Three months in Chiang Mai – How is my life changing?

Three months ago we have arrived in Chiang Mai. The city that I have visited two year ago for 4 days. In the beginning, I was not so sure weather I will like the city. After a month (Chinag Mai 1 month), I was falling in love with Chiang Mai. Now, I can confirm that again that the city has changed my life. New things have come into my life!

One aspect I want to write today is I have a structure life. I mean that it is different than when I worked in a company.

In Germany

I have worked 5 days a week, each around 10-12 hours. Deadlines cannot be avoided. Monday morning I got up at 4 am to be ready to take a train to Munich or Berlin. Thursday or Friday I arrived home around 8 or 9 pm. Weekend are for relaxing such as pick nick, visit friends, travelling cooking, watching movies, sports, board gaming. I got 30 days a year to go to other countries.

In Chiang Mai

I worked 6 days a week, each 8 – 10 hours. I have 1 day weekend which is Monday. On this day, I only read a book and just be away from my laptop. I cannot talk much about my weekend as it has happened only 1 time so far.

Every day after I woke up, I did 10 minutes yoga. Then, I cook rice and go to my small garden to clean all tree leaves and to take care of our small pool with many fishes. This takes me around 10 minutes. After that, I will go to bathroom.

Around 8.15 am, my husband comes back from swimming. He always brings breakfast from a small shop run by an old lady. We finish breakfast at around 9 and then we will go to work.

Our office(s) is changing every day. We try new coffee shops every day and we have wrote down all positive and negative about these coffee shops. This is the list containing almost 50 shops. We order mostly green tea latte with less or without sugar. I would say, that people drink very sweet stuffs here unfortunately.

We have lunch around 2 pm and we decide where we are going where we want to. After lunch, we have 15 minutes to talk about

  1. What we have done yesterday and today morning?
  2. Are there any issues or problems and do we need help from the others?
  3. What we will do after lunch or what do we want to accomplish today?

Through this way, we know what the others are working on and what we can help each other.  And we will visit other coffee shop for the afternoon and order again a drink. Around 7 pm we will finish our work, go back home, pass by a night market to buy soy milk and eat dinner from the food that Simon has bought from the old lady.

Twice a week, I go to gym for 2 hours. It is only one thing that I have done better in Germany. There I went to gym 5 days a week. Anyway, I will increase my sport activities in sometimes.

Before sleep, I read a book. I have heard that when you do things every day for 30 days, it will become your habits. My target is finish at least 12 books this year. I have finished 5 books so far.

What make my life so different? I think, it is ‘Freedom’. Any step I take everyday is out of my choice. No one tells me to do what and when. I am with a person I love every day. We talk every day how happy we are and we laugh and we love ❤ ❤ ❤

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Lamphun – Lampang sightseeing – unforgettable memory

Saturday of June 18, 2016 – My husband and I were travelling to two nearby provinces of Chiang Mai: Lamphun and Lampang. The travel program was organized by Tourism Autority of Thailand. I got to know this trip from the Fine Dae Magazine facebook page. The topic of the trip was “หรรษาล้านนาหน้าฝน” which means fun travelling in Lanna area in the raining season. The goal of the program was to show that you can also travel while it rains 😉 That sounds cool right. Let’s have a look where we went!

We met at 7.30 am in Chiang Mai. We got snacks, fruits, and drinks. The program should have started at 8.00 am sharp but you know we are in Thailand so we left the meeting point around 8.40 am 🙂

The first place we visited was: Wat Phra That Hariphunchai. The temple is about 600 years old now. We got a holy water from the abbot so that we have good luck for the travel day and also for life later. 🙂

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Next stop was at อุทยานแห่งชาติแจ้ซ้อน (Chaesorn National Park) in Lampang. The national park is more than 600 square meters big. It has a six steps water fall, hot springs, and it is the origin of a big river called (Wang river). The trip to the national park is quite far and we needed more than 1 hour of driving. The road is good. The scenery along was incredible. Also, you will see many villages that are not quite developed. It was very interesting.

It was about 12 pm when we arrived and we went straight to lunch. Hehe. I loved this part. The food was great. We had small different dishes. After lunch we had a program to plant a tree. I loved this activity. I hope I could plant much more but the small plants were limited.

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After the tree planting activity we had free time for about 2 hours. So we went to the hot spring. It is quite different from the Hot springs I have been to in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

You will get a small bungalow which contains a large bathtub for 4 persons, shower, and a small dressing room.

You only pay 50 baht per person to enter. If you forgot the towel or bathing equipment you can buy or borrow there as well.

After bathing we were at the water fall. The incredible thing is that the waterfall and the water from the hot spring joined there. So you can choose if you want to have a hot water or a cold water instantly 🙂

Then, we went to the bridge “สะพานขาวทาชมภู” or “The white brigde of Tachompu”.The bridge is almost 100 years old and is used for connect trains to Chiang Mai. You still can see trains pass by the bridge. The bridge is the proud of the villagers as it has the western style architecture and it could survive the World War 2.

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The last stop of the trip was at The Gassan Golf and Resort. There we had a closing ceremony and again we had some snacks, fruits and drinks 🙂

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And Thai people like playing games. So the organizers provided a lot of gifts that they gave to us. Simon did not win anything so he got a free movie ticket at the end. We had another game that we should post our picture on Facebook and hash tag #หรรษาล้านนาหน้าฝน2 which is the name of the trip. The price is return flight ticket for 2 persons from Chiang Mai – Hua Hin.

