After four and a half months on the road, spending every night in a different hostel bed and just about every waking minute with Danielle (I love you, but aaahhh), it felt oh so good to return to Chiang Mai and rent an apartment for an entire MONTH! I’ve lived in Thailand before, working for four months in Mae Sariang with the Karen Office of Relief and Development and six months in Chiang Mai for the Human Rights Education Institute of Burma, so coming back feels a lot like returning home.
Having spent so much time here before also means I should be able to write a really good post on Chiang Mai with super useful tips, right?
The thing is, all the time I’ve spent here has only shown me how little authority I have to write about the city (and that folks, is sort of
grain massive block of salt with which you should take my posts about places I’ve only passed through for a day).
Compared to expat friends who have lived here for years, I know nothing at all about this place. Luckily for you (and me) though, Chiang Mai is a popular destination and home to countless digital nomads and top travel bloggers, meaning there are lots of amazing posts out there about Thailand’s second largest city, covering both the good and the bad.
So after you give those links a look through, and in the unlikely case you don’t decide to abandon reading this blog in favor of those much, much better ones, let’s talk about what’s really on everyone’s minds these days. HOLIDAY SEASON!!!
Thanks to some careful planning – okay fine it was actually a total accident – I arrived back in Chiang Mai just in time to celebrate Loi Krathong, one of the most magical of Thai holidays. For three days people send off their wishes or worries in special wreaths down a river or paper lanterns into the sky. What could be better?
I’ll tell you what could: my still having Danielle’s super fancy DSLR camera to document the festival with. My camera, well, it tried.
For most of the festival we sat by the river watching kids throw fire crackers at each other and other fire-related activities. It felt a little like being at war, especially with the grenades exploding in the water, but in a good way!
Then it was Thanksgiving! My friends and I celebrated with all of the usual dishes, except that no one in Thailand has an actual oven, so everything was cooked either in a rice cooker, on a hot plate, or in a toaster oven. You guys, toaster oven turkey is DELICIOUS.
And now it’s Christmas!
This is now my fourth December in a row spent in a far too tropical climate (I know, I know, most people would love to switch places with me, but… snooooow!!!), so I have become an expert at creating my own snow. By which I mean, making paper snowflakes!
Hope you all are also enjoying the start of the holidays, wherever you are!