Monthly Archives: February 2013

Living in Chiang Mai

I will try to explain how it is to live in Thailand’s second biggest city. I did not plan on staying here for 30 days but I needed dental work so I did not leave the city….just got comfortable here. Chiang Mai has a large dental school so there are plenty of dental clinics. I choose an upscale one near the night market. It is staffed mostly by women dressed in light purple and pink costumes. The equipment is ultra modern and not too much pain is involved.

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Tha Pai Gate

This city surrounds the old medieval city which is protected by a moat and walls. The old city had gates like the one above. It is filled with temples, guesthouses, restaurants and tourists. I have walked plenty of it. I am always finding something new. I have my favorite place for breakfast which has good coffee, 2 fried eggs, 2 pieces of toast and a glass of juice for $1.50. I also get some bits of watermelon, papiya, mango and pineapple.

My lunch or dinner is about a half mile away. It is crowded and has plenty of cooks and waiters. Many of them wait on me with smiles. I usually get Thai ice tea, shrimp and veggies and some rice. It costs about $3.00. My snacks are usually yogurt from 711.

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Dinner in Chiang Mai

When I first got here I got a massage from Dom. He is helping me get fit. No drinking, light eating, plenty of walking and each night I get a Thai massage from Dom. One of the definitions of Thai massage is “assisted yoga”. It is good to get stretched when you reach my advanced years. I especially like the fact that my belly is getting smaller.

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Walking Market Massage

The weather has been good, plenty of sunshine and no rain. A couple of days it was too hot to take walks. My room has a fan and it has been okay.

This month is the longest I have stayed in one place since I have started to travel 5 years ago. It is funny to see the tourists come into town and hurry to get elephant rides, take their treks, see the tiger and snake shows and then run off. So I am still travelling but going no place.

BJ and Lek, the owners of my hotel are very kind to me. I get to see their little baby each day. Today I got a call from my granddaughters and it was nice to hear from them. Abby is lrarning how to read and do math.

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Mungkan...Dragon

I also am keeping in contact with my friends in Saigon, Bali and Serbia.

“Make new friends, keep the old.
One are silver, the other’s gold.”

So now I end this little blog, no excitement or thrills. Just the enjoyment of living every day filled with little pleasures. Home in about 11 weeks. Times flies even when you are doing nothing/ziltch/nada ;-).

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Third time in Thailand

Flight to Bangkok had no surprises. Got the very modern train from airport to the area where my hostel was located. After almost a month of a private room, and balcony, it was a come down to be back in a hostel dorm again.

Bangkok is loud and crowded. The area where I stayed, near the National Stadium, was full of Indian and Chinese tourists. I spent 2 days in Bangkok getting my visa for Myanmar.  3 hours standing in line along the street waiting to give them my passport and some money to be able to visit their country next month. The next day the same thing to collect my passport with my new visa.

This was practice to ride the skytrain and figure out how to change stations all by myself. After 3 days in the big city I caught a night bus to Chiang Mai. I should have taken the train but it waa booked up with Chinese New Year travellers.

I got into Chaing Mai at 6am. My room was not ready until noon so I just layed down under a mosquito net and rested. The owner and his wife had a baby son and his name is Thai for Dragon.  I am happy for them, the baby is so cute.  Chaing Mai is still the same and I love to be back here.

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Monk and cat

This town is filled with beautiful temples, guest houses and places to eat. My day is turning into the normal routine. Get up, go get breakfast, download movies and podcasts…go for a walk in this beautiful city of temples. Maybe lunch, more walking and then an hour Thai massage. More walking, a light curry dinner and back to the hotel. Plenty of French staying here. They all drink beer and smoke like chimneys.

Not sure when I will head to Pai. I am getting pretty comfortable here.

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The rat bridge

10 Days in Saigon

This was not an explore “as much of Viet Nam as you can” trip this time. I had three trips out of the city, but for the most part I stayed in motorbike hell for the month. Actually I really like it here. Saigon has charm somewhere in the midst of all these loud motorbikes.

I had my favorite places to eat, had some great motorbike rides through the incredibly crowded streets and really enjoyed living at the Tu ong Hung hotel. I have a $15/night room which is awesome. I can always go to the comfort of my airconditioned room with great wifi and a balcony overlooking my great alley.

I went to the top of the Betexco Building to take a look at Saigon from the 59th floor. This is an amazing building, the symbol of the new Vietnam. Most of the buildings are all lite up at night. Betexco has a great style.

Lyhn took me to Saigon’s only amusement park. DamSel Park has several lakes, a zoo, a roller coaster and a ferris wheel. We went up on the Ferris Wheel, very stable in contrast to the one’s on Staten Island. (my sister Jeannie knows what that means).

I have made several friends here and it was hard to say goodbye. My 30 day visa has run out. I catch a jet to Bangkok tonite and the excitement of being in another country is still with me.

Seeya Vietnam….

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Dinner with my friends