It has been awhile since creating any Blog posts. At times I wonder, why bother? But it is a bit of a hobby and a way to chronicle & archive the retirement life activities, out & about in Chiang Mai. It is also a way to share with family & friends what our life is like in the “Land of Smiles”.

Having done website updates and changes recently to separate – this personal website site – from the – official Consulate site, there was a realization that I had not posted much about our relaxed life in Chiang Mai since December 2020. The Blog post from this website will now only be about our personal life activities. Consulate Blog posts will come from the other site; not this one.

Perhaps a bit lazy, or a slow pace of life & not much travel activity due to covid & post covid recovery period has contributed to my lack of blogging. Also the use of Facebook to share outings kept me away from this blog. I have missed 2021 & 2022 – oops -, not much upkeep of the “dear diary”.

It’s March 2023 and the annual smoke/burning season is in full swing making the air pollution with PM 2.5 extremely bad. The north of Thailand is a lovely place, but for the 6 weeks or so around this time of year, it can be horrible. The burning in the forests, on mountains and of field crops by mushroom foragers & farmers in not only Thailand, but in Myanmar, Laos & Cambodia that contributes to the pollution in the north of Thailand. This NASA fire map tells the story of why the air is so bad:

Exploring – Out & About

Here are some of the more recent activities we have enjoyed.

Khum Khantoke – We enjoyed the grand reopening recently. Thanks to the South Korean Honorary Consul, who owns the complex, for inviting us. Great evening with a wonderful dinner show of Northern Thailand music, dance & entertainment.

Chiang Mai Blooms, “Flowers on the Table 2023” – great dinner & entertainment at the Royal Park Rajapruek with friends & colleagues. One of many events that take place associated with the Chiang Mai Flower festival in February annually. Great cooler evening and enjoyable to eat outdoors with music.

Doi Tao – A country outing driving down Hwy 106 to Doi Tao for lunch and checking out the large lake created by the Bhumibol Dam – finally full after 10 years. The Bhumibol Dam is a concrete arch dam on the Ping River, a tributary of the Chao Phraya River, in Sam Ngao District of Tak Province, Thailand. We had been once before, but there was no water in the lake, as it is created when the dam fills up, many kilometer down stream. Thanks to lots of winter rain for this sight. Then it was back home by Hwy 108 – Lex liked joining us for lunch.

Chiang Mai Flower Festival – We enjoyed a wonder about Buak Haad Park in downtown Chiang Mai for the colorful 46th Chiang Mai Flower Festival. The park is planted with a range of flower types and unique designs. February is the cooler season here, so an ideal time for flowers & for walking around to enjoy the sights.

Australia Day – it was a quiet celebration with a picnic lunch on our national day – 26 January. A very casual affair at Phra Chao Kawila Monument park by the Ping River with some friends. Haven’t been on a picnic for years – it was a good idea.

Tea Plantation Visit – This was the backdrop for a trip out into hills in Chiang Dao to the Ramming Tea farm with friends from Bangkok. A lovely spot for lunch & ice tea. Lovely views of the hills and valleys and tea plantation. Interesting drive both up & down some narrow & windy step hill roads. One lane road most of the way – glad we didn’t meet other traffic.

Bangkok Visit – Late last year we decided to have a few days away to Bangkok during a public holiday so much easier to navigate. The culinary part of day included a lazy breakfasts by the pool, river transport to the massive Iconsiam shopping center for lunch & afternoon treats at the Canadian coffee and donut chain, Tim Hortons.(yummy memory lane visit), before a special dinner. We enjoyed dinner on the Chao Phraya River, as we enjoyed a “Manhora cruise” down Bangkok’s ancient lifeline on an old rice barge. While taking in the city’s most iconic sights the food experience was by Anantara, offering Thai cuisine with traditional recipes interpreted with modern flair. Beautiful evening, lovely river breezes and relaxed dining.

