Lost in Chiang Mai

Lost in Thailand is a 2012 Chinese comedy film that grossed more than US$200 million at the Chinese box-office. More than 80% of the film was shot in the Chiang Mai province and its huge success has driven a massive increase in Chinese tourism to Thailand. We see hoards of Chinese tourists!

We were a bit reluctant to visit Asia; thought we’d give it a quick once-over enroute to South Korea (where we will visit our son) in order to say “been there, done that!”

But Thailand took us by surprise. Instead of a quick sidetrip to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar or Malaysia as planned, we made a conscious decision to get lost in Thailand in the sense that we have “gone astray”.

I could say we are  AWOLabsent from where one should be but without intent to desert because we have to get back on track by the end of the month, but now hope we can return to Asia for a longer stay. Or I could say there was some (gentle) mutiny involved as one of us is tired of living out of a suitcase and decided Chiang Mai is a great place to linger longer.

Spontaneity is one of the joys of retiring early, giving up possessions and slowly wandering on this Dream Trip.

In any case, we are staying a second month in Chiang Mai and often find ourselves temporarily lost or bewildered as to our location and surroundings. 

What’s a typical day in the life of one who isn’t a tourist, but a temporary resident of Chiang Mai?

Wake up naturally (hopefully not by outside construction noise or loudspeakers.) First decision of the day: Coffee in or out? If out, where? Hot coffee…or cold? We now have 6+ excellent coffee shops within walking distance.

Oh! The Things You Will See! 

There is so much to see I sometimes wish I had a GoPro to record everything I see.

Always have the camera ready for photos even when riding on the back of a scooter!

Aren’t these just the cutest tourists?

Always colorful!

So where do you want to eat? Rice or noodles? Should I try something new or go with an old favorite? Clockwise from top left: pad kee mao, tom yum soup, larb – a Burmese specialty, massamun curry, and pad Thai.

Time to relax at the pool – or work out in the fitness room until stomach hunger pains beg the question, “What’s for dinner?”

You never know how many people or what you’ll see on a scooter in Thailand.

Eat out? Food cart or restaurant? This man efficiently prepares curries and soups at his one man food stand at the night market food court. I ordered Tom Kha (coconut milk soup.)

Shoes are removed and left at the door at the travel agency, the dentist office, Buddhist temples, and spas.

This looks like a nice place to stop for a coffee.


Day’s done.  Head home with all the other motorscooterists.


We stayed a month at our AirBnB rental at North Condo at Serene Lake. It was just what we wanted: beautiful, new, clean and tranquil, although some distance from the Old City and restaurants. We even had to drive our scooter to the club house pool and fitness room.

The owner offered a good discount for a second month, but we wanted to look around the city at other options much like they do on one of our favorite TV shows, HouseHunters International. There is no shortage of condos and serviced apartments and we only considered places that had a pool and fitness center. Even so, pricing is competitive and we compared the pros and cons of moving to a dozen different locations in comparison to the ease of remaining in the beautiful place we already called home.

We moved!  We like our new neighborhood and the coffee shops, restaurants, massage spas, stores, Big C and market all within walking distance. The unit is larger, has screens on the windows and more comfortable furniture. Chiang Mai’s largest mall, Central Festival, is very close. The one smallish negative has been the loud loudspeaker announcements coming from a nearby school and slowly parading trucks broadcasting announcements through the neighborhood.

We are excited; there is still much to explore. Lots of good photos to come – plus The Amazing Cost of Travel in Chiang Mai. We spend and spend and live well – and it costs – so – little!  

Thanks for reading Meet You in the Morning. Until next time…happy travels!

4 responses to “Lost in Chiang Mai

  1. Pingback: Tiger Kingdom | Meet You In The Morning·

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