When we first heard the word “Chiang Mai”, we thought it’s somewhere in China or Vietnam. But later we found that it’s actually a small beautiful city in Northern Thailand. We figured out that the city is actually quite popular among digital nomads, but not quite as famous among Indonesian. That’s why we never heard much about it. In fact, we never heard about it before pergidulu invited us to go along with them. “It’s a beautiful city! You’ll be productive working there and you’ll love it”, they said.
We were both still working at a software company that time and luckily, we were allowed to work remotely from home. So we thought Chiang Mai won’t hurt. We could still work 5 days a week in different places, different countries while traveling around the city on the weekend, or even weekday nights. It sounded like a pretty good deal to us.
And so we went.
It took a straight 3 hours flight from Jakarta to Bangkok, and then another one hour flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. It was almost midnight when we got there hence we didn’t do much.
The next day, we went to Bikky, where we rent our motorbike and then off we went to The Larder. It’s one of our favorite place for brunch in Chiang Mai. It’s a bit expensive compared to other places but the food is really nice.
So anyway, how did we spend our days?
Well, we worked in a lot of coffee shops…
We tried so many different kinds of local food…
If we had to choose one food to eat every single day in Chiang Mai, it would be khao soi. We like it very much that we never get bored of it. There are a lot of khao soi places to choose in Chiang Mai, with each of them offering slightly different variation. One of our memorable time was when we ate khao soi at the Saturday Night Market. There was this lady selling khao soi at the market, with the plastic bowl and spoon. It didn’t look very promising of course, but we were so hungry and were craving for some. So we bought just one bowl. We ended up order some more that afternoon, and more the next time we come to the market.
We went visit some shrines. One of them is located on Doi Suthep (Mount Suthep). It took us a 15 kilometers trip with a motorbike on a cold dawn to reach the shrine. Sharon almost got asleep freezing at the back. But we think it’s worth it once we saw the place and sunset from the top of the mountain.
We also went to the zoo and cat cafe!
With those kinds of activities to do besides working, what can we complain about?
It felt like it’s a long month since you’ve got to experience different unique things every day. It was like you’re living each day slowly while enjoying every moment. It was so different with living in Jakarta where you go to the office, you work until lunch time, and then you go back to your cubicle and got stuck in the traffic on your way back home. Every day feels the same, one month passed too quickly, just like that.
What we felt when we tried living in a city like Chiang Mai is that our life became much more meaningful. It didn’t feel like we waste a lot of time doing unnecessary things. We didn’t have Monday blues. We were happy most of the time, except that one time when our favorite grilled chicken stall was closed for a day.
In short, we got a much better quality of life. It’s just… incredible how one simple choice can lead to a better life.
Sometimes, the opportunity is right in front of you. And you’re the one who’s gonna make the choices because you’re the one who takes the responsibility. We learned not to pick the ordinary one just because of some sentimental reasons. We learned to pick the healthy choices, the one that’s healthy for our mind.
Don’t worry too much about people talking because whatever you do, there will always be someone else who talks about it.
So let them. And you’ll make your days count.
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