This was the picture that I posted on my timeline.

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แอ่วลำพูน ลำปาง ได้แช่น้ำร้อน ได้ปลูกป่าต้นสายน้ำวัง ทริปนี้ดีจริงๆ ขอบคุณค่ะ ททท

 

And the winner is… Me 🙂

I really love this trip regardless of the price I won, but the way that we can travel and give something back to the nature.

 

Board Game in Chiang Mai – Part 1

Today is our free day. Every week we have 1 day free and we can choose when 🙂  This week we chose Saturday and we did Board Gaming!

In Germany we had more than 20 board games. These were

  • Deck building: Dominion (4 extensions), Race for the Galaxy (all extensions), Net Runner
  • Strategy – hard core: Axis & Allies, Through the Ages, Civilization, Tzolkin, Mage Knight, Agricola, Twilight Imperium, Mage Wars, The Hobbits – War of five armies
  • Strategy – lightweight: Kingdom Builder, Istanbul, The Settlers
  • Strategy – cooperative: Pandemic, Robinson crusoe
  • Fun game – Galaxy Trucker
  • etc.
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Some of our board games in our living room in Frankfurt

I learnt to know Board Games through my husband. Germans like playing board games and they usually play during family events such as during Easter or Christmas.

And I love board games!

When I was a kid (actually until 18 years old) I loved to play Monopoly, Nintendo, Computer games (Empire Earth, Age of Empires).

It was luck for my husband to know that he can have me as life partner as well as board game partner. 😀

In Chiang Mai, we took Race for the Galaxy with us as it is small and it takes around 30 minutes to finish a game. However, it gets boring when you only play 1 game so we searched for other games in Chiang Mai. Luckily, there are several Board Game cafes in Chiang Mai. We have been to two places so far.

Chubby Cat 

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Simon and the Settler

The shop is located near Suthep road. It is near our house. We have been here twice. We give the shop the following ratings:

Games: 5 stars: They have a lot of games and games that we like! Almost all games I listed above are on their shelves!

Atmosphere: 4.5 stars: The atmosphere is very relaxed and they have cats. It is not super clean and not super organized. It is cozy. That is why you will feel comfortable with the place! And I like it. There are several tables and chairs. You can take your own food! But I do not like the toilet so much.

Price: 30 baht/hour for non-members, 25 bath/hour for members

Other comments: Opening hour is variant. Usually from 9.30 – midnight (weekends), 10.30 – midnight (weekdays). Better check or call before you go :). A staff is nice. He even played a game with us!

Meerketto

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At Meerketto and the “Ticket to Ride” game.

This cafe is located near Ruamchoke market. It is a beautiful coffee shop as well. You can order coffee, tea, food etc.

Games: 3.5 stars: They do not have many games that we like. Still for families it is a good place to go. They also have books and wooden games.

Atmosphere: 4.5 stars: it is very organized, clean, lovely. However, you cannot bring your own food and we did not feel as relaxed as in Chubby Cat.

Price: 30 baht/hour. If you purchase 100 baht you can play the game for free.

Other comments:  staff is nice.

There are still other board game shops in Chiang Mai. We will go there and will report about them! Have a nice weekend 🙂

 

Inthakin – City Pillar Festival in Chiang Mai 2016

During 01.06.-07.06. 2016 or every year in the sixt lunar month and will last eight days, there is an Inthakin Festival/Lak Mueang Festival in Chiang Mai. What is the festival for?

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Inthakin is the name of Chiang Mai city pillar located in Wat Chedi Luang. In this festival, people will bring flowers along with candles and incense then put them at the pillar and other places. Totally, there are 32 places (number of body spirits or Kwan). By doing this, the we and the city should be protected from bad things. We should place the flowers starting from right and do clockwise.

 

People also pour water to buddha statues. This indicate that enough rain should come. In the area, there is a stage and there are traditional Lanna dances such as Knight Dance. However, we did not watch any dances but only hear traditional sings.

 

In side the temple, you can donate money to 108 monk bowls, you can put golden paper to monk statues, you also can get holy thread like I got 🙂

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Holy thread from Nen Noi 🙂

Around the temple, you can also find OTOP shops and shops sell something to eat (as always ;-)). We got Papaya Salad and Noodle Soup Northern style.

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Nana Jungle – a place to visit on Saturday in Chiang Mai

Since January we have been living in Chiang Mai. Last Saturday after we went swiming, we went to a market – Nana Jungle. This market has been recommended by my friend who is local in Chiang Mai. He said they sell bread (real bread) and many visitors are foreigners. I thought, it is like a normal market and I should give it a try to go there.

This is the place. It is a bit far from the city center but pretty near where we live. After we swam at 700 years old park, we arrived at the place within 5 minutes by motorcycle. There was no sign or anything saying how to go there. So we just followed Google Maps. Near the market there is a temple. At first, we went there and had to turn back. There were two Thai men who told us where the Nana Jungle is.

It looks like a small market but when you go inside, there are many shops. And what I like very much is they sell organic stuff 🙂 And what my husband likes most is, he can buy cheap but high quality bread.

There is an interesting shop. I think they are a family selling blended juice. The mother is preparing the juice and the father is blending. He blends with a bicycle! How? The blending machine is attached to the bike wheels. So they do not need electricity and the juice is very delicious! I bought avocado with honey juice 🙂

Let’s look around!

 

Nana-Jungle is definitely a must visit market for expats in Chiang Mai. See you next Saturday!