October Update: Thailand

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Travel

Bangkok was a shock after orderly, efficient Japan and we couldn’t warm to the huge, crowded city with its constant traffic. We’d seen the sites on a previous trip so this time we focused on eating – from western comforts in the many shopping centres to taking advantage of the wealth of meat-free street eats during the Vegetarian Festival. Bangkok also has the best cinemas in the world – ultra comfortable and cheap. Just remember to stand for the national anthem.

After a week we were definitely ready to leave the chaos behind and the quiet island of Koh Mak was just what we needed. No traffic, no noise (except the cicadas) and empty beaches were perfect for a relaxing break.

For the past two weeks we’ve been in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. It’s much more chilled out than Bangkok but still has everything you need, plus views of the hills, many shimmering gold wats (temples) and lots to do in the surrounding areas. There are also loads of vegetarian restaurants and we’ve been eating very well for very little. The city has become a travel bloggers hub so we know quite a few people who are here for the winter.

We’ve decided to settle down here for three months, and spent the first week struggling to find a one bedroom apartment with a kitchen. Everyone just eats out here so finding a kitchen is harder than you’d think, and we had to raise our budget quite a few times to find a place we liked. We are glad we did though as we’ve loved exploring Chiang Mai’s wonderful markets and picking up fresh fruit, vegetables and rice noodles at great prices. We took a Thai cooking course and look forward to experimenting more in our kitchen.

We’ve also rented a moped, an easy, cheap and fun way to get around. In the next month we plan to put Simon’s driving skills to the test with trips out of town into the hills and up to the Burmese border which we need to cross to renew our Thai visas.

Over the next month expect more posts on our trip to Japan (still so much to write about) and our explorations of Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai pool

The pool at our apartment in Chiang Mai

Never Ending Voyage Around The Web

Here’s where we were featured in the last month.

Steph from Twenty Something Travel included our post about learning to cook in Kyoto in her Best of the Blogosphere round up.

Enjoy Bed and Breakfast featured our post about the undiscovered temple Otagi Nenbutsuji in their Best City Blog Posts and our paper lantern sculpture photo essay in their Best Outdoors Blog Posts.

Our Hong Kong Stopover Guide was included amongst some great resources for travel in South East Asia with Kids (but useful for everyone) on My Little Nomads.

The Working Traveller’s A to Z of Gap Year Travel used our guide to travelling with only carry on luggage to encourage travellers to travel light.

Aussie On The Road selected our Koh Mak post as one of his recommended reads.

A series of events called Meet Plan Go have been taking place all over the US to encourage those who would like to travel to take a career break. In Kristin’s round up of the San Francisco event she links to our feature on 10 Inspiring Family Travellers who show that it is possible, even with children.

Work

line-in-western-poster

Simon’s latest illustration: inspired by Disney

We are in Chiang Mai to work, to focus on developing some projects that will hopefully bring in alternative income streams so that we are not entirely dependent on Line In‘s client work. Simon is just finishing up some client projects at the moment so that he can dive into the new projects.

He is also continuing with his Illustration 156 project, and created the Wild West themed poster above after being inspired by our trip to Disney Tokyo. He took a lot of photos of fonts while we were there!

Are you looking for Christmas gift ideas? See our 47 Useful Gift Ideas for Carry-On Travellers. They are ideal for travel lovers who want to pack light and include something for every budget.

Leave a comment if you have any tips for us on things to do in Chiang Mai and the surrounding areas.

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21 Comments

  1. i am going to retire in Thailand……should be there in June….I hear Chang Mi is the cheapest….in the Mountains i hope i enjoy it….been in Chicago 99% of my Adult Life…..just tired of all the crap going on…

    Reply

  2. I’ve never been to Thailand, but I’ve been lucky enough to visit Japan four times. It’s a great place, even if I’ve never really understood the people.

    Their love of cycling on the sidewalk is annoying though!

    Reply

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