#72 - back in chiang mai again!
Chiang Mai Travel Blog› entry 72 of 113 › view all entries
March 13th - March 17th
So, I actually ended up staying in Chiang Mai longer than I had originally intended (it's a long story & if you remember to ask me when I'm back from my trip - I may just tell you...) BUT regardless, the point is...I've had some time to get to really hang out in Chiang Mai and it's been AMAZING! Here are some of the highlights of my week so far (and by the way, as I type this, I'm listening to monks chanting at the wat that is right next to my guest house - they are having a special opening or they have redone something, I can't really figure it out, but there's a huge celebration this weekend and there are all these special monks in town.
MAY KAIDEE'S: This is my favorite restaurant in the neighborhood! Duan is the owner -(May is actually her sister who has the same restaurant) is so sweet and Noon is the happiest, smiliest waiter I have ever met. I took a cooking class here & it ended up being a private class. Duan took me to the local market and explained all the spices, vegetables, noodles, etc. that we needed to buy. We then proceeded to make TWELVE dishes! My favorites were Tom Kai, pumpkin hummus, peanut sauce for the spring rolls, & pad thai.
CM BLUE HOUSE: I love my guest house. It's clean & comfy & the owners, Tim and Tony, are super nice. They are a couple from San Diego and have been super helpful!
HERBAL MASSAGE PLACE: I am not even sure of the official name of the place, but I LOVE this massage place.
KHWAN, OWNER OF THE HERBAL MASSAGE PLACE: so, I have defintiely bonded with Khwan. He is SO nice. He owns the massage place & we sit and chat for a bit each time I go in. He is now the proud owner of one of my Obama buttons.
-one was about when his father asked him who the two most perfect people were in the world? Kwan thought about it & said it was him, his father & his mother. His father said "no" So Kwan had to go think about it for awhile. Well, Kwan didn't come up with the answer, but his father eventually told him that the two people in the world who are perfect are 1) the dead and 2) the unborn.
-the second story was about how to raise people. He said you needed to raise people like rice. When a rice stalk is healthy there are lots of rice kernals on it & it gets so heavy that it bends over. People should be like rice....bending over....being respectful. If a rice stalk doesn't have rice on it & it's too straight - if a strong wind comes along it can break it. It needs to have a lot of rice on it to be able to bend and be okay in the strong wind.
He told both stories beautifully and I just loved taking it all in. I told him his father was a very smart man (his father passed away awhile ago) and Khwan said, "I love my dad.
Every day since I gave him the Obama button, he has been wearing it. He proudly says, "I think this is the only one in Chiang Mai" (I don't have the heart to tell him I had given one to a cab driver before!) He is just the cutest.
DA BAKERY: There is this amazing bakery right next to the CM Bluehouse (I seriously could just exist in the radius of a couple blocks with May Kaidee's, the massage place & the bakery). They bake FRESH breads every day - banana, mango, blueberry.
MAHOUT TRAINING: Elephants are just the coolest. It was really amazing to be around them for a day. I wish I could have spent more time with them actually. You just know there is stuff going on behind those eyes. It's funny - I'm afraid of horses becuase they are so big and elephants are MUCH bigger than horses but I was so so comfortable around them. They are just the best.
THE DAY WHERE I SAW THE SKY: It's true - it's been very smoky here and I haven't really seen much of the blue sky. One day - it cleared and it was AWESOME.
TRIPS TO THE MALLS: So I had to go to Tesco Lotus (a bit Walmart type store) to stalk up on some toiletries, etc. AND I needed to go to the Airport Plaza to get a cell phone & a camera battery charger (yes, I left all my chargers in Pai & it was a minor headache trying to figure out what I needed to replace - oh well - I knew something like this was bound to happen at some point!). I loved my trips to the malls though. It was so fun to see what they were like in a town like Chiang Mai. I also have to admit - I got an Auntie Anne's pretzel at the Airport Plaza and it was GOOD.
I'm sure there will be more highlights to come since I still have a few more days here...stay tuned!
Okay - I was right, more highlights from my last days in Chiang Mai
CELEBRATION AT THE WAT: I went to the wat that is right next to my guest house to see the celebration they were having on Sat night. There were all kinds of thai dancers, music playing, free food & just people & noise & people & noise everywhere. It was really crazy! So fun that I ended up running into George - my Swiss friend from May Kaidee's the other day. We hung out and watched the festivities. Then, I remembered that Khwan, at the massage place, told me to come to his place that night because he was making food & having all his friends & customers over.
Sooooo - I was actually a part of that whole ceremony. It was SO. COOL. I loved hanging out at the massage place with all the Thai folks - I had actually now gotten to know some of the massage ladies & some of the other customers - so I felt very at home.
George and I hung out at the festival for the rest of the night - just absorbing it all - eating pad thai that cost about 30 cents - trying rotee (banana & egg in this crepe thingy with coconut milk in it....YUM...so NOT fattening....right). :)
The whole night was just so so so so cool.
FOOT MASSAGE COURSE. I took the class with one other woman, Nounou - a very nice woman from France.
SUNDAY WALKING STREET MARKET: Wow - I have never seen such organized chaos in my life. There were SOOO many people that came out for the market.
MY SECOND TO LAST MORNING IN CHIANG MAI
I had the coolest experience at my favorite bakery this morning. So, there I am sitting at Da Bakery - yes, that's what it is called. And as I sat there drinking my coffee (GREAT coffee from the hill tribes) and eating my banana, cinnamin-raisin pancake....I actually had THREE people go by the bakery that I knew! I really felt like this was my neighborhoood. First, I saw Noon (the smiley happy waiter from May Kaidee's) bike by - I screamed his name, but he didn't hear me. Then, Chien - the guy that works at our guest house rode by. And then Duan, from May Kaidee's walked by as well.