We started 2012 with a holiday. It may not seem like we need one, living in Thailand and all, but most of the last three months has been spent on our laptops working away. We were burnt out and in need of a laptop-free break.
We rode our moped a couple of hours north of Chiang Mai to the village of Chiang Dao and stayed out of town at the lovely Chiang Dao Nest 1. Our bamboo bungalow was set in a lush tropical garden with views of the mountains and we spent a lot of time on our verandah reading books, and enjoying the gourmet food served in their wonderful restaurant. We also summoned the energy to explore the huge, incredible caves nearby and visit a mountainside temple. We’ll be writing more about Chang Dao next week.
Back in Chiang Mai we’ve been trying out a new routine where we have two days off a week to explore the area (so far we’ve been visiting some of Chiang Mai’s hundreds of temples) and have a break from the internet. We’ve also been going to the gym every work day and trying to get off our laptops by 10pm.
Launching Our Free Ebook
Our new schedule was tested a bit when we were preparing for the launch of our first free ebook South America Highlights. Over 300 people have signed up to our new newsletter and downloaded the book, and existing subscribers got the book for free too. We’ve been really pleased by the positive feedback we’ve received and hope we have helped inspire a few trips to South America. Writing the book certainly made us keen to go back!
If you want to see where we went during our year in South America, and in the year that has passed since then, take a look at our route map which we have finally updated.
Never Ending Voyage Around The Web
- Our most popular post this month was our photo essay on the extravagant White Temple in Chiang Rai. We received over 22,000 visits to this post in just a few days from StumbleUpon. We hope we encourage some more people to visit this beautiful, unusual modern temple.
- We wrote a guest post for The Planet D where we share our tips on finding free accommodation around the world.
- Amanda at A Dangerous Business interviewed us about our best and worst travel experiences and the travel gear we can’t live without. She also chose our 72 Random Observations About Japan as one of her favourite reads from December.
- The Great Family Escape asked a number of photographers (including us) how we store and manage travel photos.
We were pleased to be included in a number of end of year blogger round up posts:
- Ordinary Traveler included us as one of their favourite travel blogs from 2011.
- 101 Holidays chose us as one of the 15 best travel blogs to follow in 2012.
- Runaway Jane named us one of the 10 Travel Blogs to Watch in 2012.
All in all 2012 has gotten off to a great start for us. We hope it has for you too!
Are you looking for Christmas gift ideas? See our guide to the 50 Best Gifts for Travelers. They are ideal for travel lovers who want to pack light and include something for every budget.