"For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it's always ourselves we find in the sea"

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Soul-Nourishing Trip


I remember when I booked the ticket to Chiang Mai, it was one of those times when I felt so uninspired, bored, lazy and all those unpleasant feelings that would happen to me once in a while. It's a sign from my body telling me I treat myself not so well with stress, bad food, emotion and things we're not supposed to fill in our lives.

I've been to Chiang Mai only one time in my life when I was very young. Only one thing I can remember from that trip is, northern food was so yummy. I still remember eating Nam Prik Noom & Moo Kab from a Kan Tok (Chiang Mai style bamboo tray). We might go for sightseeing and stuff but I don't remember that at all. Chiang Mai is a place I barely know except the image of it that I got from hearing others talk about it. For some reason, thinking about Chiang Mai gives me heart-warming feeling and I guess that was what I wanted the most at that time. I secretly wished going to Chiang Mai would help restore my body and soul somehow.

So I booked the tickets.

sunset doi pui viewpoint chiang mai
Sunset from Doi Pui Viewpoint

Seven Sense Guesthouse

There are so many beautiful boutique guesthouses/hotels in Chiang Mai. I chose Seven Sense because of the price and its size. There are only 7 rooms and each room has its own concept. The room I stayed was Isan (Northeastern region of Thailand) style room.

I love staying at a small guesthouse like this. It feels cozy and warm. The staff at Seven Sense really treated me like a part of their family. However the location might not be the best if you don't have your own vehicle, but I like everything apart from that fact.


Baan Khang Wat

Chiang Mai is known as the capital city of artsy-crafty lifestyle in Thailand. Baan Khang Wat is basically a community mall but it's not exactly a mall. The whole place is more like an old village with wooden buildings/shops where people actually live in. There are lots of cool things here. Actually, if it's not cool enough it won't be accepted to be in this place. I guess that's the concept LOL. There are lots of art shops and lovely cafes. It's a place to be if you're into artsy-crafty things.


MAI-IAM Contemporary Art Museum

Mai-iam in Thai means brand-new in a quirky and fun way. I love how they play with the order of the letters in this word. It looks really cool, creative and fun :D

mai-iam art museum chiang mai
mai-iam art museum chiang mai

It's well-organized as close as top international art museums. When I visited Mai-iam, it was Apichatpong's special exhibition with tons of his works from the past to present.

What a shame I didn't take any pics of the exhibition. Could it be that it was not allowed for taking pictures? I can't remember.

mai-iam art museum chiang mai
mai-iam art museum chiang mai
mai-iam art museum chiang mai
Goods from souvenir shop


I always wanted to go to Pai.

Back when I was in university for a decade ago, Pai was a dream town of Thai artists, writers and you know...cool kids. It was when "Less is more" concept had just started. Pai was discovered and known as a small lovely peaceful town. It's suitable for the back-to-basic lifestyle. At that time, all cool people MUST visit Pai once and if you're the coolest, you would plan to move to Pai.

travel pai yunlai viewpoint
Village in the valley - Yun Lai, Pai

It was rainy season when I was there. I took the minivan from Chiang Mai town which will bring you up to the hills. There are 762 curves to be exact that you have to go through. I prepared myself pretty well with travel sickness tablets and I chose to sit on the passenger side instead of the back of the van because that helps with the nausea. However, my trip up hills to Pai was still a bit of a disaster.

The driver was talking on the phone the whole time while using only one hand driving through those curves! He was arguing with his girlfriend, pissing off and pounding the steering wheel. He was clearly not in a good mood. Plus, it was raining the whole morning on that day. I couldn't sit still. The best thing I could do was offering him my earphones so at least he can talk while driving with two hands, but he rejected! I did message my friends about the situation that if I was off the grid, they would know what happened to me. Then the pill started kicking in and I was off to dreamland... And yes, I'm lucky enough that I'm still alive!

travel pai rasta

Pai is known as a hippie town. You will find similar tribes as on Koh Phangan here but everything is a few steps slower. The majority part of Pai is too commercial these days. Because of those "trying so hard to be instagrammable" coffee shops. Also these Hmong (Hill Tribe) Villages where people don't live their cultural lives anymore but do it for show...

travel pai mhong village
Hmong Village

Rice fields hiding themselves in the middle of the town

I spent only few nights in Pai. It's such a romantic little town but I was alone so it was a bit...meh. I didn't do much while in Pai but I love driving scooter around the town finding green and the mist after the rain. There are lots of arts & crafts shops spreading around the town. One night I was in Walking Street market and came across this lovely little arts & cafe shop. The owner was a typical Thai hippie. He was lovely. We had a long talk and I got my portrait drawing from him :)

CAT A-WAY is the name. Give him a visit if you're heading to Pai.

Don't forget to wake up early and go to Yun Lai Viewpoint which is a part of Yunan Village. Too bad that morning was very cloudy with on and off rain but it was still beautiful seeing the misty sky with a cup of Yunan tea. Blessed.

yunlai viewpoint pai
yunlai viewpoint pai

I still haven't been to many places in Pai yet. But well, there's nowhere to rush to. Places are always there, but some "moments" will just happen, pass by and may never come back. The key of traveling is not the amount of places we visit but memory we collect along the way, and that what matters.

viewpoint pai
Ending the day without sunset

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