guess there are strange people in this world who are.
Back to the Blues Bar, and I climbed the stairs to the roof area. It was packed with mainly old farangs sporting long white hair and beards - aficionados - viewing a small stage where a combo of four to five musicians were belting out songs. some had their young Thai wives in tow. One farang looked the splitting image of Bernie Ecclestone - and dressed the part also. Guest musicians were also male and pushing on in years, but still full of life and movement.
As Dave said, some of it was good. You know how it goes - I woke up this morning, my baby had gone - repeated for effect ad - infinitum.
Between songs, I chatted to a young French couple from Marseilles, who were travelling around Thailand - the woman (good English) said she was going to sing a song next week on her return to Chiang Mai, as she was not shy.
I stayed to close on midnight, had a final Moose cider, and meandered back to my guest house. Still plenty of open bars on route, still raucous music played at high volume, bar-girls screaming and getting drunk, and ladies of the night prowling.
Somehow, the Blues Bar suits me better...