Words don’t come close to describing the warmth in my chest, flutter in my stomach, as I lounge by the pool in our villa taking in my surroundings. The peace, tranquility, intricately carved posts, teakwood slats. The rushing water from the brook nearby, gurgling from a makeshift waterfall, dappled sunlight dancing on the greens, fuschias, and violets. As I did with the view of the Japanese Alps in Hakuba, I want to bottle up this scenery, this peace, and shelve it away to be called upon when I need a moment of respite. If you can’t find me, I’ve run away to the Four Seasons Chiang Mai.
Sights and Sounds of Chiang Mai
Falling under the category of Things You Tell Your Children Not to Do ~ Taking a tuk-tuk, bejeweled with iridescent dragons, 45 minutes to our destination, half of it on the expressway, with semi-drunk passengers (I say semi because one of us was drunk and the other was fairly coherent but strangely comfortable with the dangerous situation). Adding to the precariousness of the situation, our driver stopped for gas to “make sure we had enough for the drive” and then attached the bag of fireworks he just bought to the side of the vehicle – “For good luck! Chases away the bad spirits.” Speeding down the expressway, he would honk at the stray dogs that were wandering onto the desolate road. It was so cold – not winter-in-Chicago cold, but more like I-dressed-for-tropical-Thailand-and-it’s-now-cool-season, the wind blasting in my face due to the who-knew-a-tuk-tuk-could-go-this-fast speed. (Way too many hyphens, I’m aware. See semi-drunk above.)
We went to Chiang Mai for the Yee Peng Lantern Festival. This site explains it all beautifully. I’ll just let the pictures tell the story.