I loved spending time in Chiang Mai. I even went back and spent two more nights there after living in Pai for a week. Available all over the city are opportunities to go on jungle treks and hill-tribe tours in the surrounding Northern mountains. But I did not need to do any of these to fill my time. I had already spent over a week in Chiang Mai, during which time I met a monk at Wat Chedi Luang, drove a motorbike up Doi Suthep, released a lantern into the sky at the Yi Peng festival, and celebrated Halloween as a Walking Dead zombie. If these activities weren’t already enough, here are three more experiences in Chiang Mai I enjoyed.
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Many of my friends and family back home are aware of my affinity for costumes and cosplay. Naturally, one of my favorite times of the year is Halloween—where you can dress up as anything you want, party until dawn, and eat lots of candy. What’s not to love?
When I realized I would be in Thailand for Halloween, missing out on all the fun parties back in New York, I was determined to find a costume to wear and party to attend. Halloween is not typical to Thai culture, so I was expecting to have to deviate the norm a bit to find a suitable costume and party. To my delight, I ended up receiving a zombie makeover, attracting the attention of many Thai locals with my undeadness, and partying with Thai people and other backpackers until the wee hours of the morning. A Halloween worthy of my high standards.
There was an excitement in the air each morning at the Big Bubble resort just after the sun had broke over the bay’s southern hills. Five of us divers would scramble to gather equipment and load it onto the small boat to carry out to the big boat where a large group of people would meet us from a neighboring resort. We’d travel out to our location, anchor up to the mooring, then jump in and descend.
After 3 days of these diving adventures, it was time to do something different. But I was not ready to leave the island yet. I ended up staying for an extra two nights. During this time, I got to experience more of the island life, connect with the local Thai people, swim and snorkel at the beaches, and celebrate a new friend’s birthday.
Dance and music have always been a big part of my life. A secret bit about me many people (and most readers) probably do not know is I was a tap dancer for 17 years. I also played flute in my school band for 7 years. More commonly known is my love for going to local music shows, dancing around to alternative rock and punk or bopping along to singer songwriter’s jams. I went out to dance and listen to live music often while living in NYC for the 6 years it took to complete my graduate degree.
With all of this music in my life, I couldn’t miss out on Berlin’s nightlife scene where music and dance is rather unique compared to much of what I have experienced back home. I was elated to find myself being transported back to the 1920s at a social dancing night, party with some French synth pop artists, and even get into Berlin’s famously exclusive nightclub, Berghain.