Thursday, January 20, 2011

Motorcycles in Chiang Mai

On every major intersection here in Chiang Mai you will always find a plethora of mopeds and motorcycles lined up and waiting for the traffic light to change. Almost everyone who has lived here for more than a few months can drive a motorcycle. These two wheeled contraptions may seem strange and scary to most people who are visiting Asia for the first time, but for locals it's usually the preferred mode of transportation in the city. Easy to maneuver and with great gas mileage, motorcycles also have the advantage of lane sharing, which means that they are allowed to squeeze in between cars to get ahead.
Most people in Thailand who drive motorbikes don't regularly wear helmets or any other safety gear. The police don't do very much about it, rarely setting up roadblocks to ticket violators.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Busy Weekend

In my earlier post about the mini-marathon I mistakenly said that I would be running up Doi Suthep the local mountain this week. The route is the same as last week, 7.6 kilos around the moat.

Chiang Mai Ultimate Logo, come have fun at the hat tournament if you're in town!
There's also an Ultimate Frisbee Hat Tournament at Prem International School on the 22nd, not sure yet whether I will attend or not. In the evening at Huey Tueng Tao Lake there will also be a reggae party, put together by many of the major bars around Chiang Mai. If you're going to be in town and would like information for any of these events, just contact me, but hurry since they're all starting in a few days. This is definitely a busy weekend!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mythbusters: Chiang Mai Style

Tonight I'd like to break the myth that Thailand is always warm, sunny, and the perfect winter getaway place. Nights and mornings of the winter season here can go down a lot, about 15 - 20 degrees celsius in Chiang Mai is the norm. Up north a bit on Doi Inthanon there have been reports of snow (Doi meaning mountain). While this may not seem very cold for most people living in the West, after living in a tropical climate for so long the slightest chill goes a long way. 

Low living cost

For all you Westerners it may not look the greatest, but for me this is the essence of good food.
The one thing that amazes me about Chiang Mai every now and then is the extremely low living costs. Food is extremely cheap and convenient, with vendors for all kinds of food lining the streets with prices starting at around 25 baht (Around 30 baht = 1 dollar). Food is usually very sanitary, made fresh using fresh ingredients right in front of you. For anyone who likes spicy food Thailand is a great place to stay and get your fix. Generally Western food is more expensive, as they usually cater to tourists or Westerners who have made Chiang Mai their home.
Clothes here can be obtained for cheap, or for very expensive depending on if you want the big name brands or local stuff. Personally I find that most of the local stuff is just as good as the big name brands, and much much cheaper.
If you're a foreigner renting is the only way to go, as there is a Thai law that forbids Westerners from owning land. While this is somewhat discriminatory, it was first put in place to stop Western business men from buying up all the land.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mini-marathon

Some of the people at the marathon, they all got medals. If only I was as fit as them. 
On Saturday I woke up at 4am to go a mini-marathon at Wat Chedi-Luang. We ran 7.6 kilos around the moat, starting at the temple and ending there. It was a fun experience, my first mini-marathon. I'm definitly doing it again sometime, probably next week running up Doi Suthep, the local mountain. Will post video later.

First post!

Living in Chiang Mai for 2 and a half years as a Thai who grew up in the USA is both fun and interesting, as you get to view life here from two different angles. This blog will talk about my life and experiences here, cool stuff you don't see everyday, and stuff in general. Expect more posts to follow!