Change Yourself…Change The World.


Top 10 Things I Missed About Chiang Mai
November 22, 2010, 5:40 am
Filed under: Pictures Post, Thailand, Video Post

Chiang Mai, Thailand, is one of my most favorite places in the entire world. I originally spent two months in Chiang Mai with the Comparative Religion and Culture Program (CRC) with Global College in 2008. I came back again, two years later, to visit the program again. This post is a tribute to the top 10 things I missed most about this amazing place.


1. Trigong.
The best hotel in Chiang Mai. This is where Global College’s CRC program stays every year, and it is the nicest, most laid back happy place I’ve ever stayed at. The rooms are gorgeous with a queen bed, wicker furniture, fridge, and balcony, the staff are super friendly, and they even have a kitchen that you can use if you like cooking. If you ever come to Chiang Mai, stay at Trigong.

2. My old room at Trigong.
Yes, this is the EXACT same room that I lived in for two months at Trigong, and I was lucky enough that it was open so I could stay in it again. It was so crazy to be able to stay in this room and remember myself from two years ago- to walk into the bathroom and remember that this was where I cut off all of my hair for the first time, all of the nights I spent sitting on the balcony with my friends- it was really nice to both be able to recognize how much I’ve grown these past two years, but to also remember a few things about myself that I’ve missed.


3. Chai’s Bar.
Chai’s Bar is a bar directly across the street from Trigong. On CRC we would frequent Chai’s bar almost every night, where we became friends with many of the regulars and of course the bar owner, Chai. On one of our CRC trips, Chai took us to his house in Lamphun where we had a huge barbecue cookout and spent a night under the stars. When Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, Chai threw a huge Obama party, where he served Obama cocktails and we let off an Obama good luck lantern into the night. For Loi Krathong, a huge celebration in Chiang Mai, we all made boats at Chai’s to float down the river in celebration. I have so many good memories of this place and the people in it. Being back here again was a dream come true.


4. Prego’s Massaman Curry.
I have been to 28 countries in 3 years, and this is still my favorite meal in the entire world. I used to come to Prego’s (an Italian restaurant right next to Chai’s bar) nearly every day to eat either their bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich, their pesto gnocchi, or their unbelievable Massaman curry. No one can make Massaman curry like Prego’s. Their dish is sweet yet salty, crunchy, and it always hits the spot in every situation. Massaman curry was my first meal back in Chiang Mai, and I nearly cried with happiness when they presented me with a recipe. Prego’s Massaman curry is my favorite dish in the entire world.


5. Buddha Head Fruit.
Buddha Head Fruit, or Custard/Sugar Apple, is a fruit famous in SouthEast Asia. It is my favorite fruit in the entire world: incredibly tasty and sweet, I would snatch these up in the market whenever I could in Chiang Mai (they are only available intermittently). I was therefore extremely pleased to find the markets chock full of Buddha Head fruit the first day I was in Chiang Mai.


6. Thai Pants.
Thai fisherman pants have always been a large part of my wardrobe since I first came to Thailand. They are fun, versatile, really fun to lounge in, and one size fits all. When I first came to Thailand, I originally bought two pairs of Thai pants for myself. One of those pants I grew so fond of that I wore them ALL of the time until they absolutely wore down. After getting them stitched various times all over South America, I eventually had to say a sad good-bye to my Thai pants. So now that I’m back in Thailand, I took the opportunity to go a little crazy on the Thai fisherman pants- I bought EIGHT, I repeat, EIGHT pairs of Thai pants of varying colors (for 2 dollars a pop, it was a small fortune). I know that it will be awhile before I’m back in Thailand, so it’s nice to know that I have about 8 years worth of Thai pants to tide me over.


7. Song Taus.
Song Tau’s are the main mode of transportation in Chiang Mai- I wish they had Song Tau’s everywhere. It’s basically a red pick-up truck with the back converted into two long benches for people to use as a taxi. For 20 baht (less than a dollar), a Song Tau will take you anywhere you want to go around Chiang Mai. It’s always extremely fun and a cool way to meet other travelers.

8. Chiang Mai Night Market.
The Chiang Mai Night bazaar is always the best place to buy gifts for anyone, ever. It’s an extremely long street chock full of cheap clothes, toys, bags, DVDs, and pretty much every gift you could ever think of. They are open every night starting at 6 PM, and when I was in Thailand last time I once went here every night for a week hunting for Christmas presents. I also bought my Thai pants here. Truthfully, Chiang Mai’s Sunday Market is better and more interesting than the Night Bazaar– but if you’re not in Chiang Mai on Sunday, the Night bazaar is always a really fun place to go.


9.Loi Krathong.
Loi Krathong is a huge yearly celebration to celebrate the water spirits in Thailand. Thai float water boats down the river, let off thousands of lanterns into the sky, and lob fireworks at each other. It’s basically a time to kick back and have fun, and it’s one of the most fun celebrations in the world. Unfortunately, I missed the celebration by ONE DAY in Chiang Mai this year, but I was still able to participate in the festivities leading up to Loi Krathong- shooting fireworks and sending off paper lanterns. Here is a video of Loi Krathong celebrations in November 2008.

10. Sisterfriend/CRC.
The best part about Chiang Mai has always been the fact that CRC has been there with me, which made the experience so much sweeter. This year, one of my best friends who was on CRC with me is now a Teaching Assistant for the program. Being able to be back in Chiang Mai with my sisterfriend has been the icing on the cake, and being around CRC made me feel like I was coming back to a family. Global College is an amazing school, and it’s also really small. Being around people who understand the experience made me feel like I was right at home.

All in all, being in Chiang Mai this week has been exactly what I’ve needed. I feel like I’ve found a small piece of myself again that I sorely missed, and I’m very happy to have it back with me again.

I love you, Chiang Mai. I’ll be back again someday, I know it.

Much love,

Brittany


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