Slightly more than 2 months ago, our little family decided to sell our home in Portland, Oregon and begin a year-long adventure in Southeast Asia. We arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand almost a month ago and have settled in nicely. After researching and viewing several condos in various parts of town, we rented a very comfortable and conveniently located condo in the Nimmanhaemin neighborhood, northwest of Chiang Mai’s central Old Town.
Chiang Mai reminds us a little bit of Portland – a relatively small city with its own distinct personality and an “outdoorsy feel”, a thriving art and food scene, and many amenities of a larger city. The pace is slower and more relaxed than Bangkok, the people are warm and welcoming, and many speak some English thanks to several universities and the tourist industry.
We plan to make Chiang Mai our headquarters in Thailand for the next 6+ months. We expect to explore the area around Chiang Mai and make our way to other cities in Thailand, including the beaches of Southern Thailand, of course. Since our Thai visa requires us to leave and re-enter the country at least every 90 days, we’ll be using that as an opportunity to take side trips to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
We begin Thai lessons this coming Monday and we’re all excited and nervous about that. We’re looking forward to having a professional help us navigate the distinct tones of Thai, and the cultural naunces that go along with learning any new language. We have 5 classes per week for a month. We certainly don’t expect to be fluent, but we should learn some helpful phrases and tips for communicating more effectively.
Next, we plan to write posts about some of our recent activities, including visits to Flying Squirrels and the Baan Chang Elephant Park, as well as a little about our impressions of Chiang Mai, observations from our neighborhood, some thoughts on different foods we’ve tried, temples we’ve visited and more.