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Posts Tagged ‘Chiang Mai’

One of the joys of this trip is being able to experience the simple day-to-day of far-away places, to observe people as they go through their daily routines, eating how they eat, traveling how they travel and shopping where they shop.  Despite it being one of my favorite parts of this whole experience, descriptions of these moments rarely see the light of day, pushed aside in favor of accounts of big planned activities or snapshots of dramatic landscapes.

Since these little moments are some of the things that make me happy on a daily basis, it seemed like it would be an appropriate way to share some pics from Chiang Mai.  I’m still lamenting the fact that I never could whip my camera out fast enough to capture the ubiquitous entire-family-on-a-motorbike, sometimes four or five deep, or the pickup truck filled with fruit or fabric to a height of two or three times the height of the truck.  I’ll keep trying!  Since many of these are stolen shots, they won’t be winning any awards for photography, but hopefully they’ll do 🙂 .

Adam enjoying a traditional Thai breakfast of spicy fishball noodle soup--fishballs are similar to meatballs, but made with white fish.  The texture can take a little getting used to, but the soup overall is so delish.

Adam enjoying a traditional Thai breakfast of spicy fishball noodle soup--fishballs are similar to meatballs, but made with white fish. Yup, that's right, for breakfast.

Monk on a cell phone

Monk on a cell phone

Not, as it appears, a motorbike dealership, but in fact the street outside of a school.  Possibly a junior high.  Driving age of eighteen, my hiney, Lonely Planet--I have seen kids on motorbikes that couldn't have been older than 13.  For reals.

Not, as it appears, a motorbike dealership, but in fact the street outside of a school. Possibly a junior high. Driving age of eighteen, my hiney, Lonely Planet--I have seen kids on motorbikes that couldn't have been older than 13. For reals.

Adam had just made his selections from the smorgasbord of deep fried bugs right behind him.

Adam had just made his selections from the smorgasbord of deep fried bugs right behind him.

Showing off the size of his grasshopper.  heh.

Showing off the size of his grasshopper. heh.

hurgh.

hurgh.

Doing the deed.  No, you will not see a similar photo of me.

Doing the deed. No, you will not see a similar photo of me.

Mmmmm.  Crunchy fried grasshopper.

Mmmmm. Crunchy fried grasshopper.

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang

pretteh

pretteh

Wat Chedi Luang, decorated for the funeral of the regional chief monk.  You should have seen the crowds that turned out later in the week.  I think everyone in northern Thailand attended that funeral.

Wat Chedi Luang, decorated for the funeral of the regional chief monk. You should have seen the crowds that turned out later in the week. I think everyone in northern Thailand attended that funeral.

The ruined chedi at Wat Chedi Luang.  This stupa was constructed in the fourteenth century, collapsed in 1545 and was just recently restored in the mid-1990s.  Wrap your mind around those dates.

The ruined chedi at Wat Chedi Luang. This stupa was constructed in the fourteenth century, collapsed in 1545 and was just recently restored in the mid-1990s. Wrap your mind around those dates.

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On another topic entirely, I’d love some feedback, if anyone feels like weighing in.  Anything that you’d love to see more of  here at TheWanderYear?  Anything that makes you want to smack us?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, even they consist of “post more often, lazies!” or “sometimes your font is stupid”  (you may have too much time on your hands in that case, but I’m open to all criticisms).  We’re still new at this, and as much as we’re doing this to have a record of this trip for ourselves, we also want it to be fun for people who take time to come here and read it.  And lest you think your comments will not be taken to heart, we have finally taken the advice of our very wise friend Dave B. and started resizing our photos, so they’re no longer so mammoth and should take less time to load.  Thanks Dave!

~Meg

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Flight of the Gibbon

I’m not quite sure what spawned her obsession, but one of the things my mom most wanted  to do on her trip to Thailand was go ziplining through the jungle.  I had no idea that Thailand even did it, but she got on it herself and googled it and gave me some helpful information.  It turned out that there was a chance to go ziplining up in the northern part of Thailand, near Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai was on the initial list of places we were planning on going with Mom and Andrea, but because they wanted to do the trip how we were doing it, i.e., just planning as we go, we never booked anything.  We later found out that the same company was opening a new zipline down closer to Bangkok, not far from Koh Chang, the island we spent time on.  We planned on doing that and hanging out in a different city instead of spending the time to go all the way to Chiang Mai.

Well, as they often do when traveling for this long, the plans at the new place fell through.   So we woke up one morning planning on going one place and had to think on the fly.  Luckily for all of us, my wife is very smart and a quick thinker.  “Why don’t we look into flights to Chiang Mai?”

A couple hours later we were on a bus back to Bangkok, got a room there,  booked a flight for the following day to Chiang Mai, and completely flipped our plan on its head.

So Friday night, May 22, my birthday, we were off to Chiang Mai.  After spending Saturday and Sunday just hanging out, seeing the sights, and getting to know the city better (more on all that in another post), we were off on Monday morning for the jungles surrounding Chiang Mai, off on our ziplining adventure.

In case any of you don’t know exactly what ziplining is, it’s basically flying from tree to tree up in the canopy of a jungle on a snazzy little zipline that you are harnessed into.  A bit like a monkey (and if you’re still reading this, Biggs, you need to stay tuned for our visit to the monkey training facility the following day).

Megan and I had been ziplining once before on our honeymoon in Mexico, but this was a bit different.  We did some trail walking from platform to platform in Mexico, and there weren’t as many ziplines.  In Chiang Mai, once we took our first ride, we were in the treetop canopy for the next two and a half hours.  And not only were there ziplines, but there were also two tiny, wobbly bridges we had to cross, and three abseils, which just added a little more bang for your buck and some variety to an already really cool day.

I’m not going to write too much more, except to say that we all had a great time and a great day with our guides, Dave and Tiger, and our whole group.  I know Megan, Andrea, and I had a wonderful time, but it was pretty awesome to see the giant smile and child-like grin on my mom’s face the entire day.  She even said to me after it was over that it was the coolest thing  she had ever done.

Enjoy the pictures and videos, many taken compliments of our awesome guide, Dave, of Flight of the Gibbon.

Arms and legs out to the sides, huge grin, this is how my mom spent most of her day while ziplining

Arms and legs out to the sides, huge grin, this is how my mom spent most of her day while ziplining

Andrea was a little more hesitant at first...

Andrea was a little more hesitant at first...

...but she quickly got the hang of it.

...but she quickly got the hang of it.

What a hot pose!

What a hot pose!

Do I take after my mom?

Do I take after my mom?

Adam, Megan, and Mom

Adam, Megan, and Mom

Mom before the bridge

Mom before the bridge

Andrea's not very sure-footed on that thing

Andrea's not very sure-footed on that thing

Megan and Andrea on the final abseil

Megan and Andrea on the final abseil

Adam and Mom on the last abseil

Adam and Mom on the last abseil

We still have much more to update, including elephants and monkeys, more temples, 3-day intensive yoga classes (not me), and a cooking class.  It’s Sunday night here in Chiang Mai as I’m posting this, and we are contemplating leaving here tomorrow after our second longest stay in a single city (after Buenos Aires).  But we may stay another day, who knows?  Stay tuned because  we plan a fast and furrious array of postings this week.

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