Chiang Mai

by Andrew Stein

Chiang Mai, the largest city in Northern Thailand, was a great alternative to the floods in the south. The sun was out most days, although I never complained about a little extra cloud cover making the temperature more bearable in my non-air conditioned room at Smile House. I found the people, both foreigners and locals, very nice. There was Tess and Paul who laughed with me about my fear of heights while zip-lining. Claire and Kalley from Australia who cooked with me and introduced me to some of the more delicious street food like Rotees. And Eid, a Thai native, who showed me some of the better nightlife in and around Chiang Mai. The city felt modern, yet relatively quiet and brimming with Thai culture. And with the famous Sunday Market through the middle of town, I also had the opportunity to haggle over shirts that already only cost 3 US dollars while listening to the shop owner’s favorite line “Same, same…. but different.”

dried orchids

These flowers caught my attention at an orchid farm in Chiang Mai. They were made with real dried orchids. The orchids were lacquered, painted with bronze around the edges, immersed in sulfamate and nickel, and finally coated with a very thin layer of gold.