All posts filed under: Thailand

New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai: A Thousand Lanterns and Wishes in the Sky!

I stood on a parapet watching in awe, surrounded by people as they cheered and counted down to the New Year. Almost everyone had lit their paper lanterns by now, and as the clock ticked to midnight and firecrackers went off in the sky, we released our lanterns with a feeling of joy that’s difficult to put into words. As the lanterns drifted away into the sky, creating the illusion of a thousand twinkling stars, I felt like parts of my past, and all the fears and challenges of 2017, had drifted away too. A surreal feeling. Behold, a glimpse of the magic of celebrating New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai, Thailand: In the past three years, I’ve rung in the New Year in the strangest of ways – in 2016, laying out alone under a canopy of trees in rural Maharashtra, trying to see the stars from the gaps in between; in 2015, falling asleep before midnight in Sri Lanka; in 2014, in the visa-on-arrival queue in Bangkok after my Dubai plans fell through! …

In Photos: The Countryside of Northern Thailand.

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 …

Koh Mak beaches, Koh Mak island, Thailand hidden beaches

Koh Mak Island: Of Hidden Beaches, Broken Boats and Beer.

There it lay. A mile long beach with pebbly white sand. The sea had receded into low tide, inviting us to wade into the shallow waters. Broken boats lay on patches of the sea bed that would otherwise be submerged in water. In the distance, islands gently rose from the horizon; islands that should technically mark the start of Cambodia. We were on the eastern edge of Koh Mak island, one of Thailand’s better-kept secrets, and giving us company were only three water-loving dogs. We had set out earlier that evening, from our cosy hideout at Bamboo Hideaway, a rustic bamboo lodge run by an Italian couple who made the island their home three years ago. We followed our tiny map to the dot, and I maneuvered our scooter up a hill, on a dirt road, and into the bushes, till it would go no further. As per the map, this route should have led us to a stunning view of the sea, and all the way down to a beach on the other end …