Foodie Treats & Restaurants

There are always new food places to experience and enjoy. I have shared some great spots before and here are a few more, different spots we have tried out recently:

Ajarn Saiyut and Doctor Sai Kitchen – a country drive to the new San Kamphaeng branch, for lunch to sample the beautifully presented meals with their their motto – “Food is Art of Life,” – that is very delicious as well. Crab meat curry, wing bean salad & whole fish with sauces.

My Forest – Its out back of Hang Dong, near Ban Tawai. It was strawberry season, so why not enjoy an indulgent treat. It was an enjoyable lunch and a sweet treat at this neat café – another unique eatery.

Sayomporn – We enjoyed the charm and uniqueness of delicious Thai food restaurant for lunch. Nestled in the Sireeampan Luxury Retreat, it was peaceful with a lush green garden environment while we savored the yummy flavours of each dish. Spoiled for food options – love this retirement life & checking out new places.

Panviman Resort – Panoramic views of the Mae Rim hills and Mae Sa valley over a laid back lunch. Its about 45 minutes from home & on this winter day it offered cool breezes, great outlook & yummy dishes – a pleasant afternoon outing in the countryside.

Meena Rice based Cuisine – we enjoyed a fun lunch at a long time favourite Thai eatery with our Bangkok colleague (K Jeab and her husband) along with retired Australian Ambassador to Thailand (James Wise), who is now a Chiang Mai resident. A nice Thai/Australian family runs this great spot with Yummy food.

Valley Coffee – a very short drive up the hills behind our house is a lovely spot by a stream in a valley. Its always great to enjoy lunch, afternoon treats & a relaxed atmosphere at Valley Coffee.

Home & Garden

With the hot summer weather with us now it is great for gardening & the growth of plants. While our yard is small – a villa garden – it is looking great. It is a peaceful retreat, with a shady porch for relaxing with a coffee and the birds seem to love it; always lots around chirping and singing. I have a new water fountain fogger that adds some charm to the “wishing well”.

CCTV installed – Our house benefited from a CCTV installation. Pleased with the neat work and system functioning, thanks to IT Star Network. Good preventive security measure and evidence in the event of any problems.

Furry Babies – the dogs, Izzy and Lex, along with our cat Lucas, are doing well and also enjoying a relaxed lifestyle. Lucas is getting on in age now – 18 years old – and showing signs of old age. Lex & Izzy these days.

Family & Connections

Ace’s mother visit – she stayed with us for much of March 2023. She required some medical and doctor visits for her health. Aside from hospital visits there was time for getting out & about. We had full day out around town visiting Wats – 5 of them. – Aces mom wanted blessings for better health & other Buddhist rituals. We also enjoyed a nice afternoon tea at Nakarin Jardin, located on the Ping River and My Forest Café for lunch – great greenery and atmosphere.

Coming Up

Songkran Festival – or the water throwing celebration – the next big festival being held this year in full, like pre-covid times. This will take place on the 13 to 15 April 2023. While water play is popular with the young, young at heart and tourists, this festival also has it more serious side with more traditional activities and customs of the Lanna culture.

Check out more details of this festival from the municipal office in this CityLife article. There is also a Tourism Authority Thailand – April events page

Singapore – looks like I will be travelling to Singapore for work related training, likely later in May. While I have been there a number of times, it has been a few years since any real travel. While I will be stuck in a classroom for 3 days, there will some time to explore & enjoy the local food.

Keeping up with family – thanks to modern technology & my daughters organisation skills, every month we have a Microsoft Teams family hook up. We get to see each other on screen and have a chat involving America, two spots in Australia & Thailand. Great way to stay in touch and keep up with the family and grand kids development. A bit of nostalgic history in the photo bellow of me and my 3 children – when I was in a career years gone by – followed by snaps of my 3 grand children. Growing up fast.

Until the next time; Enjoy the Journey – Travel well

One thought on “Tranquil in Thailand – Chiang Mai – March 2023

  1. What a great update Ron, you are certainly enjoying the food, lifestyle & tranquility! Glad to hear you & Ace, his mum & your pets are all well. Nice to see the family shots, they’re growing up so quickly. Take care my friend, next time you’re in Oz, give us a call, we’d love to catch up with you. Cheers 🥂 Pam xx


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