The Sage of Chiang Mai

Tha Phae Gate - Chiang Mai

Tha Phae Gate – Chiang Mai

No plan for today…going to let the day, the city, the experiences come to me.  I’ll wander and let the breeze determine my path.

Breakfast - Lemongrass Soup

Breakfast – Lemongrass Soup

Breakfast is included at the EcoResort, so I settle in at the restaurant for coffee and some fried noodles, lemongrass soup, and rice.  It is a buffet, and offers ‘western breakfast items’ as well as traditional Thai food, so I am pleasantly surprised.  A leisurely meal and I set off to wander the old town.  Chiang was once a walled city, but only very small fragments of the wall still exist (like the Tha Phae Gate.  The moat surrounding the city still exists though.  The city is vibrant and active, the streets packed.  Shops, restaurants, street vendors…noises and smells everywhere. Continue reading

Chiang Mai, Brace Yourself…Here I Come

The World Is A Book, Those Who Do Not Travel, Read Only A Page

The World Is A Book, Those Who Do Not Travel, Read Only A Page

Clickety-creak, clickety-groan….

Waking up to the noises of a train and the sounds of an asian language around me, I thought I was waking up in India.  It took a few minutes for the cobwebs and stiffness in the neck to clear, but then the highlands and jungle of Thailand soon transported me back to where I was supposed to be.

The morning was beautiful and nearly everyone on the train was still asleep. I wandered back to the dining car and ordered a cup of coffee. I went between the cars, opened one of the side doors, sat down with my feet dangling off the moving train; the sun on my face reflecting off the rice paddies, looking out into Thailand. I pour a bottle of water over my head (a ‘train shower’) and enjoy, quite possibly, one of the most relaxing cups of coffee ever. Continue reading

Bangkok By Foot – Thailand By Train

Bangkok Skyline From The Golden Mount

Bangkok Skyline From The Golden Mount

Day 3 in Thailand has me:  shaking my head at the events of yesterday, physically sore from (clearly) doing Vipassana Meditation incorrectly, excited to see what the day holds in store for me.

Golden Mount At Night

Golden Mount At Night

I want to walk the city and see as much as I can by chance and from the perspective of the pavement and under my own power.  But first, I have to go to the train station and see about a ticket to Chiang Mai for tonight or tomorrow.   Continue reading

For The Second Time Today, I’m Wearing Another Man’s Pants

Subtitle:  “How I Got A Monk’s Phone Number”

Bangkok Skyline

Bangkok Skyline

Day 2 – Bangkok, Thailand

So, I was on my way to the Christian Science Reading Room for a quiet, contemplative day—-ok, that’s a big fat lie.  But, when I left my hotel, I had no plan other than to head to the river and let fate blow me where she would.

Little did I know, the winds of fate would lead to: coffee at a monk’s house, a stressful (?) meditation session, a transvestite dance revue, and a thorough police shake-down.  Gee, thanks for entering my orbit, Deborah.

The Winds of Fate, as it turned out, was a random stranger standing next to me on the SkyTrain.  Deborah, an over-educated smarty-pants, total-barrel-of-monkeys-fun Social Scientist from NYC.  We were both headed to the water, so after a quick chat on the train, we pseudo-joined forces…at least in terms of trying to find the river and a water taxi.  Harmless enough, right….?
Continue reading

Thailand – Day One

Buddhas Lining the Potrico at Wat Suthat

Buddhas Lining the Potrico at Wat Suthat

I’ve arrived at Thailand at 10:30am local time on what turns out to be Buddha Day. As far as I am concerned, that is a good omen, or Dharma, or whatever….more to learn there, I suppose.

Immigration was a breeze (thankfully, since I didn’t have a return or on-going ticket – a requirement in Thailand, like many countries; and as I’ve previously spent time under armed guard overnight in a Costa Rica airport for my lack of said ticket, I was pleased). Continue reading