Well July has been a fantastic month and included a trip to Singapore to celebrate our two year travelversary. Here’s what else I got up to;
I’ve wanted to try rock climbing for years but never got around to it. Luckily Chiang Mai has quite a few opportunities and I went to a free session at Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Company this month. Unfortunately it wasn’t the right set up for me. I thought that there would be some basic instruction; however it was actually set up for experienced climbers to practice. My friend Jet said she will take me to another place, where you get some instruction, so it’s better for beginners.
There is a sushi restaurant, Ai sushi that is not far from my condo and they have recently moved premises. It’s a much better space now as it used to be hard to get a seat there before. I often go with my friends Iona and Tricia for a Japanese fix in the week.
There is also another Japanese restaurant that I have recently discovered called Ai Tomoe. I’ve only been once, for a quick snack, but the tempura sushi I had was really nice. I definately want to take Jay along next time and we can try the place out properly.
I went for brunch at The Larder two days in a row this month! Once with Iona, Tricia and Tom then again the next day with Sophie and Alexis! There is so much lovely food that I just can’t resist and it helps that there was a cutest beagle puppy there too.
My friend Michelle was briefly back in town and we managed to have lunch at Overstand before I went to Singapore. It was really nice to see her again. She is going on a retreat and then she should be back in Chiang Mai for a little while, so we will get chance to hang out and have some more fun then.
Dinner at Red Tree Restaurant
My friend’s friend, Dave is in the process of moving to Kuala Lumpur and he visited this month. A few of us went out to dinner at Red Tree, to welcome him back to Asia. The restaurant is fairly new but the food was good and the French owner even came out to say hi. He said he had to meet us as we seemed to be having a lot of fun, i.e. we were probably quite loud!
Wat Jed Yod
After a year and a half in Chiang Mai I finally made it to Wat Jed Yod. It is one of the most important temples in Chiang Mai and was built by King Kilokarat in the 15th century. It was built with characteristics from the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, India where the Buddha attained enlightenment. It is a beautiful temple with large grounds and is a wonderful place to wander around or just relax.
It is located just back from the Superhighway and so I got the opportunity to explore the area around there, which I hadn’t really been to before. There is a lot going on in the area and I stumbled upon a lot of cool graffiti art.
Zumba at Thai Freedom House
My friend Lisa, runs Thai Freedom House, an amazing language and arts community centre that assists Burmese refugees and Thai minority groups. The centre offers community classes for the children it assists and I hosted a Zumba lesson, giving them an introduction to what a class would be like and showing them the basic steps. The kids loved it and they were so good, it was really enjoyable.
Kindness of a Stranger
I had previously been in Freebird café with my friends, Lisa who runs the café and Thai Freedom house and my other friend Lisa, who was unfortunately leaving Chiang Mai. We were talking among the clothes section and I mentioned that it was hard to find reasonable priced, good quality work-out leggings in Chiang Mai.
A lady nearby heard the conversation and we all talked together briefly. Anyway a few days later she brought in a donation for the shop and a pair of amazing leggings, especially for me. She left them at the shop with a note and it was so sweet, I only talked to her for a few minutes but she said she was inspired by me and wanted me to have them. I’m still pretty gob smacked at how nice that was.
My friends Sophie and Mike both have their birthday on the same day and Jay and I went out for dinner and drinks, with a group of others, to celebrate with them. We ate at a great Italian, in the old town, La Fontana, where the food was fantastic. We had drinks there and then we ended up in Yellow (a local night-life spot that’s a bit crazy!), oops.
Jay and I tend to have a chilled day on Sundays and one of the weeks we went to Chiang Mai Breakfast World for brunch, had a massage, hung out at one of the old town coffee shops, browsed the Sunday market and got takeaway sushi for dinner. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday if you ask me.
We finished the mini- bachata workshop that we had started last month and we went for lunch together after which was really nice.
I had my first taste of Kizomba too, which I had not heard about until this year. It is a genre of dance that originated from Angola in southern Africa. We had a introductory lesson, with an excellent teaching couple that were visiting Chiang Mai.
There is a new café that opened this month called the London Tearooms. They had a grand opening and a special offer and I went with Sophie and some of the girls to check the place out. The owner Tom is from England and he has really put a lot of thought and effort into the decoration and it really does look like an authentic old style tea room. We ended up there for hours drinking tea from a pot, eating scones, with jam and cream and laughing our heads off; the perfect way to spend the afternoon.
Later I went with some other girlfriends to watch a film and then we went from tapas at El Patio. They do possibly the best tapas in Chiang Mai and the sangria is delicious too, the glass was the size of my head!
New opening for Documentary Arts Asia & Drinks with Katie
Documentary Art Asia recently moved location and had an opening at their new venue, with an art exhibition. I went along to check it out and then after met up with my friend Katie, as it was her birthday, and she was having drinks at Bus Bar. I’ve lived in Chiang Mai for 18 months and have vowed to go to Bus Bar but have never been. As you have probably guessed it’s a bus that has been turned into a bar, it has a great location on the Ping river and they have live music too.
Nana Bakery Market
I talked last month about visiting Suan Pailom and how delicious the bakery items are. Well this month they have just started a small market at my condo, Hillside 4, which means that not only are they available twice a week but right under my nose! I popped in and got a few items, but I’ll have to make sure that I don’t go every week as that would be a tasty but bad habit to get into.
My friend Abby had a games night at her house at the end of the month and it was great fun. We only ended up playing one game, Cards against Humanity, but we had such a good time. Side note: I wasn’t very good at all and ended up with the lowest score!
This month we went to Singapore for the weekend. We have a double entry visit and in order to activate the second part of the visa you have to leave the country. Now normally you can do this by visiting the border of Myanmar/Burma, on a day trip. We have done this many times now and instead we wanted to go somewhere to celebrate our two year travelversary.
We found cheap flights to Singapore and decided to visit there. We both have been in the past but it was a very long time ago, for me 12 years! It was a great trip and other than accommodation, Singapore isn’t that expensive to visit. There are many things you can do for free and the food is cheap but very good quality.
We did so much in the city, most of it was free, including seeing the Supertrees, taking part in a free a walking tour, visiting the Chinese Gardens and taking in the ethnic areas of Kampong Glam, Chinatown and Little India. We also spent the day at Universal Studios theme park, which was great fun.
I will be posting some blog posts over the coming weeks with more information about Singapore and useful tips on how to enjoy a visit there without breaking the bank.
That was July’s Chiang Mai Summary of the Month, thanks for reading.