Home means different things to different people. In the most literal sense of the word, it's defined as the place where one was born or to be more specific--where one grew up in. Others consider home as a roof over their heads while some would say home is family. Family is home.
However you describe it, ultimately they all have one thing in common--emotion. A feeling of warmth. That sense of belonging, of knowing and remembering.
Such was my feeling when I woke up that very morning as my eyes trailed towards the huge window next to my small bed. I read a book the night before prior to sleep and was committed to finishing not less than 20 pages but the sound of the train and the gentle rocking were enough to send me to the depths of sleep.
Misty and untouched, the mountains kept me in a state of trance all throughout the morning. Immediately, it felt like home.
Take a walk around the neighborhood and you will find several small coffee shops and reasonably-priced food kiosks. I even saw a couple of "food trucks" parked in the streets but I didn't have the chance to try them.
Chiang Mai is also known for its night markets. Though I think almost all the cities/towns that I've been in while in Thailand had countless night markets.
There is one buddhist temple in the mountains that I visited while I was there. It's a popular tourist place but I was lured because of the White Elephant Legend and the fact that it was in the mountains! I can't resist mountains.
In one of the rooms, we were told to kneel/sit in front of a monk so he could send us blessings. I had no idea what he was chanting about. We were all clueless and had to be instructed on what to do next.
I remember a time when my family and I visited one of the Chinese temples in Cebu. We sat inside a room while a monk shared a story to all of us. Me and my siblings would just pretend we understood what he was saying and once it was over, we'd ask our dad to translate the whole thing for us. I also remember the free vegetarian lunch afterwards (which I did not enjoy because I used to hate vegetables! Especially the ones that are made to look and taste like meat.)
The day before I left Chiang Mai, I wandered upon a haven of offbeat shops. I believe it was called the "Think Park" and it lay partially hidden next to a mall.
The park was cluttered with unique shops and small restaurants. I was kind of bummed out that I had stumbled upon it on my last day but was also happy that I now had another reason to get back to Chiang Mai.