When I first moved to Chiang Mai a year and a half ago after living on an island south of Thailand, it was to say the least a shock. I’m a beach girl, always have been always will be. But in saying that I always love an adventure and this is one of the reasons I live in Chiang Mai.
My first instinct about Chiang Mai was the culture and food shock from the south to the north. Although it is the same country the food and the language vary. Living on the island was an easy life, in many aspects. It had its ups and downs (as does everywhere). It was a major tourist destination so almost everybody spoke English so I did not learn much Thai at all. When I moved to Chiang Mai, again a SHOCK. Yes a lot of people speak English but there are many Thai’s that do not. And not only that, they have a northern Dialect totally different from the south. So in trying to learn Thai from what I little I had learnt from the sound and the change to the northern dialect, plus accents is somewhat of a challenge.
To me every day is an adventure, I love the fact I’m not entirely sure how things are going to work out. The fact that I may come across someone who knows no English and we have a conversation in miming. I can’t begin to tell you how many miming conversations I’ve had.
So on my down time I still like to be out and about which is another thing Chiang Mai is great for, a few of my adventures so far have included camping and hiking by the waterfalls, which is my favorite and a must. I love being around nature, if I can’t be by the ocean I love being in the wild and by the rivers. Also visiting the tree house for the weekend, it’s only 1.5hours out of Chiang Mai, no tv’s, no cell phone, just living in a tree house for a few days. It was heaven. When my parents came to visit I took them to the temples and with a little encouragement I convinced them to come on the “Flight of the Gibbons” lest just say they won’t be doing it again in a hurry, but I had the time of my life. So much fun flying through the trees, not to mention the little obstacles they put up, hence the one of myself on a skateboard, holding on very tight. All in all it is highly recommended.
Amongst the adventurous side of Chiang Mai, I absolutely love the festival culture. Nearly every month families get together to celebrate a different festival. last month was the Lantern festival. It is just beautiful Thousands of people come to Chiang Mai to celebrate this. For three night the streets are closed of and everyone lights up their lanters (biodegradable) and floats them in the air and turns the sky into a sea of lanterns.