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I finally made it to the adventure of a lifetime and now I'm a citizen of the World. Indy author, blogger, in love with being an author - Mom of two grown children and widow of the most wonderful man to ever live - Devon "Pete" Hall.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Everyday Living in Chiang Mai

This was a surprise!
In between seeking out the sights that must be seen and writing about it, there’s the day-to-day living that still must go on while traveling. For instance, I just found a place for a haircut and a place to drop off my laundry. Both took a bit of digging on my part.

But in the process of getting on with life, I’ve found some things in Chiang Mai very interesting and hope you will too.

First, I didn’t know that they drive on the left side of the road here, which since I’m not driving wouldn’t seem to matter much. But hold on! It actually changes the way you cross the street since traffic will be coming from unexpected places for us right-siders!

The post office was very efficiently run and attractive!
Getting around itself can be a bit of a challenge. I’ve ridden in tuk-tuks four times so far and they are horrible little vehicles, through no fault of their own – it’s about being much larger than the average Thai and climbing into confined spaces AND the fact that the back rest basically lays you down. I found myself literally sliding towards the floorboards when I tried to be “laidback” and relaxed. 

There are also red trucks that look like grownup versions of jeepneys (the brightly colored converted longbed jeeps that carry the people of the Philippines around so haphazardly) which I have not attempted yet. Since conveying where I want to go has been a challenge I’ve been hesitant with a truck full of other passengers. But don’t worry – I’ll get there. 

A Must-Have - Nancy Chandler Map
Speaking of getting around, the Nancy Chandler map of Chiang Mai is an absolute MUST. It’s cute, colorful and full of tips. They can be purchased on Amazon, I’m told, and are available at several places within the city. Once I had this little jewel, I was on my way. I’ve still gotten lost (three times) because they don’t have street signs here, except on major arteries but at least I’ve been able to point out where I wanted to go to a local on my map and they’ve understood and pointed me the right way.

In my wanderings, I’ve found myself looking down nearly constantly. If I want to look around, I stop, stand still and do so. Why? Because the streets and sidewalks are very uneven, cracked, multi-leveled, etc. But I got in a lot of practice in the Philippines, so I’ve only twice stumbled in the last month.

Language can be another trial. I fully expected to learn a bit of the language for each country I visited and frankly I’ve failed miserably. In the Philippines, both my daughter and I tried to say thank you in Filipino, but we kept getting corrected (each time differently) so we gave up. In Thailand, I have managed thank you – ‘kapoo ka’ with a heavy accentuation of the last syllable – and I’ve been rewarded for that small effort with shy smiles.

These bikes are available around town on a subscription basis.
So far, everyday living in Chiang Mai has been exciting, fun and something new every day! Hoping to bring you more adventures soon.


  1. I have to stop and stand to look around too, but that's just 'cause I'm naturally uncoordinated! LOL! Throw in cracked and uneven sidewalks...hmm...I'd probably look pretty silly.

    Oh! I know some Filipino! Salamat "Thank you" or Salamat Po "Thank you very much." Other words? They are all the bad ones! LOL!

    Your description of your day to day travel is hilarious. I could just imagine you trying to stay in your seat. Good luck in getting acquainted in living in Thailand. It sounds like a lot of fun so far!

    1. You'd think "salamat po" would be pretty simple - but we just never seemed to get it right.

      Actually many of my rides were a bit of a thrill - from bouncing around a van because my seat was at an angle and I'd slip off to the side frequently, to worrying all the way from the ferry port to my hotel (about ten miles) because my two pieces of luggage were tied with twine to the back of the tricycle.

      I AM having so much fun.