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I had moved out of the Wiang Inn Hotel in favor of Mercy Hostel just down the road. I do like the comfort and privacy vibe, but I don’t need much beyond that. Private rooms with full bath in a hostel in Thailand in the off season is about $22. One thing I just had to accomplish on this trip was that I wanted to tour around the countryside aimlessly on a scooter. I had to explore in a freeform style, if even for just a day. There are many easy tour options with backpackers in hordes all doing the same thing. That certainly has it’s place, but in this case to explore the unknown I had to get on my own. Or, as much of the unknown as I care to handle. The guy from Cycles Rental had intrigued me with the idea of an extended motorcycle expedition. [...]
One of my indulgent and perhaps ultimately misguided visions for creating an introspective and therapeutic experience in Thailand was to involve myself in some kind of spiritual pursuit that would nurture my physical and emotional health. This basically meant some kind of either meditation or yoga retreat. I knew I might have concentration problems with extended meditation, so I began to research yoga retreats. I wasn’t even so sure about the retreat part, knowing myself I knew that I would be interested in a more socal experience, less retreat. Hopefully whatever I found would not be anything too desolate. In Thailand, there are many such retreats. I soon found a particular hideaway outside of Chiang Rai, deep in the heart of northern Thailand about three hours north east of Chiang Mai. It was highly rated. Many 5-star Google reviews, touting the rejuvenating qualities, the cuisine, the yoga instruction. It [...]
Over the past year or so I had been seeing Chiang Mai come up more and more in the travel blogosphere, especially in relation to digital nomads relocating and living there to work remotely. The two primary qualities of praise being the very attractive cost of living, as well as the exotic and adventurous nature of simply living in Thailand. Apparently, Chiang Mai was the place to be. Chiang Mai also boasts numerous western style cafes and small restaurants, making it an ideal spot for the digital nomad to get their fix of lattes, fresh smoothies, and seriously tasty muffins and brownies. (Check out My Secret Cafe at 175/12 Rachadamnoen Road.) And all for way less than you would see in most other tourist havens. Gotta love Thailand. Of course this all meant I had to check it out for myself! And in fact, this is one of the forces [...]
The second leg of my trip was a visit to the western reaches of Thailand, a region called Kanchanaburi. This area borders Myanmar and therefore sees some influx of Burmese people who cross the loose jungle border seeking work. This area is sparsely populated and displays a rich tableau of forests and rolling hills. There is probably a lot more to Kanchanaburi than that, but this is not a geography lesson. As I was planning my trip, I wanted to be sure to see some areas that were not just big cities filled with other tourists like myself. I wanted to see some forest, some jungle, and hopefully some wildlife. In Thailand, there are many, many options for this type of activity. Around Thailand there are numerous wildlife parks, national parks, and nature preserves. As a first time visitor, I was again overwhelmed by the choices. My neurotic concern is [...]
Bangkok easily conjures up images of a bustling, chaotic city that is exotic and rich in culture. A city that assaults the senses and challenges the visitor to be open minded and try new things. Those ideas would be accurate. My visit only scratched the surface of experiencing Bangkok. I can only report on the interesting things I saw and did, knowing it was only a glimpse. My visit to Thailand would last a full month, with only the first five days in Bangkok. You’ll hear that even five days is too much, but I knew that this would allow me enough time to explore a few different aspects of the city. For some reason, I welcomed the chaos and congestion. When I travel, I often have no interest in doing the popular things everyone else does. For many, Khaosan Road, Soi Cowboy, the backpacker hangouts and the bargirl party [...]
Folks, if you're a regular visitor to my blog, stay tuned for what's in store for this summer's travels. I will be headed to Thailand for a month long trip in June, 2017. I will be posting stories and photos each week throughout the trip. I will include tips and commentary on some of the amazing experiences I discover, and hopefully in the process inspire my readers to explore greater horizons through cross cultural, international travel. To say I'm excited would be a great understatement! This trip has been on my mind for almost two years. Due to my own deeply personal conflicting feelings which I will not get into (or, not yet), I hesitated to pull the trigger for quite a while. But eventually talk rings hollow, and one must take the plunge. I have traveled a lot over the years, but only recently have I decided to blog about [...]