Chiang Dao getaway

I’ve started reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, and at the beginning of the book she talks about being in a long distance relationship. There’s one line which struck me: “With each reunion, Felipe and I had to learn each other all over again”. I guess that’s what it was like when Josh moved in last week. I went from being completely by myself for two months – one of the two times in my life I’ve lived on my own, and the only time since I’ve been with someone – to learning how to be in a full-time committed relationship again. I won’t lie to you, it took some adjustment, even though it had only been two months; what’s it like for someone who has been living on their own for much, much longer?

But let’s fast forward a week where everything is just peachy again and we are happily reunited – it’s like we were never separated at all. We’re finally doing what we talked about a few weeks after we met – living together in South-East Asia. When we had that conversation one night early on our relationship it was a turning point, and more than 18 months on… here we are.

A big part of us finding our feet again was just to spend lots of time together exploring Chiang Mai and having a romantic weekend away. We also did a huge 16km walk up the mountain last Thursday night for Visakha Bucha Day – not exactly a bonding experience, but a real cultural experience which I’ll write about in my next post. But firstly, I wanted to talk about staying at Chiang Dao Nest on the weekend which was the perfect weekend getaway. So refreshing to be in a cooler climate!

Chiang Dao is an hour and a half bus ride from Chiang Mai. It’s a very small and sleepy town, with a dusty main street and little to recommend itself, but it’s famous because of the Chiang Dao cave – and what a cave! There’s also a huge  mountain which overlooks the many guesthouses which accomodate expats who like the cooler climate, so it’s vaguely reminiscent of a colonial getaway in the tropics. Chiang Dao Nest is a beautiful place to stay, and not surprisingly, the epicentre of tourism in the area. There’s an excellent restaurant at Chiang Dao Nest 1 which specialises in gourmet Western food, and its sister accomodation Chiang Dao Nest 2 has a restaurant which specialises in Thai food. I could say more about it but perhaps it’s best if I let pictures do the talking:

Chiang Dao Nest
1. Our very cute and comfortable bungalow.
Chiang Dao Nest pool
2. Relaxing in the pool with mountain vistas. A very chilled setting to while away the afternoon.
Marinated pork toast with cucumber relish
3. Marinated pork toast served with cucumber relish at Chiang Dao Nest 2 for lunch.
Pork tenderloin
4. Pork tenderloin with roasted shallots, gravy sauce, crispy bacon, crushed new potatoes and vegetables at Chiang Dao Nest 1. Followed by creme brulee!
Chiang Dao cave
5. A fun morning exploring the Chiang Dao cave with our friendly cave tour guide. The cave is a site that has taken on spiritual significance based on rock formations and openings…

Chiang Dao caveChiang Dao cave

Hermit

Buddha statues

Beef noodles
6. Delicious beef noodles for lunch at the Buffalo Noodle shop in Chiang Dao
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