Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. – John Lennon
Yes, everyday life and living, is either fun or boring, busy or relaxed. According to Stephen King your options are – get busy living or get busy dying. Our living tranquil in Chiang Mai has been busy lately with many little things but not necessarily any great things – it is all fun and enjoyable. Beside the routine of everyday life, like eating, doing household chores of cleaning, shopping, gardening, car and pet care this Thai Life Blog contains some of the activities from our tranquil in Thailand life, so others can see what it’s like living in Chiang Mai.
Much of the last two months have been about the preparation and deliver of the “Australia Pavilion” at this year Chiang Mai Lanna Expo 2018. While the 10 days of the Fair were demanding the preparation and wind up also took considerable time. In the end it was all great fun to interact with visitors and our Expat and Alumni helpers. See more details on this website. The routine Australian Consulate activity also kept us well engaged over the past two months with little time for enjoying other pursuits. You can see what May and June activity was about on this blog.
The green season seems to be upon us with it raining more frequently and the surrounding countryside being lush and green. It think this time of year is the most picturesque of all the seasons. This season from June to October is actually my 2nd favorite of the three. It is unfortunate that the term “rainy season” scares away some visitors from seeing Thailand and the North during the most lush and vibrant time of year. It doesn’t rain all the time. Here is a good blog about this green season that explains it in some detail. The pictures relate the view we enjoy looking out from our living room to the green hills and from our bedroom balcony over the green vistas.
The Talad – or market – is where most Thai people shop for their daily food and sundry supplies. There are many fresh food markets around the countryside and it is place that you can find everyday Thai’s going about life. They are an interesting place to explore but can also be an assault on your senses, particularly smells. They are often busy and crowded particularly before meal times. Thai people like to shop daily or for each meal they are preparing. You have the choice in Chiang Mai of more western style supermarkets or these local fresh food markets – as they say in Thailand – it’s up to you!
There are many types of Talad – from fresh food, (vegetables, meats, fresh cooked Thai food) to flower markets and other specialty markets involving clothes, handicraft, etc. We tend to shop, when not eating out at our nearby talad. We either buy meat and vegtables to prepare or takeaway already prepared foods. Picking up a lottery ticket or two, some deserts or fresh backed goods from bakeries or tasty treats are not unusual.
Your sense of smells can be an initial challenge when visiting these markets, usually caused by the fresh meat sections. You see then chopping and slicing the meat on blocks with small fans blowing over the displays to try to keep the flies away. As the meat isn’t refrigerated while on display there is a particular smell with it. I have become accustomed to this now and it no longer bothers me. Here is a great blog on a fresh food Talad, if you are looking for more detail on this aspect of life in Thailand.
The first weekend in June saw me spending some time in hospital to remove a kidney stone that had been a problem for about 7 months. This was the second one I had and know the pain that comes with this situation. Attempts, this time, to blast it didn’t work after 6 attempts. The offending kidney stone has finally been removed through a procedure – not the most pleasant experience. But nice views from the hospital room. I was at Sripat (Maharaj) Hospital and was pleased with the doctor, surgery and care I received for 3 days. Now to drink lots and lots of water to avoid this dilemma in the future.
Air Conditioning Trouble
Our large downstairs air conditioner unit outside was emitting a most rancid smell. It was something that had to be fixed. AC technicians finally arrived to check it out – a frog and his mate, a very large snake – both deceased and were rotten. Village security had to assist the air con guys who wouldn’t deal with the dead snake. We couldn’t wash it clean – they were in the electronics part. They took the electronic boards away and then the rain set in for a few weeks and they couldn’t come back to fix it. When they did the boards burnt out in a few hours of being installed. A new technician, trained in Australia was recruited to fix the situation. He had to get new boards and when they arrived in a few day, it was all back to working order again. It can be hot and humid in the green season so was glad to have some cool air again. Joys of a house in Thailand.
Didn’t get to explore and ty out as many new foodie places over the past couple of months but we did manage to visit a few.
Goodview All Day – It’s new and on the second ring road near the intersection with Canal Road. Nice modern decor, open and clean indoor venue, with large menu and reasonable pricing. Happy to go back here again.
