Strangely enough, I have found other bloggers (that I like!) with the same name as me. I know, it seems horribly vain to start a blog post like this, but as you know, anyone with a blog is like, OMG, REALLY into themselves.
I’m so into myself that I am taking inspiration from Lani (not talking in third person) at Pointes of View. She’s a San Fran/West Coast gal who has recently moved to Detroit, Michigan and I’m enjoying her observations. It’s like she moved to another country. When she started posting 12 things she’s learning about her new town, I thought, heyaa, that’s a snazzy idea. I just recently moved, too!
Yum! *Ahem.* 12 things.
1. It rains here a lot. A LOT. [I heart Pizza Company delivery for those rainy days.]
2. The worst time of year to get a driver’s license is just before Songkran when all the kids try to get theirs before the cops pull them over during the Thai New Year holiday.
3. In CM you can get by with minimal or no Thai, and you might be able to get by in cities where expats and tourists frequent, but here, it’s a wee bit more challenging.
4. Hearing other languages from the neighboring hill tribes is more common in, say, massage shops.
5. Taxis are by far the most superior way to travel comfortably, affordably and longer distances. I never use songtaews anymore. (In Chiang Mai, taxis charge a flat fee of 200 baht. But in CR, the meter starts at 30 baht and it would take a lot to rack up 200.)
6. It’s a more cycle friendly town. This is not to say there aren’t big trucks barreling down roads, no, of course not. People drive too fast. But you are more likely to see everyday people on bicycles here. In CM, there are the hardcore pelotons or groups meeting at Thae Pha gate, lone cyclists braving the traffic, fixed gear gangs or out-of-towners. In CR, you see kids, grandmas, and well, folks like me, bicycling to the store or for the enjoyment.
7. Expats put their families up at the LeMeridian. And everyone seems to enjoy their buffets. It’s high-so popular.
8. They have a library in an old train! It’s awesome. (update: October – it’s gone 😦 and no, I don’t know where it went!)
9. The best time to go to Melt in Your Mouth is at sunset for the river view.
10. If you are lucky, you might catch a celebrity sighting at Chivit Thamma Da.
11. Marina restaurant near the Den Ha intersection is one of the favorites among expats. [signage in Thai, but the only star and crescent sign I’ve seen in town.]
12. Chiang Rai Ties is the place where expats and visitors can find excellent information about CR.