The Itinerant Foodie
 

eat, sleep, and travel

Lost in Paradise 🌴

11 June 2018
travel food thailand asia

Lost in Paradise

It’s been a while (6+ months), but I’ve been chilling out in the jungles and beaches of South East Asia as you can probably guess by my instagram.

Jungles and Temples Beachlife

My first visit to Chiang Mai was as a regular tourist in June 2016. Low season I know, but it wasn’t too bad. The rain didn’t really get in the way and was quite refreshing to be honest.

Visiting all the common tourist hotspots like the Night Bazaar, Elephant Sanctuary, Wat Chedi Luang and Doi Suthep.

Wat Chedi Luang Wat Phra Tat Doi Suthep

White Temple

Was also the time when all those tourist attractions was free, and you could get away with paying 15 baht for a songtaew ride (though as a tourist visiting for the first time, being the naive tourist and getting ripped off is always expected when you come).

Fast forward a little under a year later, after returning from a North American / Europe trip I decided to land into Thailand instead of going back to Hong Hong.

Bye Hong Kong Hello tropical jungles

Looking down Looking at store

From the first week I landed, decided to do some apartment hunting and chose an amazing apartment building which a friend recommended me. Was within my budget for a place so it was a big yes because it was twice the size of my living space in causeway bay, plus less than 2000 Hong Kong Dollars.

Swimming pool View

I then experienced my first Songkran (Buddhist New Year) in Chiang Mai (2017) and enjoyed it so much that I did it a second time in 2018. I think the attraction is having a free pass to splash most people with water buckets or squirt someone with a super soaker for 3 days was fun. But also very cooling too.

Kad Suan Kaew Lor kroi rd

Anyway fast forward to today, I’ve explored a lot of Northern Thailand (waterfalls, hotsprings, temples, and just general nature) and some of the Islands too.

Hot springs and eggs iddylic villiages

Mae Hong Son Loop

On the road in northern Thailand Some delights you see

Pai

Pai Memorial Bridge Pai River

Pai used to be a sleepy town, but now its a backpacker place (and also town full of Chinese tourists whom Thailand and every other country is trying to attact).

Pai Canyon

The attraction for Pai is basically nature, unlicensed scooter rides (most backpackers learn and sometimes crash in Pai), and drugs. A bad mix but whatever.

Mae Hong Son

From The Like View The Like View

Mae Hong Son on the other hand is a very local version of Pai. Only locals (and the occasional foreigner doing the loop) can be seen here.

It’s all about the Nature or taking trips up to Ban Raak Thai.

Baan Rak Thai Baan Rak Thai 2

Golden Triangle

Golden triangle

The Golden Triangle is the area to the far north - boarding Laos and Myanmar.

From there it used to be a passageway for drugs (and probably still is). Myanmar bordertown nowadays is a popular for people doing “border bounces” to reset their visa or shopping at the market.

Myanmar markets

Island Life

Think Chiang Mai and the North is laid back? Wait till you visit the Islands.

It’s probably the most chill place in Thailand. Beaches, Scuba diving, snorkeling and parties.

Sure it’s a bit more expensive but Islands are always like that because of how remote they are..

Cost of living on the Islands would be similar to the cost of living in Southern Spain (or some parts of Portugal away from the big cities).

Koh Tao

Koh Tao Viewpoints Coffee along the beach

Koh Tao is the little sister island of Koh Phangan (it’s actually part of the same Amphoe or District technically).

The island is famous for its crystal clear waters, nature, viewpoints, and because of the clear waters it offers the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the world.

Sairee Beach Beach sunset two boats

Mango Viewpoint Mango Viewpoint 2

Mango View point 3 Mango View point 4

There’s many scuba dive resorts on this island offering the open water (or more advanced) courses because of the almost perfect conditions.

This place is also considered one of the cheapest places to get an open water license (I recommend Assava Dive Resort which is partnered with Ban’s Dive Resort).

Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is one of my favorite islands. Basically has all the infrastructure for living there, beautiful beaches, and scuba diving.

Not to mention the parties that happen every 1-2 weeks (half moon / back moon / jungle party / waterfall party / full moon party).

Follow the backpacker trail to the Islands Beautiful Beaches

Full Moon party

Fire signage

This is what the big attraction with Koh Phangan is. In fact probably where most of the money is made as the going price for a hostel dorm is similar price to Northern European countries.

But it’s still not too expensive for a backpacker. Guaranteed to have a good time. Just remember to pace yourself (It’s not a race!) and see the amazing sunrise at the end.

Party till sunrise party till sunrise - saw dinosaur costume

See this video for a taste of what’s in the full moon party.

Welcome to Haad Rin

Full Moon Party Full Moon Party 2

Chiang Mai Life

Lanterns in CNX

In the last year, I’ve even learnt a bit of the Thai language and reached conversational level. Which is a handy skill to know, when listening to what other people are talking about, chatting to locals (they are impressed when a foreigner starts speaking their language), scooter rental companies don’t try to scam you as long as you look after their stuff, reading menus and just socializing in another language too (ability to attend events).

Also will be wanting to do a Thai cooking class soon and learn to make this delicious dish as found in this picture.

Khao Soy

Regarding other professional stuff - I’ve taken a back seat with both this site (as you can see) as well as working on new projects while just letting my amazing team do most of the work because in Thailand money isn’t such a big deal.

Right now I’m moving over projects that I’m still maintaining over to gitlab because of the Microsoft acquisition. I know I trust Microsoft, but they do have a history of screwing up what they touch (look at Skype for instance).

Nomad Summit Pool party

Future Plans

But in the immediate future, I’ll be working on some cryptocurrency-only eCommerce projects. OK, will take other payments too but the focus is cryptocurrency.

As for travel is concerned, will probably spend some months scuba diving in both Southern Thailand, Taiwan, and probably try out some diving in Europe too.

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Who am I?

I write codes, I am passionate about usability / user interaction ), I travel (alot), I snapchat 👻 (alot), and I blog (sometimes) [Read More]