October 30th – Doi Suthep

Doi Suthep

I finally built up enough courage to attempt to ride a rot daeng (red car) up to Doi Suthep, which involves a transfer at Chiang Mai University and then up to the top of the sacred mountain all in an 10 passenger open-backed pick up truck like taxi.  Whew!  Zack rented a moto scooter to get up there, but my Thai road bravery was already maxed out with a crazy rot daeng ride!

Doi Suthep was beautiful!  What a glorious day, spectacular views and sensational golden stupas!

I even decided that since it was so peaceful and beautiful up there that I would try something very different for me: a meditation retreat!  Apparently Doi Suthep has by donation 4 day/3 night retreat at the temple, a good short stay trip for beginners.  And I am a certainly a beginner.  There are also more advanced and much longer retreats, but for the first time, I’ll go with the 3 nighter.  You actually get to stay in a little dorm near the monks (your own private room), speak with them (monk talk), learn from them (about Buddhism and meditation), eat with them (meals at 7am and 11am only! and all vegetarian), and chant (yes, chant, they give you phonetic translations!) with them.  I think it sounds like such an interesting experience!  I signed up for this new adventure on November 11th so I have a few days to find 2 all white outfits (white pants are HOT – I found a pair of Thai tie pants last night…they are like super comfy, unattractive pajama pants).

Looking forward to Loy Krathong, the Festival of Light, in Chiang Mai

Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai

The Festival of Light

By far the most romantic of Thailand’s celebrations, Loy Krathong takes place on the full moon night of the 12th lunar month. The Thai word ‘Loy’ means ‘to float in Thai, while ‘Krathong’ is a small raft, about a hand span in diameter, made from a section of banana tree trunk – although today specially made bread ‘flowers’ or even Styrofoam are used. Thais decorate their Krathongs with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles, and incense sticks. Some people also add hair or fingernail clippings.

Between the months of August and October the tides in Thailand’s waterways are at their highest and with the moon at its brightest, the stage is set for an idyllic conclusion to the rainy season. The general idea being to persuade the local serpent-ruler, Phaya Nak, to halt the monsoon rain, dispel the floods and return the rivers to their tranquil ways.

The act of floating Krathongs on rivers, canals or any other body of water symbolises letting go of grudges, problems and anger so that one can start life afresh – a cleansing tradition of sorts. The idea being that all people should prepare suitable offerings to present to the river spirits in order to obtain pardon and the absolution of their sins. In doing so the Thais are also welcoming the spirit of good fun or ‘sanook’ – something they know a lot about.

– http://www.chiangmai.bangkok.com/attractions/loy-kratong.htm

Zumba Fitness News: The Top Ten Fitness List!

Zumba Fitness brings the dance party into the health club

USA TODAY has announced the debut of Zumba Fitness onto the TOP TEN Fitness list of the American College of Sports Medicine!


Zumba has salsaed into the top 10 fitness trends for the coming year, according to a new report.
– Zumba Fitness

Zumba Fitness News/Contest: Call for Recipes!

Zumba Fitness Contest!

CALL FOR RECIPES: Want a chance to win prizes and inspire Zumba lovers to reach their health and weight-loss goals? Submit your original recipes for consideration in our upcoming cookbook. Hurry! The deadline for submission is November 14.


Submit your original, high-flavor, healthy recipes by Nov 14. Learn More Here!
– Zumba Fitness
So who has an original recipe that they are going to submit?  I’m just thinking about all of the delicious, healthy dishes that my Mom used to make at home.  I should tell some of the cafes around Chiang Mai that have the most incredible fruit juice and smoothie combinations!  Yesterday I had kale, pineapple and lime – OMG amazing!