We are having a very happy time here in Chiang Mai. In a way it reminds us of Christchurch, low rise buildings, there is money here, quite a few farang (Europeans), it is flat with hills on the outskirts and oh yes, it has earthquakes!
We are staying just outside the old city in a place called Sakorn Residence and it is fabulous. A large air-conditioned room, a shower with hot and cold water and a swimming pool! Very nearby there is a wide range of places to eat also with a wide range of prices and food types. Chiang Mai is much cooler at night and early morning but it is roasting hot in the afternoons and early evening. So we find ourselves out and about in the mornings, swimming and siesta-ering in the afternoon and then back out in the evening. It is such a difficult life! We have enjoyed being transported in Tuk Tuks.
We have been to all kinds of markets, wats (Buddhist temples), museums, seen some amazing crafts, visited with elephants, been to a silk factory, an umbrella factory and tomorrow I am going to a cook school! The highlights? The elephants were truly special (see ‘The magic of elephant trail’ on Facebook and Chiang Mai Photography Tours also on FB.) This all happened by chance when caught up with Kevin Landwer-Johan, a friend from NZ that we haven’t seen in over 20 years.He runs a photography business in Chiang Mai, believe it or not, I struggled to get a word in once Kevin and Mike started in on camera discussions. This is what happens when you are open to saying ‘yes’! The elephants and their committed guides will be a lasting memory. The other highlight also happened by chance when we went wandering one morning. We have a number of art and craft galleries within walking distance of our accommodation all show casing products from Northern Thailand. They were quite spectacular, beautiful fabrics, pottery, artworks, I honestly wanted to cry in one shop, it was all just so amazing!. We could have spent a fortune but we didn’t…..
Chiang Mai has been a wonderful place for us to stop and rest for 12 days, we have enjoyed the food, the sights and the warm people we have met here. Many happy memories from this place.
And guess what? I have learnt how to insert the picture files properly! When all else fails read the instructions!
To see more of Mike’s images go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebrebner/