Last night as I was walking home from shopping at the night market I rediscovered one of the three raw food restaurants. It had closed for the evening. I chatted with the owner for a minute. He assured me his business was coming along fine.

As I continued walking along this back road behind a wonderful bar/hotel named B2 I literally stumbled upon a used bicycle shop. There is no sign outside but when the door is open one can view hundreds of used bikes. I have been looking for a place to purchase a good used folding bike for some time as I miss my Brompton that I leave home in Toronto. The Thai man said he didn’t speak much English but when I told him I had a Brompton in Canada he smiled and said ‘very good”.

Chiang Mai is indeed the home of value living on the planet. Along with the conventional tours of viewing wild animals such as tigers, elephants etc., one can experience shooting from dozens of different fire arms, experience being a Thai soldier for one day, taking salsa and tango lessons, taking tennis lessons, going swimming in a huge five star hotel pool for 3 bucks.

For many young and some older people ,the studying of the healing arts such as Thai massage, and yoga are a favorite pursuit.
As I have mentioned in previous posting you can find many ex-pats plying their professions -Acupuncture, Alexander lessons, Hypnosis, Reflexology, colon irrigation, Indian Medicine, cranial-Sacral, numerology readings, astrology readings, the new German medicine, Russian medicine.

Then there many different venues offering daily yoga classes. When I first arrived 22 years ago there was on lone Swiss man teaching yoga in Chiang Mai. How times have changed.
There are many language teachers in Chiang Mai. I’ve seen ads for English, Thai, Japanese and Korean teachers.

Where do I begin with the food. The average cost of a meal at my favorite restaurant ,Punpun 2 is between two to three bucks. Compared that to paying fifteen dollars in my favorite similar restaurant in Toronto, Canada.

One thing that is priceless in Chiang Mai and no value can be put on it is the wonderful people one can meet from all over the planet. Fascinating, interesting people live here full time and many more stay for months at a time during the winter months.

I was told that the ex-pat community numbered 15,000.0 in Chiang Mai. Since the tsunami in Japan many elderly Japanese have retired here establishing many small Japanese restaurants that remind me of my years of living in Japan when I frequented them in the little side streets of Tokyo.