When in Chiang Mai, one can’t help but notice numerous advertisements for zipline jungle adventures. At last count, we noticed posters for at least 4 different zipline companies – all vying for the tourist dollar. Wanting a little adventure and a good activity to entertain our 8 year old and a visiting friend, we decided to go with Flying Squirrels Zipline Adventure.

When we were planning our trip to Thailand, spending time with elephants was at the top of our list of things to do. And, here in Northern Thailand, there are abundant opportunities to engage with elephants. After lots of investigation, and educating ourselves about the long history between Thailand’s Elephants and Mahouts, we settled on Baan Chang Elephant Park and had an amazing experience there.

We arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand two weeks before the Songkran festival began. As traveling Farang (foreigners), we had heard about the soaking we were soon to receive. Songkran has become known in the contemporary world, especially to travelers and tourists, as a giant water fight or celebration where everyone is drenching everyone else with water guns, water cannons, hoses and buckets. We were certainly excited and curious to see what it would be in reality.

Being the curious travelers that we are, we wanted to learn more about what the tradition was behind Songkran. We wanted to know things like why it was celebrated? Where did it originally come from? Was it still celebrated in a traditional way? How did the traditional fit in with the contemporary images of a giant water-pocalypse?

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.

If you are planning a trip to Thailand and you aren’t sure which city to use as a homebase, then we recommend heading north and renting an apartment in Chiang Mai.

When we first arrived in Chiang Mai, we started off renting a room at a guest house in the heart of the old city, near the Thapae Gate. It was a perfect place to explore the city and to begin our searched for an apartment rental.