#69 - doi suthep & massage

Chiang Mai Travel Blog

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march 5th:
I got my act together pretty early & set out to find a new guest house.  I went to Julie's to see if I could get in there that night & again, she said they were full.  BUMMER.  Dan Aufhauser & Phil Psilos both recommended it & I really wanted to stay there.  Very cool vibe.  So, I just sat and had breakfast & took it all in.  In the meantime, I called another guest house that Phil recommended - CM Blue House.  They had availability!  And the guy sounded really nice so I was happy.

I went back to Sarah guest house, packed up my stuff & switched guest houses.  I LOVED CM Blue when I got there.  It's so zen feeling, great music playing, great little garden, everything is clean and nice - AND it's super cheap too!  The guys that run it are great.

  Tim is originaly from San Diego & he & his partner moved to Thailand via Hawaii.  I just got a really good feeling there.

After a little lunch, I headed out to Doi Suthep - a famous/special buddhist temple just outside of Chiang Mai.  I took one of those red pick-up truck taxi thingys where they pile in 8 people.  And man - that road up to the top is WINDY!!!  It was about a 40ish minute ride or so - there were times when I was a bit dizzy - but it was all good.

Got to the temple and proceeded to walk up the 306 stairs to the top.  Oy.  Defintiely a good way to get your heart pumping.  The temple was beautiful - but unfortunately the huge gold part of it was under renovation so it had scaffolding all over it.

  It was still beautiful though.  :)

I bought the packet of incense, candles & a flower that the Thais use an offering to the Buddhas.  Now I know I'm Jewish & we aren's supposed to pray to any idols or anything - but I really liked the experience of sitting in silence in this special place.  I wanted to do something for Yael and Natalie so I thought about them as I sat with the incense & the candles.  I don't really know what all the things mean for Thais - I need to ask that - but for me, I was just thinking peaceful thoughts for Yael and Natalie. 

I then went into a room where you get blessed by a monk.  He then throws holy water on you & then you get a white band around your wrist that is for safe travels (I figured that was good to get).

  The monk however couldn't put the string on me since I'm a woman.  His helper has to do it.  I made the mistake of extending my arm towards the monk because I didn't realize....so I hopefully didn't offend him!!

Every day they do an introduction to meditation at 3pm, so I went to that.  For an hour I learned about preparing for meditation, sitting meditation & walking meditation.  I really enjoyed it.  I would love to do a 3 day retreat here, but they don't have room until I will already be on my way to Laos.  :(  I really enjoyed my experience though and I am going to try to do the meditation as they taught me each morning for 5ish minutes or so (Belinda - what do you think? ;) )

I came back to Chiang Mai via the pick=up truck thingys but it was another negotiation process on the price.

  That's the part I don't love - everything is a negotiation!  And it's strange - there were 3 of us & he wanted to charge each of us 100 baht to go back to the city (that's about $3 each).  We knew it should cost about 50 baht so it then became a discussion & the other 2 were not into paying the 100 baht.  He would charge us 50 if we waited for 5 more people to arrive who wanted to go back to Chiang Mai too.  So 50 to wait, or 100 to go now.  100 baht is NOT a lot of money in US dollars - but there we were thinking we were getting ripped off.  I ideally wanted to pay the 50, but was happy to go for the 100 & eventually the other 2 were as well so we went.  ANYWAY, just the fun little things that happen along the way.  :)

When I got back, I treated myself to a WONDERFUL Thai massage.

   There's this great place close to the CM Blue guest house.  I will DEFINITELY be going back again!

I also had one of the best meals of my trip.  And I am not exaggerating.  I ate at this little vegetarian restaurant around the corner from the guest house called May Kaidee's - they have a website - www.maykaidee.com.  I had this pumpkin basil dish that was SOOOOOOOOOO delicious.   I really can't say enough about it.  And I had brown rice AND spring rolls (I was hungry).   They have a cooking school, so I think I'll take a class from them!  I won't be able to do it for a few days - tomorrow I'm going to wander around the city, the next day I'm going to take a day trip to Pai - but when I'm back I want to learn how to make that dish!  They said they could teach me.


I'm having a hard time finding an internet cafe with a fast enough connection to upload pictures.  I'm real behind on them.  I hope to be able to do that soon!!!

A huge MWAH to everyone back home.  I really wish I could be there for Yael's funeral and I will be thinking of her & Natalie & Josh & the Kaniel family & all my friends there. 

march 6th:
took a tuk tuk out to Tesco Lotus - the huge Walmart type place!  i needed to do some shopping for habitat for humanity stuff & restock on some toiletries type stuff - it was actually a LOT of fun going out there.  crazy to be in a very big mall type thing!!!
- walked ALLLL over chiang mai today - chinatown, wats, the whole kit & kaboodle!   i was POOPED!
- had dinner at the vegetarian restaurant that i love so much again!!!! i  bonded with noon, the happy happy happy waiter.

  i just love him.  he drew me a picture.  :)
- had TWO massages tonight  :)  1 hour thai & 1 hour foot massage....the whole thing was about $8 for both! 
- packed for my trip to pai tomorrow

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Chiang Mai
photo by: Stevie_Wes