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Chiang Mai, Thailand – Part III

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in chiang mai, we stayed in the old town (the center of the city and surrounded by a moat and huge walls) at the u chiang mai hotel.  we absolutely loved it and cant rave about it more.  we loved staying in the old town because you can literally walk to most of the temples.  within the old town, there are no high rises because no building is to be taller than the temples.  this area is on the quiet side normally.  however, the busy streets/night market outside the wall are a 15-20 minute walk.  not bad.

the hotel itself was pretty awesome.  it is located at the center of old town and is close by amazing spas and restaurants! the staff goes above and beyond to make sure that your stay is fantastic and they are all so helpful and friendly. breakfast is included daily, which is a plus.  the best part: the AC can be blasted and keeps the room at a pretty freezing temperature! a nice touch:  fresh, beautiful orchids daily.

Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai

Wat Chedi Luang | Chiang Mai

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krathrong’s dhukka

  1. write the name of your family name on the three corners flag
  2. cut your nail, your hair and put them in the leaf-krathrong
  3. pray to buddha to send your troubles away
  4. make your wishes to think, to speak, and to do good.

now your troubles will be sent away

Loi Krathong Chiang Mai

huen phen is one of those must eat places in chiang mai.  they are known most for their kao soi.  kao soi (turned out to be our favorite thing to eat in thailand) is a curry noodle, special to northern thailand (“lanna” means northern thailand).  we tried to eat this every day.  we mean every. single. day.

just finding huen phen was a little bit of a hot, sticky, sweaty journey.  this place is packed all the time…and its huge! we ended up over ordering (5 dishes for two of us) and would highly, highly recommend the kao soi (duh) and the fried papaya salad.  those were the two stand out dishes.  when we came here, it was 90 degrees and felt like 90% humidity (actually this is what it felt like the whole trip).  we were sweating.  it was uncomfortable.  before the trip, we were told to stay away from water that was not bottled and ice.  this was the day we had to cave in.  it was just too hot and the room temperature water bottle just did not do it.  we had to order the thai tea with ice and it was amazing!

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walking around… visiting random temples and enjoying the festival decorations.

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how excited were we that we were in chiang mai for the loi krathong festival and yi peng festival??

  • a krathong is decorated with folded banana leaves, incenses, and a candle. when it’s a full moon, everyone in the city launches their  krathong on a river, canal or a pond, and make a wish!
  • loi krathong coincides with the northern thailand festival, yi peng!  for yi peng, everyone in the city launches floating lanterns into the sky! (my bucket list!)

this was the best time for us to be there since (i) the whole city was decorated with lanterns and flowers and (ii) there were festivals/events going on every day that week!

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lanterns everywhere! breathtaking.  i didnt end up taking my dslr that night (bad decisions) so my pictures arent that great and do not do this festival justice.  its something that you should definitely see yourself! imagine floating lanterns let go everyone in the city…all night long!

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one of the must see temples in chiang mai is wat phra that doi suthep, which is located on a mountain 9 miles / 15 km away from the city.  to get to the temple, you have to climb 309 steps (obviously not to bad since i did the downtown stair climb! woot) on the way up, there are a lot of food/clothes/souvenir vendors (we are embarrassed to say that we got ripped off by all of them because we are the worst at haggling).  oh, but! we obviously stopped for some corn and tangerine juice which was delicious!

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the temple has an amazing view of chiang mai.  too bad the morning we went, it was on the cloudy side. the temple is beautiful, isnt it?

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By |December 31st, 2012|Life, Photography, Thailand, Travel|5 Comments

Homemade Pho

ah, homemade pho on a cold day.  thanks, mom! note to self, please learn how to make pho.

Homemade Pho

By |December 27th, 2012|Family, Food|0 Comments

A Merry, Merry Christmas

we love christmas.  family, food (tamales/pozole), christmas trees, ornaments, lights, holiday cards, decorations, and presents!  we love it all!  hope everyone had a good wonderful, wonderful christmas!

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this year kyle worked christmas eve…not too bad since we just went and celebrated at the fire station!  we have a pretty good tradition going for christmas day:  open presents in the morning in our house, head to in-laws to eat tamales and open more gifts (this year, the monkey is old enough to open her own gifts!), and then head to the fujitakis for more awesomeness.

 

By |December 26th, 2012|Family, Life|0 Comments

Chiang Mai, Thailand – Part I – Adopt An Elephant

i finally went through some of my thailand pictures! (i was battling a little bug all last week) we have been back for less than two weeks and already miss thai food! (obsessed much?)  our trip was amazing…all the things we saw, people we met, all the food we ate… amazing. best trip ever? i think so! our itinerary:

  • bangkok – 6 hours – our first stop was bangkok (just for 6 hours since our plan was to fly to chiang mai for the lantern festival).  flights from LAX to BKK were also cheaper than flying straight into chiang mai.
  • chiang mai – 5 days – adopt an elephant, cooking class, temple exploring, loi krathong festival of light & the lanna (northern thai) festival known as “yi peng”
  • bangkok – 2 days – back to bangkok for follow me bike tours!
  • phuket – 5 days – phi phi island by speedboat, phang nga bay kayak (james bond island)

so most amazing thing we did was adopt an elephant for the day!  actually, it was the best thing i have done in my life (bold, huh?) we found this through tripadvisor since it was ranked #1 thing to do in chiang mai!   thank you tripadvisor! at patara elephant farm, you spend the whole day with your elephant…feed it, play with it, check its health, learn how to get on it, trek with it through the forest, and wash it in the river…you really cant help but fall in love with these gentle, magnificent creatures.  this was a very, very special experience i will never forget!  please excuse the excessive pictures of our elephants…we just couldnt resist!

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meet peng! she’s 7 years old! she’s a cutie, huh?  she loves bananas, sugar cane, and dunking her head under water while you are trying to scrub her head! she stole my heart when she accepted by banana greeting.

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happy thursday!

By |December 20th, 2012|Life, Thailand, Travel|8 Comments

3rd Annual Friendsgiving

since we left for thailand right after thanksgiving, i havent had a chance to share some pictures from our 3rd annual friendsgiving festivities! to giving thanks and our wonderful friends!

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By |December 10th, 2012|Food, Friends, Holidays, Life|3 Comments
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