I love a good road trip and yesterday was the perfect one! We set out in the morning from Inthakin Green Village in Mae Teang. We headed north, destination Chang Dao, just a few kilometers from the Myanmar border.
Most of the drive was along the Ping River which was lovely in itself. We traveled through small villages and lots of lush greenery.
Our first stop in Chang Dao was the temple /home of a local monk. It was wonderful to see him again, he had given us a special blessing a few months ago. We also got to see our friend, Pi Oi, who lives near the monk.
No road trip is complete without delicious food. The gyoza at this small restaurant is amazing!
After our bellies were full, we headed up to this amazing wat (temple) . Called Wat Tam Mung Na, it’s building it built onto a cave. There’s an easy trip up several levels of ramps to the top where you find the cave and are surrounded by soothing chanting and can join in sitting meditation.
Many people come to spend the night or several days in meditation and chanting. There were tents everywhere.
These are the views from the top of the temple.
The temple grounds were very beautiful with lots of amazing statues.
There’s even a cute little coffee shop, which also offered amazing views.
Kathy and I had a truly fabulous day, made even more special because we spent it with people we love. Thank you Wanvisa, Jen and Ajan Sai for a perfect day!
Wiang Kum Kam is a really interesting place to visit in the Chiang Mai area. It is the “old” capital city of Lanna Kingdom before Chiang Mai was founded over 700 years ago. Wiang Kum Kam was frequently flooded, abandoned, buried meters underground and forgotten. It was only recently rediscovered again in 1984 by local villagers, and some of the sites excavated.
The sites are not in one particular location, but spread out through out the village. You can tour the site via horseback carriage, tram, or rent a bicycle. My friend, Lisa, and I visited and enjoyed walking and riding around the different sites. It was very uncrowded and a lovely way to spend a few hours.
I love living in Chiang Mai, there is always something new to see!
“Living that Chiang Mai life!” is a favorite expression of our dear friend, Ken. Kathy and I are truly doing that and it’s a great life!
Folks ask us all the time, where do all these Black folks in Chiang Mai come from?
The answer is the answer that is true for Black folks everywhere…from all across the diaspora.
Many of us are from the U.S. as evidenced by this election watch party, but even then there was a Canadian in the bunch.
We are from South Africa as well as other countries in the Motherland. Some of us are from Europe.
No matter where we come from, we find a lot of joy and community in Chiang Mai.
We participate in community theater; we work as teachers, digital nomads or entrepreneurs. We volunteer and we are students.
We are tourists and residents. Some come for medical care or spiritual growth. Like Kathy and I, many are retired. Some of us stay briefly and some are here for life.
I really wish everyone reading this post could come and experience the beauty of living that Chiang Mai life! Kathy and I are happy to help.
I have discovered a new passion! Acting! I have no desire to be a star, in movies or on Broadway or even have a new career. However I love participating in community theater. It’s been a fabulous experience. We have a great cast and I’ve learned and grown a lot. I’m looking forward to acting in something else, stay posted!
We have 3 more performances of “The Amen Corner”. So I’m going to rest now. You can read more about it here: https://www.chiangmaicitylife.com/social-pics/dress-reheasal-amen-corner/.
I recently was privileged to attend a lecture by Wanvisa Inthep. Wanvisa is the owner of Inthakin Green Village. She is a healer, a practitioner of Traditional Thai Medicine and a highly educated women in both modern and ancient practices. She is also a dear friend, the daughter of my heart.
I learned so much at her lecture and, with her permission, I am sharing the pertinent points with you.
What is Traditional Thai Medicine?
Diagnosis and Treatment
I recognize that this is a most basic of presentations for practices that are ancient, revered and highly complex. Wanvisa is in the process of the development of programs where this knowledge can be passed down and preserved. I promise to keep you updated. In the meantime, if you are in the Chiang Mai area, consider a visit to Inthakin Green Village…healing happens there!
It’s a rare occasion when I don’t have my phone, ready to take pictures and document our experiences. Yesterday morning was such a time and what a wonderful experience it was! Kathy and I were honored to take part in a traditional Buddhist ceremony, held in the Inthakin Temple.
Holding lotus flowers out to the Buddha we asked for health, well being, and blessings for the coming year. We asked, not just for ourselves, but for the community we are blessed to be a part of and for our family. We did this beside our dear daughter of the heart, Wanvisa, as her parents could not attend.
We then got to sit before the monk as he chanted his blessings for us and sprinkled us with water infused with lotus petals.
The next part of the ceremony was funny and inspiring too. Knowing I will be in a play, I got a special gold leaf blessing on my forehead. I was told to imagine all the applause I will get and being a shining star. I found this picture of the ceremony and of gold leaf (which I had never seen before).
When everyone in the temple had been blessed by the monk we went outside. For me, it was like a baptism. A pot, filled with water and lotus petals, was poured over my head as the monk chanted and gave me even more blessings.
Even though we have no actual pictures from our morning experience, it was special enough that I want to share it with you. You are part of our community and are included in our blessings.
Yi Peng is a beautiful festival celebrated throughout Thailand, especially here in Chiang Mai. It’s a beautiful time for community and visitors. Folks gather all over the city, usually close to the river. Lanterns are released into the sky. Loy Krathong (small handmade boats, decorated with flowers) are sent down the river. It’s a beautiful way to set your intentions for the coming year, send blessings up for loved ones and to let go of anything you no longer need. Enjoy our pictures from this year’s Yi Peng.