There are very few places in the world that feel like home to me, and northern Thailand is one of them. I showed up there with a tired soul, on an impulsive trip that I hoped would rejuvenate me (Read: Going Back to The Places we Love). And what can I say? Thailand gave me the time, space and natural beauty to think, write, and appreciate the little joys of life again.
I pen this post from a little gourmet cafe in Singapore, and these photos, taken with my Sony Cybershot camera, are to be my sunshine on dark and dull days in the year ahead. I hope they’ll make you yearn as much for the Thai countryside.
1. TEARING INTO THE POSTCARD THAT IS NORTHERN THAILAND
for such surreal views of the hills, river, paddies, and sunsets that are now etched in my mind forever.
2. SAMPLING HOME-COOKED VEGETARIAN THAI FOOD
at Ban Lom Jen Homestay – Penang Curry and steamed rice. Delicious!
3. MARVELING AT THE WHITE TEMPLE
of Chiang Rai, that fuses traditional and contemporary thinking, and portrays heaven and hell in today’s context.
4. ESCAPING IN THE WOODS OF THE THAI COUNTRYSIDE
; these rubber plantations line the way from the Chiang Rai prison towards the Thai village of Mae Yao.
5. CRUISING ON A LONG TAIL BOAT
along the Kok River that winds along the countryside of Chiang Rai, then merges into the Mekong River into Burma.
6. THIS COULD BE HEAVEN OR THIS COULD BE HELL
; these faces are everywhere around the White Temple!
7. OBSERVING LIFE IN RURAL THAILAND
and the love with which older Thai men and women treat their rice paddies.
8. REJUVENATING AT THE NATURAL HOT SPRINGS
in a tribal village in Chiang Rai. The sulphur smells like a chemistry lab (terrible), but the hot underground water is extremely relaxing.
9. TRYING MY HAND AT THAI COOKING
with my wonderful hostess, Son. There’s magic in the Thai food she whips up!
10. CYCLING ALONG THE THAI COUNTRYSIDE
amid the dramatic scenery formed by the hills and rivers of northern Thailand.
11. WORKING (HARD) IN MY OUTDOOR OFFICE
at Ban Lom Jen Homestay!
12. TYING MY WISH ON A WISHING TREE
at the White Temple. The wish before me asked for marital bliss (!), guess what I wished for?