Chiang Mai, night bazaars and temples!
We have been enjoying the comforts of Chiang Mai for almost a week already, yet I have been struggling to find the time to record our adventures as we have been a bit all over the place, ignoring naps and putting the kiddos to bed way passed their bedtime!
In Krabi, we had to take a taxi to get us wherever we wanted to go. Here, the night bazar is a 20 minute walk from our hotel. We have a nice enough convenience store at the corner of our street and found the nicest bakery/breakfast place that serves the most delicious gluten-free buttermilk pancakes also just a few walking minutes away! So even though we haven’t gotten around to doing any grand adventures yet, just enjoying these little pleasures have been enough for us for now!
We’ve been able to find meat that was actually kept in the freezer, we have a stove top not just a microwave oven, we’ve found salsa (at almost 5$ a jar but still...) and corn chips, we’ve been enjoying pancakes at home with slow mornings and tea in the afternoon with fresh muffins from the bakery at less than 2$ for an 8 count bag!
We’ve finished reading a few books we had checked out on our kindle account all of them about Thailand, Jeremie has been able to catch up on work back home and, of course, we have been enjoying the late evenings at the night markets nearby which explains why we have been having a hard time getting ourselves out of bed early enough to tackle a day trip exploring Chiang Mai’s surroundings.
Can you tell she was extremely impressed ?!!
The weather is cooler here...we were so looking forward to having a pool at our hotel but we haven’t been brave enough to dive in just yet as the water is freezing cold! This is as deep as he’s gotten!
We have met two other travelling families who are on a round-the-world year trip and it was so refreshing to have a conversation in french!
We found a little spot at the end of one of the night markets that has a little park and the kids have been able to play with other kids. Zoey has been asked to translate between french and english for their group as they wanted to play freeze tag but all the other kids weren’t bilingual! A little girl called to her in urgency and as I watched from a distance, I immediately understood that she had been asked to serve as interpret!
It always amazes me to see how quickly kids can get along... we have been to that little play place twice already and both times the kids had a hard time saying goodbye when we had decided that 10:30pm was probably a good time for us to head back home!
As much as we love travelling, these are the little things that makes us appreciate home and makes us realize that it’s often these things we take for granted: the comfort of home and having everything at your disposal, knowing the aisles of your local grocery store by heart, having a community of dear friends and family whom you can reach out to when you feel like having a good chat and a cup of coffee... oh and not the instant powder kind that we had been having so far! We finally found some grounded beans and bought paper filters so we could make a decent cup at home!
Since we kind of felt like we should get out and about and see a few things we started with something simple last Wednesday and visited a few temples in the square. Surrounded by the city walls, this square was once all that existed of Chiang Mai, and it’s where you can find many of the most popular sights. We headed to Wat Phra Singh but the whole temple was covered with a green tarp and under construction and since we are foreigners we were asked to pay a price to enter the temple’s grounds, we opted out since we couldn’t even see what we had been told was worth seeing. We walked to another temple location, Wat Chedi Luang ruins and really enjoyed the sights.
There is a temple at the entrance of the site that only allows men to walk in... Zoey was so insulted...she just couldn’t understand why we had to wait outside while her Dad and brothers were allowed in!
This trip has brought on so many good conversations on religions, cultures, languages, history, governments... it brings to mind this quote by author Terry Pratchett:
“Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
We will in fact be coming home with a lot more baggage then when we left and I don’t mean stuff wise!
After visiting the ruins, we wanted to see just one last temple site but by then the kids were getting exhausted from the heat so we took a tuk tuk to Wat Chiang Man. Norah had been able to take a short nap on my back so felt a bit reinvigorated by the time we got there but Keilan was miserable and just wanted to lay down in the shade, plus the taking off and putting on of shoes as we entered every sacred location was starting to get on his nerves.
We walked around the grounds...there really is a sense of sacredness to these places, whether you're a devoted Buddhist or an admiring tourist, you find yourself contemplating all the work and devotion that went into the building and maintaining of these temples! Beauty is everywhere!
We then headed back to our hotel, served mac and cheese to the kids (and somehow became the best parents they could have;p) and put them to bed early!! Then Jeremie cooked us a delicious diner of Mediterranean chicken and potatoes and we had a bottle of red wine...after almost two months of being constantly the six of us together this is as close as we get to a date night, and it’s just fine... for now!