Chiang Mai Temple Tour

I had lots of fun this week playing tour guide to some visitors to Chiang Mai. They wanted to see some temples and since I love temples I volunteered. We spent the day visiting three of the over 300 temples here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Wat Doi Suthep is probably the most famous and most visited temple in Chiang Mai. It’s at the top of Doi Suthep (doi means mountain). From it you have beautiful views of Chiang Mai City. It’s beautiful but a little on the touristy side.

So, after the hustle and bustle of Doi Suthep, I wanted to show my guests the more rural and tranquil Wat Umong. I love the grounds here. You can climb to the top of the temple, explore the meditation caves, stroll along a small lake and feed the catfish.

Our last stop was in the centerof old Chiang Mai city. They got to see the moat that encloses the old city and then glorious Wat Chedi Luang. It was a fun last stop because when we came out Sunday Walking Market was in full swing!

We’ve been busy and life is good! I want to be better about blogging every week. I’ve decided shorter but more consistently posted blogs are the way to go. Hope you enjoyed this one. I’d love to hear from you…questions, suggestions for topics or anything about living a life of travel. Thank you dear reader!

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BOLT Reviews: Royal Park Rajapruek

No matter how long we live in Chiang Mai, I feel I will always find new things to delight me. Our Royal Park Rajapruek experience was more confirmation on that. It is not at the top of any “Chiang Mai Top 10s” nor is it a place many I know have visited yet this lovely park is now a definite BOLT Top 10.

It’s an enormous place, with a shuttle bus to help one get around, and was built in 2006 in honor of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 80th birthday and 60 years on the throne. There is a breathtaking pavillion dedicated to the King, surrounded by calming waters and expansive views.

There were amazing flowers and plants everywhere, especially in the orchid section.

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Visiting the park with friends made it even more special. There were so many great photo opportunities and walking around the grounds between shuttle rides was very enjoyable.

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Kathy and I really enjoyed the international gardens section. It was fascinating to see so many countries represented by gardens!

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Kenya

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The Netherlands

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Nepal

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India

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China

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Belgium

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Mauritania

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Cambodia

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Bhutan

Our trip to the Royal Park was well worth the 200 baht (6 dollars) admission price. If you are in the Chiang Mai area I highly reccomend a visit!

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Thailand with Pheuxn (Friends)!

It has been a whirlwind month for BOLT. In addition to our wonderful stay at Inthakin Green Village we had a delightful time playing host to our dear friends, Lecia and Sergio.

It was wonderful showing them around, playing tourist and sharing with them the Thailand that we know and love.

Kathy and I are not crazy about Bangkok but it is a must stop for your first visit to Thailand. We were waiting for Sergio and Lecia at the Air BnB we rented and had planned a fun-packed 5 day stay in Bangkok. The first day we spent shopping at the humoungous Platinum Fashion Mall. We had fun, got great bargins and returned home exhausted.

We had a ball the next day, being pure tourists at the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. We even got to enjoy a boat ride during a monsoon rain!

Of course, no visit to Bangkok is complete without going to the Grand Palace.

Thanks to Lecial and Sergio we finally got to visit Wat Pho.

In contrast to the sacred beauty of Wat Pho we got to experience another type of beauty…the faboulous queens at the Stranger Bar drag show!

One of the most fun things we did in Bangkok was also the cheapest! We took the local (15 Baht) boat and saw the city from a different view point.

We loved showing Lecia and Sergio around our beloved city of Chiang Mai. They got to meet some of our friends, do more shopping and enjoy the local cuisine. Lecia and Sergio also got to spend some time at an elephant camp.

It was crazy fun seeing my bestie enjoy her first tuk-tuk drive!

We ended our friend’s time in Thailand in the best way possible: a healing stay at Inthakin Green Village.


Saying good-bye was bittersweet but I know we will be seeing our friends again soon. Afterall, who can resist Thailand?

If you are planning a visit to Thailand please let us know. We would be honored to show you around Chiang Mai and the surrounding areas.

Wat Pho…Well Worth the Wait!

Our wait to see Wat Pho had nothing to do with long lines, closures or any of the other reasons one might wait for something. Kathy has wanted to see this amazing statue of the Buddha Nirvana since we first arrived in Thailand (over 2 years ago). Because of a scammer tuk tuk driver we missed the opportunity the last time we visited Bangkok. This time we knew we would be sure to see it. Oh how beautiful and amazing it is!

It is hard to truly show the majestic size. I did my best with my little camera phone. You can get an idea of the size by seeing Kathy’s head near the end.

The statue was built by King Rama I in the 16th century. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand. It measures 15 m high and 46 m long!

The head and feet are beautiful in detail, especially the bottom of the feet!

The grounds of the temple are beautiful and tranquil. There are many other statues and temple buildings as well.

I especially enjoyed the lovely fountains. Wat Pho was truly the highlight of our trip to Bangkok. If you visit be sure to see it!

Inthakin Village: Healing Happens Here!

Kathy and I were honored to be the guests of our friend, Wanvisa Inthep as she develops a program of Traditional Thai-Lanna Herbal treatments.  For the last week we have been pampered, healed, restored and rejuvenated! It has been an amazing experience!

