Chiang Mai

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I’ve gotten a bit distracted by reality so I’m still playing catch-up on my travels. I’ve been back from Thailand for nearly two weeks and am just now getting around to posting the rest of my pictures. While Bangkok was a bit more chill, TravelJonny was out in full force in Chiang Mai. There were hikes, waterfalls, and food, glorious, food.

Most days, I would wake up and run around the ancient walls that surround the Old City, that squared off fortress that houses the original city of Chiang Mai. Despite the traffic that continued around the path I still had an easier time running there than back in Bangkok. It was also strange how it seemed like the wind was blowing against me every direction I took.

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In an effort to not be a social pariah and to check out places I wouldn’t be able to get to without an official guide, I opted in for a hiking tour. Although there were 12 open slots on the tour, only four of them were taken: a couple from some French-speaking Australian territory (Vanuatu, I think), and they really could manage only a little English, Victoria, a young American woman doing grad school in Chiang Mai, and myself. Thankfully, Victoria was cool and as adventurous as I usually am, and we paired off as we traipsed around the rocks and hills.

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The first waterfall we came to was gorgeous, with water tumbling everywhere and rainbows shooting out of every corner. I took some selfies, mostly in places I wasn’t supposed to be, on wet rocks in the middle of the deluge.

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After the first waterfall we made our way up to Doi Inthanon, the tallest point in Thailand. It was crowded, in the middle of tourist season apparently, but still quite a sight. This is the altar at the top of Doi Inthanon.

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Here is the actual highest point:

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A little further down, there are two chedis (Buddhist temples) in honor of the former King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit.

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The biggest difference between the Thailand I saw nearly ten years ago and the Thailand now, was the overabundance of monks with smart phones. Not too difficult to capture that.

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And another waterfall.

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If you look in the tree, you can see our tour guide, who went by First, as in he was the first born (and his Thai name was too hard to pronounce).

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Look closely, you can see a snake that I didn’t want to get any closer to.

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As we came to a clearing down the path of our hike, it opened up to this small shack. This little girl took a tumble, face first as she waved hello to me. She didn’t cry, she just proceeded to engage and pose for the paparazzi (me and my fellow hikers).

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Another day was spent at a cooking class. This group outing was full, with a few other americans, half a dozen Aussies, and a couple Brits. Before we actually started the class, we went to the local market.

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Our teacher, Wass (“as in ‘Wass Up!’” she said), giving us the lowdown in the garden.

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The beginning of my curry.

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Tom Yum Soup with prawn:

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Spring Rolls, from embryo to deep-fried goodness:

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Green Curry with Chicken:

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Stir Fry with cashew and Chicken:

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Mango with Blue Sticky Rice:

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And that was it for the food I made, but here is more of what I ate. Another Tom Yum, but not quite as good as mine.

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Pad See Ew with Pork.  Not nearly as spicy as I prefer. I need a level of spice between medium and native Thai.

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Pomelo Salad:

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I think this is the first time I ordered Pad Thai in Thailand. So many other options, it took me a while.

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The crown jewel of Chiang Mai – Khao Soi – something I may have opted for on the daily.

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Pork stir fry in Oyster sauce:

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And some good old-fashioned wings:food11

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