Chiang Mai was a refreshing change after spending those first few intense days in Bangkok. Chiang Mai is the largest city in Northern Thailand, but it has the energy of an alluring small town. The streets are buzzing: filled with both locals and tourists, food stalls, and merchandise of all sorts. The roads are jammed with songthews (public transportation trucks), motorbikes, tuk tuks, and cars; crossing them like that old Atari game of frogger. But Chiang Mai is also filled with winding quiet back alleys, beautiful flowering plants, and excellent food everywhere you turn. With over 200 temples in the city, it is hard not to bump into one as you walk.
We filled our days with many activities while there, including a day on motorbikes for Zach and Eric, a trip to pet a baby tiger for Sawyer and I, zip lining for the big boys, and a day on a tour to waterfalls and a hilltribe village for Sawyer, Alex, and Eric (this was going to be a family activity – but Zach was sick that day). And, as always, we filled up the rest of our time wandering aimlessly and exploring new places to eat.