This is the first time I have updated my blog since landing in Bangkok on the 7th, I am on day 5 in Thailand.
The first day I landed and was in total culture shock, it was like being in a different universe. EVERYTHING was different. The traffic was is absolutely insane, no-one speaks english, everyone was staring at this white dude with a huge bicycle box wandering around like a deranged lunatic. A friend of a friend at Kripalu that lives in Bangkok came and picked me up from the airport and brought me to my guesthouse. I was in Bkk (airport code for Bangkok) for 3 days. The first day I was jet-lagged and very overwhelmed, thank god for friends who knew exactly what I was feeling. I went through so many different emotions, from being excited and happy, to wanting to catch the next flight home. Apparently if you throw yourself into a crazy situation like this, your body and mind react accordingly. On the third day I had seen a bunch of temples, taken a tuk tuk ride, eaten fresh coconuts, got thai massages, fed catfish, taken a water ferry, seen an enormous Buddha statue, visited with good friends, eaten street food, gone to the biggest craziest market in Bkk, and taken a motor scooter taxi, it was an insane 3 days.
I took an 11 hour bus ride from Bkk to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand and it is WAY more chill here. I am very glad to be out of Bkk. I am sitting in a little covered patio right now having breakfast and just chilling. My friend Tammy that I met at Kripalu has a couple friends that have a house outside the city and they are letting me crash here for a few days. The day I got here I went on a bike ride (finally) and climbed this huge 5,700 foot mountain and saw elephants, monkeys, waterfalls, and village towns, it was a sight to behold. I feel a lot more normal now that I can actually ride my bike.
On the second day here I met up with a good Berkshire friend Blair, we met at the WaWee coffee shop and told stories of our travels. Yesterday Blair and I went downhill mountain biking in the jungle mountains of Chiang Mai. We had an awesome guide, super friendly and knowledgable. We got shuttled to the top and there were only 4 of us flying down. We stopped after a short descent from the top at this coffee plantation in the middle of the rain forest, it was a sight to behold. We drank freshly picked, roasted and ground coffee. I have never seen anything like it, even in movies!!!
I am feeling much more at home in Thailand now. Chiang Mai is a really awesome (bike friendly) town and I feel like I could set up shop and live here forever! The people are friendly, the food is cheap, and the roads outside the city are epic for road riding. I have to leave Karen and Mark's place on Thursday and I am re-locating in downtown Chiang Mai at a guesthouse that is 250 Baht ($10) a night. I don't know how long I will stay here for.
So it is day 5 and I really like Thailand a lot so far. I am trying to find some other local cyclists and find a good route from Chiang Mai to Cambodia. It will be at least a week long ride maybe more depending where I decide to ride to in Cambodia.
I will try and keep the updates coming on a weekly basis!
Love and Light,