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  • Writer's pictureJohnny

Chiang Mai: Land of Secret Cafés

A cafe at night in Thailand

ca·fe, noun, a small restaurant selling light meals and drinks.

Heat and Rain

Chiang Mai has turned into the "City of Cafés" for me. I've asked many locals what there is to do around here and they all reply with the same thing; relax. It seems that seeing temples or drinking tea at a local café is the big pass here. With wide selection of cafés, I'm not surprised!

Take Your Pick 🧋

Not only do the cafés have good food and drinks. They also have some great internet, allowing those digital nomads to get some work done in a chill environment. Each cafe has it's own theme! So, whether you're checking out the ever popular Amazon Café or visiting some of the more niche Japanese style ones; you'll be able to get work done while sipping on your favorite drink. I've seen Star Wars themes, Witches, Tokyo, Barn Style, and even retro style Cafés in the streets of Chiang Mai.

Tea and Chocolate Waffle

Getting Around 🛵

Getting around Chiang Mai is something I don't see many people talking about. In Phuket, you need a scooter if you're wanting to go anywhere. Walking just isn't convenient and the roads are too packed for a proper bicycle.

In Chiang Mai, that is not the case! For the first five days I've been here, I've been using Bolt and my two feet to go where I need. Since I'm here for a month, renting a scooter is a bit costly. For short term travel, renting a scooter is perfect! 250 Baht a day seems to be the common price. If you're wanting to rent a normal bicycle, then its anywhere from 50-150 Baht.

Now that I'm reaching the two week mark, I'm wanting to explore more of the town and I've started pricing bicycles. For the price of renting a scooter for a week, I could simply buy a bicycle and have it the whole month I'm here! Chiang Mai, although surrounded by mountains, is a pretty flat and small city. So for inter-city travel, a bike with a small basket is perfect. As long as you're not in a rush. (Why are you in a rush? You're in Chiang Mai!)

Green Tea with Thai Honey

Other Activites

If the cafés get old you could always visit some temples or travel to the nearby Pai, Chiang Rai, and other towns to see what they have to offer. Persoanlly, I'm enjoying trying out the local street food, training, and studying Thai while I'm in Chiang Mai. If any of that sounds good to you, then try it! You can eat at a thousand cafés and see a hundred temples but actually immersing yourself in cultural activities like cooking, language learning or local sports is a much more fulfilling experience. Plus, you get to meet others with the same interest!

Hope you're having a good week!


A True American

"Fuck You Shaun White"


Ode to Dave

This is my Uncle Dave. For me, he passed away on a Monday morning. For everyone else, he passed away on a Sunday afternoon. From what I hear, he was sitting in his favorite chair with his phone plugged in when he left.

Those that knew him, knew that he was an interesting character. He loved the chiefs, smoking, and Keystone. He also loved seeing all of us kids on the holidays and we loved seeing him.

The Hotel

Even with all his flaws, Dave was certainly patriotic, loyal, and consistent. He proved all of these things the night I stayed with him in a hotel room. Before we even got to the hotel, he had me buy him a 24 pack of Keystone. Then, as Dave an I got to the hotel room we saw the Winter Olympics were on. I'll never forget the sight of Dave, probably 12 Keystones deep, in his underpants singing the national anthem at the TV. It was on that night that I learned the most about Dave. How much he loved his kids, his dogs, knives, cars, the military, and... how much he hated Shuan White.

Dave the Dragon

It was also on this night that Dave showed me a trick that he could do; with a newly lit cigarette and one long puff, the whole thing would burn away. The amount of smoke coming from his nose, mouth and ears mixed with his red beard made him look like some kind of Dragon. I've told this story to others I've met on my travels. Some brave enough to try it never believe me because of how hard it is. But I know its possible. So the story of Dave travels around the world as well.

To Conclude

This isn't much, but since I won't be able to come to the funeral I thought I'd write a small piece about my uncle who left a big impression on me. I know I didn't see him much but the few times that I did... they were memorable.

Hope you're having fun flirtin' with angels and yelling, "Go Chiefs" from the best Skybox there is.

We'll all miss you and your super long beard.

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