This week I lived the life of a true digital nomad in Chiang Mai. Lots of fun workspaces, more temples, and a touch of Wildflower.
- Buddhist holiday this week: Asanha Bucha Day. It celebrates the day when the Buddha held his first sermon after his enlightenment to his first five disciples. How did this affect us? Lots of stores closed and no one selling alcohol.
- Alcohol is not available for purchase during certain times of the day. Generally 2pm to 5pm, but some places have additional hours. Alcohol consumption promotion is also illegal.
- Similarly, playing cards in public places is illegal because it’s perceived as gambling. And vaping is illegal because well…the government hasn’t figured out how to tax it yet.
- Thailand does the water situation really well. No one drinks the tap water, but they have city wide water delivery services that deliver water in *reusable* plastic bottles. Remote Year got us hooked up for the month. If you didn’t elect for the plastic bottles, there are refill stations all over the city. Costs 1 baht ($.03) to full up your water there.
- Courteous to not point at things with one finger, instead to use your whole hand. On that note, also more courteous to hand things to someone with both hands instead of one. People at the store will hand you the receipt with two hands.
- Update on the bum gun: I tried it. Succeeded at not soaking the entire bathroom too. Ya, they serve a purpose.
- Took a Tuk-tuk for the first time. Tuk-tuks are another ‘taxi’ service, an open air cart affixed to a motorbike. Lots of fun and similarly priced to a red truck.
- Ran out of deodorant and man, it’s hard to find stick deodorant here. More importantly, it’s hard to find some that doesn’t have ‘whitening’ in it. Very common to see whitening deodorant to whiten your armpits and protect from sweat at the same time.
- Another fun fact? Bad luck to have vowels in your name if you were born on a Monday. Guess I’m screwed, I got three.
Back into the normal routine of gym and work. Workspace of the day: Lokai Café
- Long walk around the city just to take advantage of the beautiful day. Not too much blue sky here in July but when it comes, it’s amazing.
- Yummy Mexican dinner at Salsa Kitchen
- Another long walk through old town on search for some goods, not sure why it still surprises me but my gosh, there are temples everywhere here. Every corner, each just as decadent. Pro tip: always be wearing or have with you temple appropriate clothing and slip on shoes (and socks if you’re weird about bare feet)
- Lunch with Remotes at Labkai to try the most famous dish of the north: khao soi. You can find it everywhere here, I just had not had it yet. Egg noodles in a coconut milk curry sauce, with more fried noodles on top. Would recommend if you are not GF, this one hurt me a little but still SOO delicious.
- Workspace of the day: Aris’ Mood Café. All this café hopping has gotten me hooked on Italian soda (sparkling water with a little flavoring pumped in).
- Bachelorette night! Just saying, our watch parties have grown and now it’s just a fun way to get people together. Plus who doesn’t love drama when it’s not your own?!
- Visit to Wildflower Home, the women’s shelter we are partnering with for Positive Impact
- On this trip, taught English to three young, very bright girls. One of them just wanted me to sit with her and trace the alphabet with her hand in mine. Really sweet. The other, a 12 year old, knew a lot of English and we had fun learning opposites.
- Even just going back a second time, you begin to feel connected to a place. The women all recognized us, and the sister who runs it is a joy to get to know.
- Watch as the women separated the food they’d collected from the temples from the holiday the day before, and then help in the garden moving dirt
- Workspace of the day: The Brick (our actual workspace, hey!)
- Morning run up near Chiang Mai University. Not recommended in 90 degree weather but a really beautiful area. The campus has a reservoir with a mountain backdrop. Also made it to the Huay Kaew Arboretum. Reasons I love it here: nature!
- Check out Wat Phra Singh, a well-known temple in the center of the old city.
- Workspace of the day: Goodsouls and Akha Ama La Fattoria
- $2 HUGE portion of Pad Thai at Tops Central Market near Nimman neighborhood. The couple running the stand is American/Thai, and damn, they make a good meal.
- Workspace of the day: Baristotel Café and Rustic & Blue
- Failed attempt to go to Doi Suthep. The bus stop by the university only takes people once a truck is filled with 8 people, so you could be waiting a while
- Check out the university market instead and wander home
- Remote Year arranged tour with Journey Tour group to Doi Inthanon National Park
- Tour guided us two hours to the park, a visit to two waterfalls, a Karen village, the Royal Project Inthanon agricultural center, a trip to the highest point in Thailand, and a stop at the most photographed temples at the top of the mountain
- Sounds like a great tour right? Mehh, it was ok. We spent a lot of time in the van hopping from place to place. And it was incredibly structured, to the point that the guide would hold up a sign with the time we had to be back in the van (sometimes a 17 min block to run around and see)
- Best part of day? Spending quality time with the other Remotes and really getting to know each other
- Other cool thing? The peak was about 65 degrees. I had forgotten what it felt like to be ‘cold’ outside.
- Head out with a friend to the Saturday Night Market for food and gifts
- Drinks at U Chiang Mai rooftop bar, then Rush Bar, then Songdee (one of the only places open *illegally* past midnight)…twas a good night.
- Do a makeshift temple walk through the old city while preparing for the Wildflower Home fundraiser
- Am I sick of temples yet? Well, I don’t feel the need to go in all of them anymore because you can only see so many Buddha statues, BUT each temple is so decadent and different on the outside.
- Host Beer Pong fundraiser at Corner Bistro. The event was a lot of fun, we got decent turnout, and healthy competition. Would have liked to get more expats from the city, but all in all, happy with it.
- This month Parea will contribute $430 to the Wildflower Home that I’ve felt so connected to <3
Lots of people have asked if I could live here, and honestly I could. The only thing I struggle with is not drinking the tap water, because it means I eat less fresh, raw produce. But there is so much to do in Chiang Mai and the nearby area, and I just get good vibes. One more week is not enough!!