Sawat dee kha! We’re in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and while Kyle is busy remembering and practicing the Thai that he learned 20 years ago, I am leaning on the power of an apologetic smile and clumsy sign language for most of my communication here. Fortunately, most of the Thai people we encounter are pretty adept at deciphering what I’m trying to get across, or speak a little English. Especially here in Nimman, the hipster neighborhood where we’ve rented an apartment. Just how hipster? The coffee shop across the street, Ristr8to, has won awards internationally for their latte art.

Before coming to Chiang Mai, we spent a week in Bangkok, adjusting to the heat, enjoying the food, and visiting Chatuchak Market and Wat Arun.

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Henry and Max working out in Lumphini Park (Bangkok)
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One of the hundreds of Monitor lizards that live in Lumphini Park (Bangkok)
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Max with mango smoothie taking a break from the crowds at Chatuchak Market (Bangkok)
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Henry at Wat Arun with his new DOGTOR t-shirt from Chatuchak Market (Bangkok)
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View from our apartment in Bangkok

We arrived here in Chiang Mai just in time for the Loy Krathong / Yi Peng Festival. For two nights we observed, and participated in, the beautiful spectacle of thousands of rice paper lanterns being sent aloft, while thousands more krathong (floating vessels with lit candles and incense) were floated down the Ping River.

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Just about ready to release (Chiang Mai)

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There was also a parade that included the US Consul General, on a float, dressed in what looked like clothing from the 1800’s. This year marks 200 years of US-Thai friendly relations, which has involved a number of celebrations marking the occasion, as well as some interesting murals. Also, swing dancers!

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Heading home from the festival in the back of a Songthaew

We’ve been gobbling up experiences over the past few months and sometimes it feels like we aren’t giving ourselves time to digest. (Thanksgiving is on my mind, can you tell?) So it feels like the right time to slow our pace and settle somewhere for a few months. We’re camped out here in Chiang Mai for a couple more weeks, and on December 10th we’ll head to Hoi An, Vietnam, probably until March. We’ll definitely be taking some small side trips (and likely one bigger one, to the Philippines, with my sister Katy), and we have the great good luck of having my brother Brad and his family coming to visit at the end of January. It’s hard to put into words just how excited Max and Henry are to see their cousins. They miss family and friends, deeply.

3 Replies to “Slowing down”

  1. Hello world travelers, I hope you know how wonderful it is to share vicariously your journey. Karen listened carefully as I read your post and I think she was excited by it. When I finished, with great enthusiasm, she responded, “We all go to country!” It was followed by some unintelligible commentary that (I think) may have been a complaint. I’ve been home a few days sick (some kind of virus) and with Katy gone, she’s been stuck at home. She loves candles and remembers them well so we were imagining all the floating candles lighting up the sky like stars and floating down the river. What images! The photographs were amazing but with her memory and imagination I’m sure she could “see it” in her mind’s eye. I think she also imagined Henry in front of a statue with a bearded man. That got a chuckle. We’ll follow the links you provided and chat more later. What conversations we have about your travels. Much love with hugs and kisses and looking forward to more of your blogs. Don’t think for a moment that you aren’t missed too. We’re just being brave. And proud of you because you’re all learning and doing so much! HUGS!

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