I can’t keep up.
The Thailand chapter is over, and I haven’t published a single post about it. Shame on me. Because it was a doozy.
Chiang Mai & the Digital Nomad Life
Chiang Mai is a wonderful city for digital nomads – for any adventure traveler, really.
Want to know why? Read WiFi Tribe’s article on exactly that topic.
Other than that, check out what exactly we did, and how Chiang Mai became our home for four weeks.
The Temples & The Buddhas
In Thailand, temples and Buddha statues are everywhere.
On hilltops. In caves. Straight out of The Jungle Book.
They feature shrines, spires, dragons, bells, lots and lots of gold, and three-headed pink elephant statues (nope, I wasn’t intoxicated – the others saw them as well! 😀 And I have photographic proof – see below!).
Some are overrun with worshipers and tourists, but others stand calm and serene in their remote locations.
They were worth the visit, every single one.
The Jungles & the Waterfalls
The Thai jungles around Chiang Mai weren’t quite as “jungly” as those in the center of Bali – although that might have been because it was the “cool”, dry season. The weather was actually picture perfect; around 30°C during the day, 20°C at night, with no or little humidity. Heaven.
And yet we went jungle trekking. And hilltop hiking. And sulfuric hot spring slumming.
We saw some snaky and fishy wildlife.
All in all, Chiang Mai province offers some wonderful nature, with lots of different flora and fauna to explore.
And of course, the waterfalls. There’s no water-shortage in Thailand, even during the dry season. (Although, interestingly enough, not many homes have pools, despite the heat. Apparently, many Thai people never learn to swim – that might be the reason for the no-pool-policies.)
There are many, many waterfalls to choose from. My favorite was the “Sticky Waterfall“, named so because the rock it sluices down isn’t slippery at all, because limestone apparently creates enough friction to make it non-slip.
You can walk up this waterfall, no problem. There are ropes to support you in the steeper sections, and with their help you can half-walk, half-climb to the top of the falls with bare feet. No climbing gear necessary.
Chiang Dao Basecamp & Leadership Home
This turned into one of our favorite weekend trips: Chiang Dao Basecamp.
This newly minted camp not only offers a wide variety of outdoorsy activities (rafting, ziplining, jungle trekking, just to name a few), but also gets you in touch with the hill tribes of the area.
More specifically, they support Leadership Home, an orphanage for hill tribe children – especially girls – in the area. They do this by creating a market for the freshly grown organic food produced by the orphanage, and expanding that market to the childrens’ families back in their mountain villages.
The hill tribes grow organic coffee beans – and let me tell you, that coffee is heavenly!
We got to visit the orphanage, take part in one of the childrens’ English lessons, learn and participate in their traditional hill tribe dances, and tell them about our own lifestyles, as foreign to them as theirs are to us.
It was an amazing weekend, and Basecamp really did everything to make us super comfortable. We weren’t expecting digital nomad amenities like wifi in such a remote area, but phew, were we wrong – the wifi was better than in many a Chiang Mai cafe.
We could easily have stayed for another week, working from the large deck with the wonderful view over the Chiang Dao mountains, and probably not missed Chiang Mai one bit.
Thank you to Thak and Basecamp for this amazing experience!
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary (Camp 6)
Of course, we couldn’t come to Chiang Mai without visiting elephants. The area is predestined for it, because there are so so sooo many elephant ranches and sanctuaries in the North of Thailand.
We chose Elephant Jungle Sanctuary because elephants aren’t ridden or forced to perform circus tricks here. Instead, we fed them their favorite dessert – bananas – and played with them in mud baths and the nearby river.
They’re mostly elephants that have been retired from just such circuses or from working and hauling heavy loads through the jungle, and it was amazing to see them interact with each other and with us.
I’ll once again let the photos speak for themselves…
… WiFi Tribe, once again, for an amazing chapter. I can’t wait for South Africa, co-working, co-living and co-adventuring with everybody there.
… to WiFi Tribe / Julia Kallweit, Dan Sloan, Karl Marty Balingit and Justin Chan, for contributing your amazing photos to this post.
If you want to know more about WiFi Tribe and my experience with them, please contact me at email@example.com.