A little disclaimer to any potential family members reading this post; I did not get a tattoo, nor do I have any to date. Ease the worries. However, I did accompany a friend on one of our recent outings to Chiang Mai for her first ink. Along our path to the parlor, we got to do a little exploring within the city walls and I was able to witness a man getting tatted via bamboo needle. Also known as Yantra Tattooing, these works of art are traditionally performed on the seeker by Buddhist Monks throughout Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. My friend stuck to the traditional ink gun and had กล้าหาญ or fearless engraved on her wrist. Heres a little insight into the evening.
A couple weekends ago, I hopped into a van with a few fellow Krus from Phrae and made the 700 odd-turns up a winding mountain road to a little expat village known as Pai. After our three-hour ride, we were dropped off in the center of what felt like Macklemore’s personal thrift shop. We purchased a bottle of the town’s finest Hong Tong, and made it our mission to reach the Pai Circus, where we would reside for the next several days. We headed away from the town center, crossing a bridge made solely out of bamboo sticks and leaves, followed by more bamboo bungalows along the way. After trekking, backpacks and all, up a narrow dirt hill, we had finally arrived at the Circus. We had stepped into what felt like its own bohemian universe. The camp was full of misguided twenty-somethings juggling fire, hula hooping, and lounging by an infinity pool that over looked the mountains and countryside. I had found my happy place. Pure contentment. The next several days were filled with shots of wheatgrass, conversations with expats from foreign lands, canyons, hunting for trinkets, strawberry fields, planting banana trees with the soy-bean farmer who discovered the Pai Land Split, drinking hibiscus juice, kindred spirits, lounging in hammocks, chasing waterfalls, late nights and early mornings wasted at Don’t Cry Bar, and getting wonderfully lost on the back of a motor bike. If you are ever given the chance to visit this magical little town, do not hesitate. Go immediately.
A week before I fled the country, my sister and I took a little road trip across Arizona to visit the Grand Canyon. We were both completely swoon with the entire state. The endless supply of turquoise gem stones, cacti, and milky ways had us sold. You’re talking to two die-hard WAnderers here, and we were almost converted. Especially while gazing at Sedona’s red sandstone formations and marveling at just how grand the Grand Canyon really was. So grand. Little did I know, only a short month later I would be going again. Except this lesser known Grand Canyon was located just a 30 minute tuk tuk ride outside of the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand. And yes, it was advertised just as so. Although it maybe wasn’t as grand in comparison to the real deal, this excursion proved to be pretty epic. We cooled off from the blazing heat by throwing back a couple Changs and jumping off the several cliffs that surrounded the quarry. Here’s a few shots from both adventures.
I recently moved to a small town in Northern Thailand called Muang Phrae. Before leaving the almighty Pacific Northwest, I legitimately thought I was going to be living in a village as the only Westerner in sight for miles upon miles. Although this ended up not being completely accurate, anyone who has been to Phrae would agree that this town is not a quintessintial destination for the millions of globe-trotters that make their way to this side of the world every year. Although this province is not frequented by faragns, the little valley town is widely known for their traditional indigo-blue dyed fabric; mahom. It is absolutely beautiful and can be found in abundance at all the little markets and shops spread throughout the area. It is also not uncommon to see the dye making its way to other mediums such as ceramics! I’m expecting to purchase about a third of Phrae’s supply over the next few months. Pretty much in love.
So I’ve decided to try my hand at this whole blogging thing as I navigate my way through
Thailand Southeast Asia Who Knows Where. Cheers to anyone passing through.