Chiang Mai, Thailand — Week 2: Yoga, Thai Massages, and Other Adventures

We liked the menu at Guu Fusion Roti & Tea so much we decided to go back the next morning and have breakfast. I tried an egg rotee with drizzled condensed milk on top. If possible, it’s almost better than regular rotee!

After breakfast we went to check out the grounds around the Chiang Mai University Convention Center to see if there was a good spot for me to host yoga classes. On the way we scored free rotee from a street vendor because it was the late King’s birthday. Yay!

I really enjoyed the workout trail in the grounds around the Chiang Mai University Convention Center. Along the trail are meter markers so you know how far you’ve walked/ran and there are also spots to get some strength training and/or cardio in. Before I even knew what they were for I was balancing on the balance beams.

Balance beams along the workout trail at Chiang Mai University Convention Center, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Since we were already halfway there we continued wandering all the way to the mall by our first Airbnb, Kad Suan Kaew. I took Alex on a tour of my solo adventure and then we headed back to our apartment. Later we went out again and stumbled upon the 2017 *NAP (Nimmanhaemin Art and Design Promenade) festival. We wandered through the stalls and heard some pretty stellar live music. It was super fun, especially because we weren’t expecting it and just happened to come across it.

Live music performance at *nap festival 2017, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Our second Airbnb building had a yoga studio on the ground level. Yay! Thank you Universe! I saw that the owner was teaching an Ashtanga Fusion class and I decided to check it out because I figured doing something familiar might help with the anxiety I get doing new things. Their prices were a bit steep — considering the cost of everything else locally — but I really missed practicing with other people. The studio is called Yoga Ananda Chiang Mai and I absolutely loved the Ashtanga Fusion class! I loved the class/studio so much that even thought it was a bit pricey I got the one week unlimited pass for 1,000฿ ($30). 

After yoga and breakfast Alex and I went to Chiang Mai Buddy, a local relocation consultant, for help finding an apartment for the rest of our time in Thailand. Apparently, since it’s high season they aren’t helping anyone find housing right now…lame. Oh well, I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

That afternoon I went back to Kad Suan Kaew and finally had my first thai massage at Nuad Thai Jai Dee! It was…interesting. I’d never had a thai massage before and didn’t exactly know what to expect. It was kind of painful, but…in a good way? She worked on my back a lot and I could feel my heart beating in my abdomen, but that’s a good thing right? It definitely felt weird. There were less random movements of my body and more fierce pressure than I expected.

Oh, and did I mention my masseuse reminded me of the grandma from Mulan? She did. A small, wrinkled, older lady with kind eyes and a great big smile. She had tiny little hands, but she was fierce — a badass for sure. At the end when she was rubbing my head I felt very loved and at peace. It was a wonderful first thai massage and I will be forever grateful for the experience.

Creeper photo of my masseuse at Nuad Thai Jai Dee, Kad Suan Kaew, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

After my thai massage my feet were pretty jealous of all the attention my back got, so I thought, what the hell?!, and found a place on my way home to get a foot massage. Again, not what I was expecting. She spent a lot more time pressing into my calves and shins than I anticipated. It wasn’t bad, though I did wonder if maybe an hour was too long…or maybe it was just that particular massage? At the end she got behind me and swung her leg over my shoulder and rolled me one direction and then swung me in a circle in the opposite direction and my back cracked more times than I’ve ever heard it crack before. It was amazing and a little frightening.

The next day I was so sore. I couldn’t tell if it was from the massage or the yoga. I assumed it was the massage. I practice Ashtanga pretty regularly, and while we did a few poses I don’t usually practice I didn’t think the class was so different from my home practice that I’d be that sore.

How wrong I was. I went to an Ashtanga Vinyasa class that night, another mashup class, and when I got back to the apartment I told Alex I thought the reason I was so sore might just be from the yoga after all. We held poses a lot longer, like 3x longer, than I hold them in my personal practice, so my muscles were just like: damn!

Oh. My. Gosh. The following day I was so sore it wasn’t even funny. And I still wasn’t entirely sure what it was from. The yoga, or the massage? Either way, my body felt worse for the wear. I felt like I did some hard core weightlifting. Everything hurt. My hips, my quads, my triceps, my abs, oh my abs. I couldn’t laugh or twist without wincing a little. It was insane. I mean, don’t get me wrong it felt kind of good. No pain no gain right? But still, this was the second day of this…was I ever going to feel normal again?

The rest of the week was relatively uneventful. We became obsessed with Guu Fusion Roti & Tea and went there for breakfast practically every day. Then we spent two days binge watching Breaking Bad. In between those days we tried a new place for dinner called I ❤️ Tom Yum Kung. I had a yellow curry that was super flavorful but not spicy which is my new favorite meal in Thailand. It was more pricey than most of our meals, but it was so good it was totally worth it!

At the end of the week I went back to Kad Suan Kaew to get another thai massage while we still lived relatively close. I ended up getting a two hour Thai massage from a different place called Thai Orraphin. Overall, this massage didn’t hurt as bad as the first one, but some parts hurt worse. At Thai Orraphin there were no curtains around the massage tables, like there had been at Nuad Thai Jai Dee, which was a little weird — though I had my eyes closed the whole time so I didn’t really notice. Thankfully, my body didn’t hurt nearly as bad after this massage as it did after my first one. I think all the yoga classes at Ananda Yoga kept me nice and limber before and after my massage.

Something fun happened when Alex and I went to MAYA mall. We’d gone up to the roof to see if we could see our new Airbnb building and on our way back down we stumbled upon a car race on the main floor. Apparently it was some sort of competition. Random, but cool.

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