I made it to Chiang Mai on Febraury 28th and I am finally writing this on March 3rd. Who knows when I’ll actually finish it and post it. Let’s just say things here are good. Instead of blogging I want to go out and explore this great city. Chiang Mai is the perfect to city to do just wander around as on every corner is either a cute little coffee shop or a beautiful temple. Plus, the weather is perfect. Granted, I was in -20 degree weather just last week so my definition of “perfect” is highly flexible.
It was quite the ride going from Mongolia to South Korea to Thailand in the span of a few days. I haven’t experienced real culture shock but more “weather shock.” I am still in Asia but each country is still so completely different- the languages and characters are different, the energies are different, the food is different.
In Chuzhou I had no central heating. I watched my hands turn purple when I taught in my classroom and I could see my breath in my apartment. I went to Mongolia in Febraury which means really effin cold temperatures. Korea was warm after Mongolia and I didn’t have to wear my thermals which was glorious. Then coming to Chiang Mai I got to say goodbye to jeans and hello to maxi dresses.
The vibe in Chiang Mai is very “chill.” There is awlays some type of intensity in China wherever you go. In Mongolia the people are very friendly and but something about the temperature makes things tense. In Chiang Mai things move at a slightly slower pace. The people are friendly here too and kids, monks, and adults give me a warm smile as I pass them by. The weather is practically perfect. The days are sunny and bright. I can feel the warm breeze on my as I walk down the street.
My uncle retired in Chiang Mai and has a Thai wife so I am staying at their place. He is in the states right now so she has been showing me around and cooking me delicious food. Yes, I know not everyone has an uncle in Thailand that they can stay at for free but I do. Their house is near the airport which is a short taxi ride from the city center. The location does allow me to “live like the locals and expats.” And since she is Thai I do get a bigger glimpse into Thai culture. Plus, things nearby are cheaper than the center of city so its easy to have a “cheap day.”
I am not on vacation nor am I a backpacker. Now that the holidays are over I have been having great booking rates with my job. I am booking a lot which means money but sometimes I just want to be lazy! I took Monday off to get settled but have been working everyday since including the weekend. This first week in Chiang Mai I am working about 27 hours. So its not the American “40 hours a week” standard but I am not in America. I am on a budget but I am not on a backpacker budget nor I am wearing the backpacker uniform of harem pants. I went to the nearby mall and discovered they have my favorite facial mask I used in NYC. I bought. I really am not a backpacker. Nor do I want to be. I am really living a “lifestyle change.”
My first two days in Chiang Mai I just simply wandered. After almost three weeks in Mongolia and not being able to explore I was delighted to just walk and not worry about freezing to death. I really never made a plan, I just walked around and I always managed to find something that interest me. If I needed wifi at a coffee shop or some noodles for lunch I never had to search too far. Next week I might some more “plans” but I have enough time here to enjoy myself and take it in.
Have you ever been to Chiang Mai, Thailand? Did you enjoy your time? If you haven’t been, would you like to go?