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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Chiang Mai: Self-serve Laundry

Most laundry here is done by the kilo. It costs 30 baht per kilo for wash, dry (usually on a line), and iron. I am big, and I have fairly sturdy materials in my wardrobe. If I wait until I am desperate to have my laundry done, I end up with over five kilos. That's 180 baht, or nearly $6.00.

So, being a cheap budget traveler, I looked for an alternative. I found it in a laundry that advertised self-service washing for only 20 baht a load, and all 5 kilos fit in a load. Of course, that 20 baht doesn't include laundry detergent, leaves me with a load of wet clothes to haul back to my guest house and hang on a line, or if there is no line, to spread about my room. I pay 5 baht for the detergent, and an additional 30 baht,to have it all hung, dried, and folded. For 5 baht, I can get a single piece of clothing ironed. I only use that option for my 'teaching clothes'.

Where does the 'self-service' part come in? Loading the machine, adding the soap, inserting 20 baht into the machine and pressing 'Start'. Except I don't even do that much. If I can wait overnight, the woman who runs the place will work my load in with her other work, and take care of everything. So I usually pay 55 baht for the same service, minus ironing, that once cost me 160 baht. And I really don't need to have my bras ironed, anyway.

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