Mix North Hill Golf Course – Got to return to one of our favourite dinner spots – Great outdoor deck with views over the golf course, hill beind and lots of food & wine choices on the menu.
Anro’s Chiang Mai – also tried out this great beef joint. A great menu of steak and burger options. Generous portions and pricing to match – but I enjoyed a great burger. Easily found on google maps.
Nakara Jardin Restaurant is also a nice venue to visit for lunch or afternoon tea. A lunch by the Ping River is also a relaxing pastime. It sits down a small lane behind the Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa – find on google maps or check out their website or FB page. They have an uncomplicated food menu with lovely surrounds and river views. They do an afternoon high tea as well.
Pets & play
A dog day outing for Lex – we took ourselves to Pawtel in Mae Rim area for Lex to swim again today, have fun with the ball and the pool guy. Beside fetching the ball in the water he learned to dive for the ball underwater – something Golden’s do apparently! He loved it – and a shampoo & cleaning after. We also enjoyed nice food at the cute on-site coffee shop with Lex joining us. No doubt we will be back.
It was also time for annual pet vaccinations so a trip to vet on Mahadol Road was in order for Lex and Lucas. While the cat doesn’t seem to be concerned Lex was less than impressed with this outing.
Doi Suthep – Mountain Overlooking Chiang Mai
One of the major attractions in Chiang Mai is the temple on Doi (mountain) Suthep that is most interesting to visit and provides great vistas over the city. According to legend, the temple on top of the mountain, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, dates back to 1386. So, who is this mountain today? Doi Suthep is the number one tourist attraction in Chiang Mai, according to the backpacker’s bible, Lonely Planet. Not only this, but the temple is the centre of many important events and celebrations. Recently it has become a number one topic in the media and for protests to stop development.
It has been reported that “Historically, Doi Suthep is not just a mountain, it is the centre of soul and spirit of Chiang Mai people. Every day when the people of Chiang Mai wake up, head to their work place or come home, they will see the stunning Doi Suthep Mountain filled with a healthy forest topped with the sacred temple. Therefore, if there is any harm caused to this beloved site, the people will take serious action to help prevent it and protect their mountain. This recent development has ultimately invaded the forest and clearly hurts the people’s hearts, going against a royal statement of King Rama IX as well as current government policy about preventing further buildings or development in Thailand’s forests.”
The overwhelming media and social media coverage, as well as the thousands who have come out in protest send a clear message that the people of Chiang Mai believe that she deserves more respect and care. Thanks to Citylife for the editorial about the mountain, it’s myth, what it is today and why there is objection to development on it. Check out the article on Citylife.
Chiang Mai Happenings & Events
For anyone new to Chiang Mai or perhaps you were not aware of the great events listing prepared weekly by Steve Yarnold (photographer for Citylife) – you should check out his – event list at this site – The site is live and is developed along the following lines:
- Events – new events or changes are listed in red.
- Notices – this is if someone wants me to pass the word around for something or events in the future that need reservations
- Weekly Events – that never change
- Hotels and Restaurants – Promotions –
I always seem to have something going on in the garden to share. When initially planting it is hard to image how some plants will look when they mature. Clearly some have become too big or incrotch on the yard. We had to cut down our beautiful flaming orange trumpet as it had become home to field mice and when it rained was fairly smelly. We have now put a roof over the front arbour and only allowing the orange trumpet to grow on the side. Also we took the opportunity to clean up some overgrown xxx and relocated a small water fountain. The original basin for the foutain was too small and we needed to fill it up regularly. A trip to the large garden center and we located a perfect sized basin for the fountain (only $20 including painting). It runs much better with the pump submerged in deeper water. The cut back bushes are starting to regrown and should look spectacular with new bloosoms in the near future. Check out the pictures of the result.
Looking to relax
With these two busy months behind us it is time to take life a bit easier. Time to smell the flowers (as one friend tells me) and travel to explore. Looking forward to a change of scenery and routine.
We plan on heading to Bangkok and Hua Hin in the later part of July for a few weeks. Needing to have some medical appointments to follow my prostate disease and will mix this with some beachside holiday time over a long weekend.
But happy when at home to be enjoying our outlook of the views from the “balcony of the castle” during the green season. So that’s it for now; look forward to sharing our July and August activity.