It has been another 3 months on our journey, loving the experiences in Northern Thailand. Life is amazing – we are now looking back on 20 years of a fantastic life together this month. Ace and I celebrated with a little road trip to explore different parts of Thailand and enjoyed some lovely dinners together. Having met and became partners in Australia, we have both worked hard, enjoyed a strong relationship, family, friends and adventures exploring many places together. We have wonderful connections with each others families. Living now in Chiang Mai after many years in Australia – it is a sea change for sure – (minus the sea), of course! We look forward to many more happy years together. Here is a short picture video of us over the past 20 years together – we are both looking a bit older.
Over the past 3 months living has been quieter but still enjoying activities and happenings in our tranquil life. We have mostly been doing life’s normal routines – such as operating the consulate, looking after the house & gardens along with the pets. We have been enjoying exploring eating spots and also out to a few social events (personal & official), friends birthday celebrations, acquiring another fur baby, survived seasonal weather changes and took a short road trip to celebrate an anniversary. Also been visiting the oncologist to monitor my well being while Ace and the pets are all healthy it seems. Have a look at the following details.
Chiang Mai & Articles
Chiang Mai Opinion Piece – Thailand’s famed ‘Rose of the North’ is wilting. The article suggests Ancient Chiang Mai is suffering from over-development and pollution. For those who live or plan to live in Chiang Mai this article by the Asean Review shares an interesting perspective – I am sure there those who agree and those that disagree but worth sharing.
Public Transport Options Chiang Mai – If you’re new to Chiang Mai there are numerous ways to get around. You may find it all a tad confusing as the options are truly diverse, each carrying its own benefits and drawbacks. Whether it be a tuk tuk or a red taxi, traversing the city may be easier after checking out the link to this Citylife story.
Seasonal Weather Changes
While the rain was welcome and brought clearer, cooler air and the start of the green season the accompanying winds were destructive. See this video –
Lost some roof tiles on our abode & many other houses nearby more severely damaged. The entry to our Moo Baan seems to have been hit by a tornado. You can see the path of the winds with trees destroyed that lead to the tennis courts and a construction building being blown down. Power poles were also taken down and branches were strewn everywhere. Power and internet were out for a couple of days. Not fun with no fans, cooling or refrigeration.
With houses loosing roof tiles there was an owners and builders meeting to resolve the cause. Seems some not so good installation so the builder is going to fix the roof fastenings over the coming months. During this review of building standards we discovered a passive SCG roof vent system that lets hot air escape (not me) so we had them installed. They allow the build up of heat in the roof to escape while apparently being – rain and wind proof? Together with the under eve vents there should now be good air circulation that offers a cooler upstairs in the house during the evening.
Fur Baby Addition
A new “little furry friend” for Lucas (our Cat) and Lex (our Golden Retriever) This is little “IZZY” – a Pomeranian lady, just over 2 months old. Check out the video….
She arrived at our home after a car journey from Chiang Rai, where the breeder lives. With an animal house already, why not take on the fun task of raising a puppy & the associated training and convincing all 3 pets to live with each other – in harmony. She is such a tiny bundle of fluff, but brave, out going, curious and not worried by our cat and dog. Some introduction with Lex and Lucas, exploring the house and garden – all good – no problem. Just need to monitor play time due to significant size difference. So far all are getting along fine. She is a smart little thing already learning some commands of sit, down, shake a paw & dancing. We call her the dancing queen.
Road Trip Getaway
Took to the open road in June for a 3 day trip as a simple anniversary present heading to places we had not been to. It was an opportunity to head southward to explore the Bhumipol Dam, the border town of Mae Sot (known as little Burma) and then across the hills to Sukothai and Uttradit to check out a historic park. Also enjoyed some wonderful dinners on the road to celebrate our 20 year anniversary. See this blog on the trip experiences and pictures.
Outings – Social and Food
- Friend from Sydney – we had a great catch up with Ben James over a nice lunch at Mai Bakery in Garden. We worked together at Sydney Airport for a number of years. Small world – he was in Chiang Mai for a month as a training provider.
- Mi Place – great night celebrating a friends birthday with a group at a unique home style restaurant, up the Samoeng Rd. Only takes groups (4 to 12 by prior arrangements). Fabulous food, atmosphere and a fun night. The chef has an interesting & experienced background.
- L Elephant Restaurant – birthday outing – we enjoyed a 5 course gastric delight last night for a friends birthday with a group of locals. The food, presentation, portion size and service was top notch. Lovely decor, Great night out, nice company – HBD & many thanks Kevin – definitely would go back to this spot. More pictures here.
- Le Meridien Hotel – Out on the town tonight at the launch of a new menu at their Latest Recipe Restaurant. Great food sampling and networking. Ace enjoyed meeting this Thai actress he watches – she had just returned from Australia.
- Maiiam Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai – great evening enjoying the play – “My Mother’s Kitchen”. The play explores the theme of family, generations and the famous Thong Yip, a desert recipe of Portuguese legacy in Thailand. Entertaining and humorous. Thanks to an invitation by the Embassy of Portugal and the Portuguese Culture Center Bangkok. More pictures here.
Car Wash & Coffee Shop – always enjoy taking time at our great local car wash (89 Spa Car Care) and 1 June cafe to spruce up the ride. The place is owned by a Australian Thai who lived in Australia for over 30 years and now is home. They do a great cleaning and the sweet offerings are nothing too indulging.
Attending social activities in my official role also adds to the experiences and joy of living in Thailand. I have listed some of the social events we got to attend. You can see more about some of these on the Consulate Blog:
Beauty and the Beast performance, Anzac Day, Kings Coronation activity in Chiang Mai; Australian Alumni gathering; Early US Independence Day event; Lanna Expo Chiang Mai official opening & Australian Artists Exhibition
Health Update – have been back to the radiation oncologist for my prostate cancer 3 month follow up visit. While it is too early to determine final results of my radiation and hormone treatments yet, recent blood tests suggest stability at the moment. While the PSA is elevated since the last test (not a good sign), I will have to wait for subsequent visits and tests to see if it stays low or there are trends upward. The worst part is the waiting to see if it is in remission or not – but life goes on in the mean time.