Chiang Mai to Ensenada… We made it!

I’m too tired and jet lagged to write much but the BOLTs have arrived safely in Ensenada, Baja California Norte, Mexico.

We are reunited with the BOLT dog, Kahlo.

And are back in the cozy Winnie.

The trip was grueling with a 5 hour layover in Bangkok and a 12 hour one in Tokyo. We ventured out from Narita Airport, by bus, into Tokyo. I don’t recommend this. The bus ride is 3 hours round trip and all we saw was the big, bustling, business part of Tokyo. We will definitely visit Japan when we have time to explore and enjoy.

We arrived safely in San Diego after a 10 hour flight. From San Diego we enjoyed the Blue Line Trolley which took us right to the Mexican border.

Crossing the border was easy, the Mexican immigration folks are lovely and friendly.

We took a taxi from the border to Ensenada, less than 2 hours, for $80. There are cheaper ways to go (by bus) but we were very tired. We arrived safely at the Mona Lisa RV park. And are enjoying the Pacific Ocean Views.

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Chiang Mai Magic!

There’s just something about Chiang Mai! Kathy and I came here over 3 years ago and stayed over a year that time. Yes, we visited other cities and countries but we always came back to Chiang Mai. This time we came and have stayed a solid year. Except for a brief visit to Bangkok we have stayed in Chiang Mai for the whole time.

It’s hard to describe the magic that happens in Chiang Mai and I’m not sure if you can feel it during a brief visit.

Chiang Mai Magic occurs in the over 300 temples, places of such sacred beauty that I never get tired of visiting them.

Chiang Mai Magic is at the San Kamphaeng Hot Springs, one of my favorite places to practice self care.

Chiang Mai Magic is in all the wonderful festivals that occur throughout the year, especially Yi Peng, the Flower Festival and Songkran.

Chiang Mai Magic is overwhelmingly at Inthakin Green Village. There is so much magic and healing here that I have written several blogs about it.

Chiang Mai Magic happens for Kathy on the motorbike. She experiences magic on her many rides in and around the city. If you want to experience Chiang Mai in this way, I highly recommend the Honda Safety Riding School.

Most of all I think Chiang Mai Magic is the people, the beautiful Thai people, the fabulous members of the African American community here and beloved friends and family who have visited. The magic is in planned events and random meet ups. The magic happens just walking down the street where I always see and greet someone I know.

We leave Chiang Mai and it’s magic tomorrow. I’m sad to leave all this magic behind. However, part of the magic of Chiang Mai is that I know we can’t stay away for long. BOLT loves you Chiang Mai and we’ll be back soon.

Inthakin Green Village: One Day of Bliss!

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Inthakin Green Village is a health and wellness center located in the heart of the Mae Teang jungle, about one hour north of Chiang Mai. Owned by my dear friend, Wanvisa Inthep, it is a miraculous place of beauty and healing.

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While many people visit Inthakin for longer (3-4 weeks) stays, they also offer a wonderful one day experience. Here is what you can expect.

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All treatments at Inthakin Green Village are individualized, based on your personal health concerns and needs. Every visit starts with a brief health consultation to determine how you can best be served.

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Weather Permitting you will receive a banana leaf body wrap treatment. As you lie in the warm sun toxins are drawn from your body. Cool off in the Himalayan Salt water pool before going to the sala for more treatments.

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20180619_1426171938340629.jpgIn the sala you will experience the herbal body grill. This is an ancient Lanna therapy which heals body aches, increases flexibility and warms the joints.  You will lie on a bamboo bed, covered in herbs grown at Inthakin. The bed is heated, from below, and you  slowly turn from your back, to front and both sides. It is hard to describe but this is the most relaxing experience, my favorite at Inthakin!

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Following a delicious lunch, prepared by the award winning chef, you will return to the sala for more treatments.

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Back in the sala, you will experience an hour and a half massage by the highly trained therapists. Energy lines will be cleared, knots will be released, aches will be healed and you will emerge completely relaxed!  You will then conclude you visit with time in the herbal steam sauna. 20180620_1405021462984871.jpg

A one day experience at Inthakin Green Village includes all of the above treatments, lunch and pick up/drop off in Chiang Mai City. The experience is normally 10,000 Thai baht but right now there is a “family and friends” special for 5,000 Thai baht. Additional treatments like the eye spa (shown above) are available at an extra cost. Please contact inthakinvillage@gmail.com or visit our website to arrange your visit.

Ceremony in Pictures

We were recently honored to take part in a Buddhist ceremony at Inthakin Green Village. After days of preparation by the Inthakin family, a group of monks came to bless the land and all of the Inthakin staff and family. I hope you enjoy these pictures of this very special day.

Wat Ban Den

There are over 300 temples in the Chiang Mai area. Rarely does a day go by when I don’t see one. You’d think I might tire of temples, but no, not yet. I love temples! I love visiting new (to me) temples. I love strolling by the familiar temples in our neighborhood. I doubt I will ever tire of temples, just another reason why Chiang Mai is a great place for me to be.

I was super excited to visit Wat (temple) Ban Den. I’d heard about this large, beautiful temple complex in the Mae Teang area of Chiang Mai province. I was not dissapointed.

The age of this temple is unknown but it got a big renovation when a new abbot took over in 1988. The new abbot named Kru Ba Tuang has managed to raise huge sums of money, donated by local people and Buddhists from across the country. Abbot Kru Ba Tuang has completely renovated the Wat Ban Den and added a number of impressive structures.

Wat Ban Den is one of the largest temple complexes in Chiang Mai province. The complex contains a large number of structures including an ordination hall, a viharn, a meditation hall, the monk’s living quarters, a drum hall and several other buildings. Although the structures of the Wat are relatively new, they are built in traditional architectural style.

I especially loved all the nagas. Many of the Wat’s structures are guarded by these large mythical Naga serpents on each side of the stairs. Some seem to be hybrid naga-elephants, which is super cool!

One meditation hall had these really life-like wax statues of enlightened Thai monks.


We spent a lovely few hours walking around Wat Ban Den, I found it serene, uncrowded and not very touristy. I highly recommend a visit if you are a temple lover like me.

Thailand Road Trip!

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!

Chiang Mai’s Ancient “Underground” City

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.

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I love living in Chiang Mai, there is always something new to see!