"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Posted in Travel by matt on Monday, January 4, 2010

For New Years, Cayla and I celebrated one joyous year of marriage in Thailand’s Northern capital of Chiang Mai. Compared to Bangkok, this city is cleaner, greener, less-polluted, has better food, and is just…better.

(Chiang Mai) > (Bangkok)

So we hopped a plane and settled into a friend’s vacant condo. It was too late to go anywhere, so we spent the evening sampling the various foods being sold on our street.

The following day was spent exploring the city. We had lunch at a vegetarian buffet that was admittedly awesome. Being a Texan and a rancher’s grandson, I realize that I should be ashamed of admitting to liking a sissy vegetarian meal at some hippie buffet, but let me put you all at ease by assuring you that I fully intend to slaughter the next large animal I see with my bare hands and to then eat its meat raw, so give me my man-card back.

Seriously, though, those veggies were delightful…

The next day was spent skidding through a national park on mountain bikes. As I said before, my scars testify that I’m in no way bike-savvy, but this was fun! They drove us up a mountain, gave us the safety talk, and then a 67 year-old adrenaline junky guided us down the mountain.

Here are a couple photos from the descent:

[Geared up!]

[Everything was in bloom.]

We relaxed awhile at home before heading downtown to meet a few friends from Bangkok for the countdown. Little did we know that Chiang Mai goes berserk for New Years. It was sensory overload with more sights, sounds, and smells than I usually ingest in a week!

It won’t really recreate it, but here are a few snapshots for you:

[This is the Northern gate of Old Chiang Mai city. It was the happiest mosh pit ever. Notice all the lanterns being lit.]

[This is the wall from the previous picture with all the lanterns behind it.]

Those little lights in the picture above are called Chinese lanterns. At any given time, the city sky was filled with hundreds of them. It was beautiful. Here’s a shot of a family lighting their own lantern:

The next day (Friday, I believe) was spent recovering from all the biking and late-night festivities. We slept in and eventually moseyed into town for a Mexican fix. My mouth started watering when we walked into the restaurant; the quesadilla tasted like the stuff dreams are made of. It made me look forward to getting more Mexican food once we’re Stateside.

Saturday was our last day, and we spent it at a Thai organic cooking school outside of town. Again, don’t judge guys. This time I put meat in almost every dish.

The cooking was pretty fun, but it was the company that made it so memorable. A whole bunch of American women were in our group, and they spent the entire day either chatting or giggling at everything. It was nice to hang out with a few friendly compatriots.

Here are a few pics:

[Thai sombreros!]

[More proof that I’m OCD.]

[Stir-fried chicken cashew – yum!]

The cooking school driver dropped us off near our condo, so we tidied it up a bit and then hopped an overnight bus bound for Bangkok. We had a stressful mishap toward the end of our overnight bus ride, but Cayla already blogged about it, so I’ll just let you go there if you wanna hear more.

I’ve also posted a few other pictures of our time in Chiang Mai in my photo stream below. Thanks for reading!

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Mom said, on Monday, January 4, 2010 at 9:55 am

    thanks for great update! You can’t imagine how nice it is to hear from you. Keep up the good blogging :)

  2. Angel said, on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    The pictures are beautiful!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: