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Published: November 9th 2017
I felt at home as soon as we arrived in Chiang Mai. It took less than 30 minutes to collect bags and catch a tuk tuk (40pp) to our hostel. Unfortunately, upon arrival we were advised our room was unavailable and we were taken to another guesthouse called the Oldies where we stayed the night in a dark teakwood room. It had its charm, but certainly wasn't worth the 600 baht we were paying for Chiang Mai Gate Capsule Hostel. Fortunately, it was still next to the street food night market, so I indulged in some vegan noodles (50 THB) and a delicious blueberry pineapple shake (40 THB).
We ended up at Bodhi Tree Cafe in the northeast corner of old town for breakfast and Lotus asked me to teach classes even before our food arrived. Of course, I agreed and only ended up teaching 1/3 of the agreed upon times due to misscheduling on her part, but worth it anyway. The food and coffee is still some of the best in town. Vegan, organic, fresh!
I could write a whole blog about the food and coffee I indulge in when travelling. Freebird, the vegan spot that supports charity.
Morning Glory with young Opal as their friendly waitress. Cooking Love's huge plates. A lot of Americanos, probably too many at $3 each. Cat Shack. Note: Taste of Heaven is NOT worth the visit.
My shopping was mostly limited to buying 30 thai pants, 10 earrings, and 5 scarves to bring back as retail. It's easier to shop when I don't need to pick them for myself. I put all my good vibes and prayers into the box as I shipped them for their one month journey across the ocean.
Though the trip to Chiang Mai was short, the timing correlated with not only the Sunday Night Market but also Loy Krathong. Four years ago I celebrated it in Patong Beach, Phuket where they put staple and plastic laden banana boats into the ocean to offer thanks to the waters of mother earth. :/ Chiang Mai is a bit more responsible, although paper lanterns still have to land somewhere. Nonetheless it's a wonderful time to be there. Dances, high school students hosting fairs, displays... all under the bright light of the Hunter Moon.
Andrew and I spent all of our days together until he assimilated enough to
be sent off on his own. He found a UFC fight at UN Irish Pub and I went to all my favourite spots on my own. My first stop was meeting Rebecca at Freebird. Her and I never spoke in high school, but as we get older and grow into ourselves, we often find soul sisters in people we wouldn't have expected. She's been an inspiration for me since she left The US almost a year ago to travel solo. Hell yes. It was so nice to talk to a kindred soul and be reinvigorated and reminded of all the possibilities life affords us and the ways travel helps us heal.
After an oil massage, Andrew and i met up to head to the park to practice some acro. I've gotten him hooked, though I can't exactly teach much past the basics. We ended up there again the following day and picked up some new tricks from the other circus monkeys.
The days all blended together in their awesomeness. I got to spend some time solo, wandering without destination. I love the freedom of walking in one direction and being able to turn around and change my mind
14 times without explanation.
I DO remember singing karaoke at Fat Elvis though. No one was there so Andrew and I played about 6 games of pool and I sang about 6 songs. The videos he recorded are not flattering. It's hard to sing to loud music with no monitor! Followed that up with about 30 minutes of dancing my face off at Reggae Bar before the town shut down for curfew. But, when my dancing shoes are on, there's no stopping so we joined a Canadian named Dennis to Spicy, the late night club that fills corner to corner with tourists.
I danced again the following night and made it all the way to the Living Room, the late-late night spot. The entrance is through a door that indicates it be the men's bathrooms. Speakeasy?
I just really love Chiang Mai. Of course I need to consider that I love anywhere I am on vacation in (except Dallas or New Delhi), but I feel like I really belong in Thailand. One day I'll call it home for while. I know it so deeply, I didn't even say goodbye this time.
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