Thailand

12 things I’ve learned about Chiang Rai…

reflections
#poormanscameralens

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.]

rain-on-leaves
#wearelucky

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.

@ Chiang Rai Beach, Songkran 2014
@ Chiang Rai Beach, Songkran 2014 (pic by EW)

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.

Hill tribe barbies at Maesai, Thailand, 2010
Hill tribe barbies at Maesai, Thailand, 2010

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.

bicycles-bri-and-buddha
Taking friends out for a bicycle ride @ the Buddha Caves

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!)

library-train
Near the Overbrook Hospital…
inside-the-train
Soooooooooo cool inside…reprieve from the heat.

9. The best time to go to Melt in Your Mouth is at sunset for the river view.

melt-in-your-mouth-river-view
Watch out for the pasta, it’s spicy!

10. If you are lucky, you might catch a celebrity sighting at Chivit Thamma Da.

chivit-menu-hiding
Okay, we’re not celebrities…#comingsoon

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.]

Serving up great Muslim food...
Serving up great Muslim food…

12. Chiang Rai Ties is the place where expats and visitors can find excellent information about CR.

Cheers 🙂

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22 thoughts on “12 things I’ve learned about Chiang Rai…

  1. I always look forward to your articles. This one was very helpful for me. The more I see of CR the more I like it. CR seems very Goldilocks like, just right in so many ways. One thing is a major issue for me, the language. I know there are expats there who survive knowing only 100 Thai words but I also know that is difficult. Your opinion about a greater need to speak Thai is important. Appreciated, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jim. Have you tried taking Thai classes? (silly question, I know) There are so many resources these days. Including dictionaries on smart phones 🙂

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  2. I am definitely pinning this and saving it for our next trip up there. Although I will not be riding a bicycle. My coordination since have z has been mediocre at best 🙂

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    1. Interesting. You feel like your coordination has changed since having a baby? I’ve never heard that…just foot sizes going up 😛

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  3. LOL. Us bloggers are full of ourselves. That is so true…after all, what we post is usually about our lives 😄 Very interesting post about CR. Not surprised there are still food deliveries in the rain, that’s very common in Singapore too. You got to tip the guy loads if he does bring your food to you all hot and dry!

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    1. I definitely appreciate it and I try to be a generous tipper. I don’t know, it seems rude to have them deliver food in the rain and give them little. Hahahaha. They won’t want to come back!

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      1. That is interesting to hear that you will tip in CR. I don’t ever tip in Asian countries…somehow I feel it’s not the norm there. But if someone did delivery food to me in the pouring rain, maybe I will.

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      2. Actually, you are right. Thailand is not a tipping culture, traditionally. But with all the foreign influence and the tourism, Thais have come to sometimes expect it. I tip at nice restaurants and occasionally taxi drivers, too.

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    1. 555+ Thanks. I figured you must be since you always wear that big brimmed hat to cover your celeb-status! 😀

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  4. I kind of like #6. I like #8 better. But #10, oh wow, I’d die if experienced a Lani-sighting!!! 😉 But really, good list. When I have the time and means, I’ll try to rediscover my city, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this idea! I’m so stealing it for when I move to Seoul. 🙂

    Naturally my two favorite things are the library in a train and the fact it rains all the time. Same reason I love the idea of England. Rain and books. Nothing better. And, also naturally, the third thing I love is the restaurant. Seriously, Melt in Your Mouth looks incredible. Spicy pasta? Sign me up!

    Lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, every time it rains, I want to jump in bed and start reading. I like spicy too, but my friend can’t eat it at all, so it was a bit challenging to get them to change it. I figured if other folks had the same problem, then it would be good to let them know. Cause it’s not on the menu!

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