After our first six months of travelling and constantly being on the move, we needed a break – and took a month off at home in Vancouver. Six months later we were due for another break, but not at home this time. Instead, we booked ourselves an apartment for one month in Chiang Mai, Thailand where we experienced our first ever Christmas abroad!
Chiang Mai is a perfect blend of Southeast Asian culture, historical architecture, international flare, modern comforts and natural beauty. You can sip on a soy milk chai tea latte, eat cheap and delicious street food, visit elaborate ancient temples, shop at modern malls and hike through mountains to stunning waterfalls – all in one city… But more on all of that in future posts as we explore the city over the next month.
This post is just a quick hello to let you see our wonderful apartment and a couple of things we got up to over Christmas.
Chiang Mai was in full Christmas-mode when we arrived with all the major malls completely decked out with Christmas decorations, trees and carols playing on the speakers. Starbucks was serving drinks in red cups (no controversy here…) and people actually wished us ‘Merry Christmas’. If it wasn’t 30 + degrees out, it might have even felt like Christmas!
We paid a premium to book a place in a hip neighbourhood, recently renovated and with a kitchen (90% of rentals don’t include a kitchen!). It’s a small studio apartment but well laid out and has everything we need! *It felt incredible to completely unpack our luggage’s.
And we’ve been making full use of that kitchen:
We even made Christmas Breakfast: French toast, bacon and eggs.
We also rented a scooter for the month to get us around.
As for Christmas presents, Dan took me to the Kham Thiang Market (Flower Market) to pick out a flower for our apartment. Just visiting the area was amazing – street after street lined with shops selling flowers, trees and plants (of every variety)!
For Christmas Dinner we treated ourselves to sushi. We probably could have gone out for turkey at some westernized restaurant but it wouldn’t have even compared to Christmas dinner back home so we opted for something completely different. And to my delight we actually found good sushi (so good, we will be back for more soon)!
At home, we had fresh pineapple dipped in melted dark chocolate with a sparking white wine for dessert. (It tasted better than it looks in the picture!) *This was quite the treat as wine actually costs more than back home in Canada – the first country we’ve visited where this is the case.
For my first every Christmas away from home, I’d say it was quite a success 🙂