Chiang Mai through Instagram

As soon as we arrived in Chiang Mai, I knew I was going to fall head over heels in love with this city. Now I understand why so many digital nomads call Chiang Mai home, albeit temporarily. From the pedestrian friendly streets to a variety of quirky restaurants, cafes, and juice bars, to a healthy population of tourists and expats alike, Chiang Mai manages to combine the familiar with the unfamiliar in a way that provides both an exotic yet tame experience.

Having lived in two challenging and distinctly Asian cities, I was relieved to find a city in Asia that caters to the Western expat. In Chiang Mai I did not stick out like a sore thumb but rather blended beautifully with my surroundings. While this was an extremely pleasant experience and a welcome relief from my often polarizing existence in Malaysia, it felt sort of wrong. Was I in Thailand or an expat utopia?

Over the course of our 5 days in Chiang Mai, I whole-heartedly embraced the quaint cafes, juice bars, printed college t-shirts, and beloved bottles of kombucha. However, I also welcomed uniquely Thai experiences including elephant riding, foot massages, glittering temples, and cheap beer. As a perpetual expat in Asia, I forgive myself for a little inauthenticity. Sometimes it’s good to feel at home.

Here’s a little glimpse at Chiang Mai through my iphone:

Enjoying some delicious Phad Thai at The Writer’s Club
Glittering dragons at Wat Chedi Luang
In complete surprise at finding kombucha! I heart Dada Cafe.
Carina drinking a coconut, mango, lime smoothie during our afternoon smoothie time
Dog crossing in front of our hotel
Would you like some Thai river fish?
Ready to dig into Khao Soy, a popular Northern Thai dish
Khao Soy served up on an artist pallet. The idea is to add your own shallots, fish sauce, chili, sugar, and coconut milk to doctor up your broth the way you like it. I just threw everything in.
Watching a lantern release on the river side
Make a wish!
Crossing the bridge
Carina making a wish
Some punk looking kids playing R&B ballads at the Riverside bar
Awesome brunch at Nice Kitchen. We had a chocolate cashew pancake. Omfg.
Hitting up the Sunday Market with hundreds of shops and endless shopping
Enjoying some Chang beer while hiding from the rain at the Sunday Market
Temple dog at Doi Suthep, the most famous temple in Chiang Mai
Sad but colorful temple offerings
In full bloom in courtyard at Doi Suthep
Funny and kind of creepy monk babies
The temples in Thailand are so shiny
Red and gold temple design
Watching the mist roll in across the mountains overlooking Chiang Mai
Colorfully decorated elephant statues
Hi Mom
We had awesomely enormous burritos after frolicking with the elephants in the countryside

3 thoughts on “Chiang Mai through Instagram

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