Posted by: facetothewind | October 13, 2014

Cloud Nine in Thailand

Chuan and I took off for a week in Thailand. It felt like a honeymoon for us. I’ve been to Thailand a million times and although I doubt its long term livability, it sure is a fun place to visit. Especially when your head’s in the clouds being in love and all.

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For Chu this was a special trip because he’s never flown with a boyfriend before and he’s never been to Chiang Mai or Pai. And so it was a whirlwind romance through Northern Thailand with my boyfriend by my side.

Whirlwind romance.

It was magical from the minute we began our descent into Chiang Mai. A rainbow welcomed us. Chiang Mai seemed wonderfully calm and tranquil compared to Kuala Lumpur. The streets of the Old City were quiet and the restaurants not teeming with tourists as it’s low season now.

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The food in Thailand as always, was excellent and did not disappoint. It was a refreshing change from Malaysia’s cuisine which has yet to thrill me the way Thai food does.

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Our friend Anon at his restaurant Om Garden in Pai…ground zero of culinary delights in Pai…mostly Western but with some Asian influences. He just won the Trip Advisor award for excellence.

Thailand has a wonderful combination of tangy, sweet, spicy, and coconut creamy. And sometimes nutty and crunchy too. In 10 days of dining, I think we had one ordinary meal which was a pizza from my favorite place that was breaking in a new brick oven and hadn’t quite calibrated it yet. Here’s the khao soi salad at Om Garden, a nod to Burmese cuisine with love from northern Thailand…

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In Chiang Mai, we jumped right into tailoring, jumping on our bikes to announce to the tailors we were on our way to the fabric markets and would be back at the end of the day. We returned with linen, cotton, and buttons to be sewn into some elegant tropical wear.

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Chu is a wonderful travel companion, always keeping a watchful eye on me. Here he sits reading off his phone in his right hand while keeping his left hand on my head to protect me from one of life’s many sharp corners. How could I not smile?

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Chu wanted to rent motorbikes in Thailand but I insisted we not. I told him of how many Chinese I have seen wandering around the streets with bandages and crutches because they rented motorcycles and then wrecked them. He didn’t believe me until he saw for himself the limping tourists…

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Pai was magical this time of year. Perfect cool nights, hot but not unbearable days. Not too crowded or noisy and only minimal fireworks. We watched rainbows appear and disappear in the rice paddies beside the bungalow.

view from the bungalow in Pai

We even had a full moon and a lunar eclipse while we were there…and a micro-typhoon (watch the video at the bottom of the posting). Here’s the full moon rising as seen from our bungalow at Ing Doi Guesthouse in Pai…

View of full moon rising at Ing Doi

Thailand never seems to disappoint in the Ingrish Department. This had to be the oddest one ever. “Male Seek Drunks?”

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Any trip to Pai is not complete without a pilgrimage up the hill to the white Buddha…

Oh look: a Buddha!!

Then it was a return to the ethnic mix and urban grind of KL. Funny how Thailand can get under your skin after a while and then sometimes you just can’t get the smell of Tiger Balm and kaffir and coconut out of your nose. You start missing the smiles and the hands clasped in bows and the evenings spent getting foot massages for $6.

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Malaysia with its Mercedes and Bentleys that will mow you down makes Thailand look so poor and humble by comparison. But I’ve come to know that wealth has little bearing on happiness.

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Something far more portable does.

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Here’s a mosaic of moments from the trip…

 

And here’s a video compilation of some of the memorable moments of this trip…

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Responses

  1. Gorgeous photos, as always. The greens are so . . . green!

    But watch out for Vongfong!

  2. David, it looks like an amazing trip, with you savoring every aspect. Sweet to see how Chuan and you have so much in common- the piano and singing were wonderful.

  3. What a great honeymoon, hurricane, gorgeous gourmet meals, ducks in a row, stairs with lavender decorations, rain, Chaun’s music and love. Thanks for giving us a vivid
    peek, David.

  4. I feel so wonderful to have David in my life, what a lovely guy …..

  5. So lovely, all of it. The photo of c. protecting your head is fantastic. xxx

    *Gillian & Sparrow’s “Kickstart your Novel” workshop is coming!http://rowecenter.org/events.php?event=346 *

    *Here’s an odd and compelling video from Gillian & Sparrowhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiOuX7HWvtE *


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