This week I took a vacation from my vacation

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June 9th 2008
Published: June 21st 2017
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Overnigth traing from bangkok to Chiang MaiOvernigth traing from bangkok to Chiang MaiOvernigth traing from bangkok to Chiang Mai

During the day we had comfortable seats, they served dinner and beer and a bunch of Scottish girls treated us to music from their iPod speakers. I sat with two Irish girls and an Israeli guy and we played cards and drank beer to pass the time. It was monsoon season, so we made a drinking game out of the frequency of the lightning and thunder.
Geo: 18.8, 98.98

So I arrived in Chiang Mai on the 30th at about noon (my overnight train was delayed) and from then through today, June 8th, I've been chilling. Just chilling. Nine solid days of no sight seeing, no challenging my boundaries, no packing and carrying stuff, no big decisions on where and what to do next, no paperwork for permission to go wherever and do whatever, no coordination, no negotiation, no planning, no reading brochures, no stress, no nuthin'.

I've been chilling by the pool, sleeping in, getting massages, watching movies in my air-conditioned room on HBO, getting room service, eating in the same handful of restaurants that are close to my hotel, and that's about it. On Friday I rented a scooter for an indefinite number of days and ventured out past my immediate neighborhood in the Old City of Chiang Mai. I found the local cinema and saw The Other Boleyn Sister, and then on Sat I went back and saw Sex In the City. I even had a burger and fries for dinner on Sat. Heaven. I'm living like I live here, not like I'm traveling. It's a bonafide vacation from the past three months of constant
At 9pm the train car became a dormAt 9pm the train car became a dormAt 9pm the train car became a dorm

The beds folder out from the ceiling and from the seats we were in, and a very efficient train attendant had all our beds made in no time. We had surprisingly comfy soft pillows and blankets (and seeing as the AC was on high al night we needed'em!) The last time I slept on a train was from Venice to Amsterdam (with an unexpected stop in Austria, Oops! missed that change over at 4am). On that ride the bed was hard and the sheets were reminiscent of the paper sheet you sit on at the Dr's office. I was expecting the worst here in India and was really pleasantly surprised!
travel in Asia.

I haven't even been thinking about what I wanted to do next, or what there is to do in Chiang Mai. I guess I needed a little time off from my trip. It's about the three month mark that I've been on the road, going, going, going and I think I might have burnt out a bit. Perhaps the pace I established was a little much.

In one of the guide books I read about taking a round the world trip, the author advised booking down time into your tour, and I didn't do that. Even at home you have weekends off to lounge and rest. Everyday can't be about doing something brand new and on the edge, some days have to be about laundry and resting, and cleaning your gear. And it doesn't matter that there is this incredible, foreign, exotic thing right down the street that you might never see again, because well, sometimes you have to do laundry. And that thing will be there when you are clean and rested.

So, well, I guess down time happened to me and now I feel great. I wasn't sick or anything, just pooped I guess. I can be a bit stubborn and single minded when I have a task ahead of me, and I think for the past three months I've been on 'experience the world and don't miss a thing' duty. I think I've decided in the past nine days that if I'm going to live in Asia for 8 or 10 months, then I need to live like I live here, not like I'm passing through each place. This adventure might have been planned as a 2 month sprint at the outset, but it's a marathon now, and I need to adjust my pace.

But now my tanks are full, I'm rested and re-charged. I've got an even better tan than I did before, and so now I'm taking my first look at Chiang Mai and what there is to do here. I've heard so much about this place, I am ready to go see what all the hub-ub is about! Wish me luck!

PS. Just because I feel the need to justify myself spending nine days and not accomplishing or producing anything. It's not like I was staying at the Four Seasons living it up, for most all of that time I was living well under $20
When traveling the fine print!When traveling the fine print!When traveling the fine print!

I'm at the movies, and it's a pretty international univeral scene, but becareful what you are ordering. You can't assume anything when you are in a forign environment! (Read the green bubble on this sign.)
a day. (Scooter $4.65/day, Hotel $9.40/night, Massages $6/hr, Avg Eats $3.50/meal) I'm still in the first third of the budget I've set aside for the trip and learning how to save money all the time. Not sure why I felt like I had to put this disclaimer here, but just didn't want to give the impression I'm just sitting on my ass, not working or learning, because I've got millions in the bank and I can. Hmmm, not sure why I felt the need to say that either. Maybe it's the contrast in western wealth to much of poverty I've seen here. Maybe after I get a little more enlightened over here I won't feel the need to justify any of my actions, be them purposeful or not.

Additional photos below
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My favorite restaurant in Chiang MaiMy favorite restaurant in Chiang Mai
My favorite restaurant in Chiang Mai

She wouldn't smile for me, but this lady made the yummiest chicken soup ever! And she was open until 2am!
View of Chiang Mai from the mountain topView of Chiang Mai from the mountain top
View of Chiang Mai from the mountain top

I took my scooter up here for a ride one day and enjoyed the beautiful views, until the monsoon came in just after lunch. I drove home all the way down the mountain (45 min) through squinted eyes and thoroughly drenched clothes. Good ting I was alone because I was laughing hysterically to myself the whole way down. What a predicament I got myself into! I love it! After a quick stop at the hotel for a change of clothes, I sped right to the Sushi restaurant to get some Sake into me so I wouldn't get a cold. It worked!

7th September 2008

GREAT BLOG I started reading your BLOGS and they are great. I am going to Chiang Mai at the end of September 2008, I will possibly staying for 6 months. I would love to learn the name of your Hotel for $9 a night in Chiang Mai with a po
ol. Joe (

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