Thailand: Up Country

Chiang Mai - Tak - Mae Sot: Delightful - Part 1

Chiang Mai,
3 April 2010
Dear Family and Friends,

I needed to “get out of the house.”  And since I had always been curious about a small town called Mae Sot in the northwest of Thailand, I booked the short flight to the northern city of Chiang Mai and “got out.” 

With an inspiring assortment of ancient, contemprary and hilltop Buddhist temples, gardens, mountains, rivers for rafting, elephants for riding, snake farms, orchid farms and a crowded night market for bargaining and souvenir hunting, Chiang Mai is one of the busiest tourist destinations in Thailand.

Chiang Mai - Tak - Mae Sot: Delightful Part 2

April 5, 2010

From Chiang Mai I took the bus to Tak.  The guidebooks barely mention this city, but I went anyway.  And once again, in Tak, my travel philosophy is reconfirmed: “No matter where I go, there is always something interesting, even fascinating, to see, to discover.”   
I wandered out of the Wiang Tak Hotel into the searing afternoon heat.  Along the tree-shaded lanes I found old teak homes and a proud city hall.  I stopped for lunch at a food shop and ordered som tam – the traditional searing-hot green papaya salad.  I requested “nueng plick” - only one red chili pepper for me, please.  The som tam lady smiled.  The recipe calls for a handful.

Chiang Mai - Tak - Mae Sot: Delightful Part 3

Mae Sot
April 12, 2010

I travel by van, over the mountains westward to Mae Sot, a town that sits on the bank of the Moei River, the natural barrier between Thailand and Myanmar. 

Mae Sot is a stroller’s dream.  The town is dotted with two important stroller-ingredients: golden temples and fresh-brewed coffee.  May and Nok are my new friends at the Oasis Coffee Shop – Breakfast All Day, Free Internet, Café Americano.

The third stroller ingredient is a colorful, shoulder-to-shoulder market.  And since Mae Sot is a border town with a porous border, many if not most of the merchants are Myanmar immigrants or refugees – legal and illegal. 

Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and The Golden Triangle: "Personal Growth"

Bangkok, Thailand

June 30, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

My friend Roel and I decided to take a road trip together.

Roel lives in Chiang Mai now, so I flew up from Bangkok to meet him. We rented a car and off we went.

We started in Chiang Mai and drove south to Lamphun and east to Lampang. Then east to Phrae, north to Nan and north again to Phayao. Then north to Chiang Rai and north to the Golden Triangle and the border town Mai Sai. Finally south to Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai: "Royal Flora Ratchapreuk"

Chiang Mai, Thailand

November 7, 2006

Dear Family and Friends, 

As a Native New Yorker, I freely admit I knew next to nothing about my native plants. I remember the green hedge at the entrance to my apartment building on Anderson Avenue in The Bronx. Tall leafy trees lined and shaded the next street, aptly named, Woodycrest Avenue. In my old neighborhood, a few empty, rocky, hilly lots sustained some weeds and scrawny trees that survived, I know not how.