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Inthakin Village is located in the jungle-forest of Mae Teang, just an hours drive from Chiang Mai. All of the buildings are in the Lanna style and made of reclaimed wood. Electrical power is solar and there is excellent wi-fi. It is the perfect setting for they type of healing treatments they offer.

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Treatments are individualized for each person, after a thorough assessment and according to your individual preferences and needs. Another thing that makes Inthakin Village so special is that all of the herbs are grown, picked and prepared on the land. They are organic and pesticide free.

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20180619_111306844745879.jpgOne of the many treatments offered is the banana leaves wrap. As you lie in the sun the leaves remove many of the toxins from your body. Best of all, you can begin and end the wrap with a dip in the Himalayan salt water pool.

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The expertly trained staff provide massages and herbal treatments.

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There is a lovely clinic area where the head doctor, certified in traditional Thai medicine, provides individual diagnostic assessments and a range of detoxifying and restorative treatments. There is also a steam and a dry sauna in this tranquil area.

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The food at Inthakin Village is some of the best I have ever had and that is saying a lot for Thailand! The chef is well versed in vegan, vegetarian, Thai and western cuisine. A special treat was the many herb (grown and prepared at Inthakin) teas we were offered throughout the day.

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I will do my best to explain the treatment above, unique to Inthakin Village. A specially prepared assortment of leaves, roots and herbs are laid on a bamboo table. Charcoal braisers are placed underneath. When the table and the leaves are quite warm, up you go! Turning on all sides of your body you are “grilled”. It was explained to me that this ancient therapy was designed to restore the many people who fell from elephants, the ancient Thai mode of transportation. It was perfect for me as I had recently fallen, hard, onto concrete steps in Chiang Mai. I arrived at Inthakin limping and bruised. I am leaving walking well with all my bruises gone!

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The grounds at Inthakin Village are beautiful. There are many areas for walking, hiking and quiet contemplation. Our experience at Inthakin has been amazing and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a day, weekend, week long or longer healing get away. A website is being developed as I write this and I will share it with you as soon as available. In the meantime I am happy to connect anyone interested with Wanvisa. She will be happy to assist you in arranging a stay.  Please contact me through this blog or at boltraveling@gmail.com

Why Chiang Mai? BOLT Top 5 Reasons…

A friend recently asked what made us choose Chiang Mai as our current home. Her question has inspired this post.

Kathy and I are thriving here. Not a day goes by without one of us exclaiming “I love Chiang Mai! There is a special vibe about this city that is hard to put into words. Simply put, Chiang Mai feels like home! Having said that, I will now list the top 5 tangible reasons that make this city a great choice for BOLT.

Affordability!

100 Thai baht is currently equal to approximately 3 U.S. dollars. We are able to live very well here on less than $1000 a month. Chiang Mai is a great place to save for the traveling that we love.

Creature Comforts and Amenities!

Chiang Mai has all the conveniences of modern life. There is great high speed Internet. The are wonderful malls, grocery stores and pharmacies. If we need health care there are state of the art medical centers. Public transportation by Grab Car or songtaews is easily obtained. I have found that we can get anything we need (or want) here.

The Food!

Thai food is delicious, varied and very affordable here. In addition, when we want something different there are restaurants that serve any type of food we could desire.

The Beauty!

Chiang Mai is a place of great beauty, both in a physical and spiritual sense. The over 300 Buddhist temples here are breathtaking. There are also great opportunities to enjoy natural beauty, in the mountains and hiking trails close by.

Community!

There are so many ways to enjoy community and “find your tribe” in Chiang Mai. Weekly Sunday Dinner with the Black Packers, the Chiang Mai Ex Pats Club and the Chiang Mai Rotary have all been positive experiences for us. Also there is a wonderful 12 step recovery community here. There are many Meet Up groups, classes and other social events as well.

So, we love Chiang Mai, Thailand this ancient city on the Ping River with a moat. Please consider a visit, we think you’ll love it too!

Songkran! Worship in Water

Songkran (the Thai New Year Celebration) is celebrated over three days. This is an ancient Buddhist holiday marked by the bathing of Buddha statues, pouring out of water blessings on loved ones and strangers and other ancient religious rites. Songkran is celebrated all over Thailand and in many other countries in Southeast Asia.

This year we were honored to be invited by our friend, Wanvisa, to celebrate the first day of Songkran (yesterday) with her. We started the day with a visit to ancient Wat Chang Khum. It was lovely to start the day with quiet prayers, meditation and Buddha bathing. I took this photo of Wanvisa standing in front of this Spirit Tree. These other photos were the last I was able to take because…

Chiang Mai is home to the “world’s largest water fight” for Songkran and I put my camera away!

Video of Songkran Water Fun

Our friend, Monique, was able to take the above video of the craziness that ensued for the rest of our day.

We loaded into the truck with a large vat of icy water, lots of buckets and water guns. It was so much fun to experience with Sally, Wanvisa’s daughter. It is truly a wonderful holiday for children. We returned home exhausted, throughly soaked but delighted.

For the next 2 days there will be water and dousing everywhere. If I’m brave enough to venture out, I may put up more pictures. I hope you enjoy these. Sawadee Pee Mai Ka! (Happy New Year! )