I arrived in Chiang Mai today and my first impressions are good. It's much calmer and quieter than Bangkok BY FAR and the air is actually fresh. It's still pretty hot out though, but less muggy. I came in from Kho Phangan last night with Stacie and Shaina after an epic 15 hour journey. It was a very long day and I slept a good portion of it as I hadn't really slept much over the past 2 nights. We went out dancing on Friday night, and I went to bed late on Saturday night as I was packing. We were up at 5 am on Sunday to catch the first boat to Haad Rin. We arrived in stifling Bangkok and walked to Ram Butri Street (which on the other side of Khao San Road) which is much calmer than Khao San Road. We got into a reasonable triple bed room and got settled. Shaina wanted to do last minute shopping as she was heading back to Japan today so I dragged myself out into the Khao San Road chaos, which tapped me of all my energy. I passed out at 12 and slept fairly well...which was good as I haven't been sleeping well or much at all as of late. Busy mind.
Chiang Mai is the city of temples, and boasts about 300 of them here. I've seen a few so far on my roam today, and plan to go talk to some monks in the temples about taking a 3 day meditation course. I met a Portuguese guy named Diego on my rambles who truly is a walking Buddha- tossing me intelligent and truthful tidbits as we roamed around. He's only 24 years old but as sharp as a whip and wise beyond his years... my goodness. Diego took me to this amazing hotel off the main streets and into a residential area to show me where he goes to use the pool. I'm going to go there tomorrow and get in some swimming before my 6 pm yoga class. I found a lovely veggie Thai restaurant called "A Taste from Heaven" and have signed up for a Thai cooking class on Wednesday. I get to make 6 dishes so I best make sure that I fast before I come as it's just me eating all that food! I post a recipe or two online and warm up your bellies back at home. I had a Thai massage today which was lovely. I fell asleep as the tiny lady pounded on my legs and heels and lovingly twisted me into a pretzel. There is a herbal steamroom there that I will go to tomorrow, perhaps before my swimming session.
There is a fantastic night market here that I hope to hit tomorrow night. Other than that, Chiang Mai is pretty small. I may try to do a 2 day trek in the jungle, but will see about that as meditation is a much higher priority at this point of time. I need to get my head on straight, and that will be the only thing to instill some peace.
Hope all is well with you...the countdown is on now till my appearance back at home. YIKES! xoxox