Why you might NOT like Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, Thailand has been touted as the “Rose of the North”. It’s the Hail Mary pass for tourists, English teachers, digital nomads, and barefoot hippies. But in recent years, it has changed a great deal which is causing a bit of a commotion. First of all, I’ve written about CM a lot: (2017) Chiang…

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How the Thai diet has changed for the worse

When I first started working in Thailand back in 2010, I remember listening to a casual debate among my fellow teachers whether or not the Thai diet was a healthy one. Upon first glance it certainly appears so, as meals were smaller (farangs would joke about ordering two plates of food), and the people were…

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The Changing Seasons – August

After July, August felt like I had something to prove. I plowed into teaching and writing projects as if all my New Year’s Resolutions depended on only this month. So, naturally, I got sick. It’s okay, I’ll live… (*flings herself on to the bed face down, and starts howling*)

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Let’s go to Khao Yai National Park

Despite my small role as a chaperone, the humidity, heat, and great fear of wild monkeys, I enjoyed our trip to Khao Yai National Park. Khao Yai is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO, includes rain and evergreen forests and grassland, and is home to “more than 800 fauna species, including 112 species of…

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What’s up with Asians and White Couples?

It’s weird, you know, being back in Thailand. There are enough White men with Asian women around for you to you raise your chopsticks and your eyebrows. Sometimes it’s the age difference that’s startling. Sometimes though you can’t really tell, as some men look older than their age, and the women look (and dress) younger…

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Tips for getting a good Thai massage

I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I’ve been getting Thai massages for years and I’m always on the lookout for THE ONE. In case you’ve missed it, I’ve already talked about all the wrong ones you are likely to meet so I figured it was high time that I write about the practical and…

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Happy New Year from Chiang Rai, Thailand.

I have been waiting in anticipation for the unveiling of Chiang Rai’s Flower Festival at the Flag and Lamp Park (which is located downtown on Thanalai Rd). For about a month, I want to say, they have blocked it off, surrounded it with a high green wall of tarp and have been digging away with…

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You catch my eye Chiang Rai

There is nothing particularly beautiful about these pictures. They are merely what catches my eye while I am walking. I’m afraid I’m drawn to the mundane. Although, I think it’s a mistake to think something is boring.

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Cimelo: Antique shop and coffee

One could argue that Thailand’s coffee culture started in Chiang Rai with the original Doi Chaang Coffee shop and restaurant opening here. It certainly helps that coffee is grown locally. Lee’s Akha Ama Coffee is grown nearby, as is his apprentice’s – Tu’s from Nangnon Coffee. So it’s little wonder that interesting coffee shops have…

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Nong Khai’s Sala Keoku

Normally, I prefer to be sober. But for my latest trip outside the country, I wished I had better and heavier drugs than cough drops and cold medicine. Perhaps it would have made my visa run more enjoyable, then again, probably not. I stayed over in Nong Khai on my way back from Vientiane, and…

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I hate the Vientiane visa run.

UPDATE AS OF 2019, YOU NEED TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE THAI EMBASSY TO GET YOUR VISA BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS. I hate the Vientiane visa run. Even though I’ve done it a few times, and even experienced an unforeseen problem, I still endured a special kind of hell that is reserved…

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Don’t call Thais short.

In the US, if you call someone fat, it is considered insulting, even if it is true. It’s more polite to say “heavy” or “big”. But in Thailand, the word “fat” does not have the same weight because it’s the height that means the most.

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Downtown Chiang Rai (in pics)

I remember the first time I was turned on by poetry. I was in high school Freshman or Sophomore English, and the poem was Carl Sandburg’s Chicago. Generally speaking, I was greatly turned on by the poetry we were reading, but Sandburg’s Chicago was different, gritty, and decidedly real. It wasn’t about love, or love…

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Just a view: Jet Yod Road Chiang Rai

Sitting next to someone’s empty Leo beer bottle, I uncomfortably rest on a tree trunk stool outside a closed Rasta bar on the seediest street in Chiang Rai. When I hear my geezer neighbors talk about how much they pay for women, I know they come to this street. Old white men roost themselves in…

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Chiang Rai: First Impressions

I underestimated how much my life would change. Part of this had to do with not knowing how my life would change. Nevertheless, I tried to guess. Originally, I thought my biggest adjustment would be down-shifting from busy Chiang Mai to quiet Chiang Rai, and while that is true, there is so much more to…

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Food Addiction: Chiang Rai edition

There’s actually a site called Pictures of Asians Taking Pictures of Food and surprisingly I am not on there – yet. Most of my friends humor me when I take out my draconian Lumix, as I’m not cool enough to have one of those cameras with the big lens or a smart phone. I scream…

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