We arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand three weeks ago. We’re getting good at settling in quickly. Within days, we had SIM cards for the phones, Bob found his gym and I found my yoga studio. Our apartment feels enormous after Hong Kong. The joy of hanging my clothes, albeit few, brings great satisfaction. It’s the little things.
The first impression for Chiang Mai is KIND. The people of Thailand are kind. They welcome you with a small bow holding their hands in prayer. It’s a laid back atmosphere.
It’s easy to be here. The streets are peppered with hipster cafes and restaurants with amazing food. I have not repeated a cafe yet, not because I didn’t like them, but because there are so many to check out. As for the food, simply put, I LOVE it. We’ve eaten out more than ever. The flavors are amazing and the price is right. Pad Thai, red curry, and fresh juices on every block. Yum, yum and yum!
Of course, I’m learning to cook Thai food. I took a day long cooking class and learned the right way to make Pad Thai as well as many other dishes. An extra bonus feature is that Wan, the woman who takes care of our apartment is giving me cooking lessons right here at the apartment building. She doesn’t speak a word of English, yet we communicate quite well. She models, I try, she gently touches my hand if I don’t get it, and shows me again. We smile a lot and laugh even more. It’s truly a highlight.
Chiang Mai is loaded with Buddhist temples dating back to 1296. Two-hundred ancient temples wait to be visited and treasured. When I sit on our balcony, I’m looking directly at a Buddhist Temple. I feel as if I could almost touch it.
While walking the streets, we turn into a temple for a peaceful meander through the grounds and into the wiharn (the main building used for ceremonial functions and housing iconic Buddha images) to admire the intricate carvings and murals. Dragon carvings line the stairwells, gold Buddhas take center stage and delicate vertical banners hang from the ceiling.
The hiking isn’t as convenient as it was in Hong Kong, but Bob has found a hiking group that takes us into the mountains. One Sunday, we did a day hike into one of the many national parks, passing a waterfall and many beautiful ridge views. On another day we hiked to see the blooming cherry blossoms.
One short week left to explore, eat, cook, and eat again, and see a few more temples.
Next stop, George Town, Malaysia