I could have written tonnes of stuff about my home base in Chiang Mai. But I have waited because I never felt I could do it justice until I let my thoughts mature a bit. And I also knew I were coming back, I wanted to do a bigger general post about the hotel instead of just posting tidbits here and there.
So I’ve had this hotel as a spring board and resting place for my adventures in northern Thailand. At first I had booked a couple of days but as time went and my plans for Thailand solidified I managed to get back there a couple of times for a day or two during my travels. The hotel is in a good location in the western parts of the old town (which I really like by the way). It is close to many things of interest and yet in a quiet alley (except for when the school band right next to the hotel plays in the morning 😉 )
I could talk about the physical quality of the hotel, the amenities, the facilities or the services. But I won’t. I don’t like to write reviews anyway since I always seem to be looking for different stuff than others. I always have to read between the lines and guess if I will enjoy my time. And when I write a review I can’t help to feel that my words won’t help the reader. Anyway, instead I will share some stories and some memories of the people who made my stay what it was.
Jina, the owner, always smiling and friendly. She really puts her soul into this place and she really works hard and tries her best to make you feel at home. She is such a genuine good person and you could tell that right away. She is living there with her husband, Thor who is fun and very kind as well and their almost two year old son. I’m not superduper great with kids but Dham seemed to like me and I did my best to hang around him and play with him a bit. He is very smart and cute. He is kind, fun and curious about everything. He also remembered me when I got back there after a week or so which was adorable.
Then there is Mint, another great addition to the team. She is not living there but she is working there in the reception. She is just as kind as Jina and just as helpful and genuinely good. She is 22 years old and studying psychology at university. We had some nice conversations and the one I remember the most was about tv shows, she also likes Fringe! Blew my mind since not many people know about it! And of course Lie to me, another great show that many people overlooked. She could also recommend places to visit in Thailand which I greatly appreciated.
These people are genuinley good and helpful. I’d like to share a story with you proving this fact.
Before I went to Pai I had planned to be away for maybe eight days or so in total including a visit to Mae Hong Son before going back to Chiang Mai. But I came back a bit earlier from my northwestern adventures. I emailed and asked if there were any rooms available and there were. I could stay in the dorm for one day and then move up to a private room the following day. But when I got back Jina had made a room avalliable for me for all days. That was very considerate I thought.
The story isn’t finished yet though.
My reasons for going back earlier were firstly that I wanted to spend more time in Pai. This meant that I had so little time in Mae Hong Son that it wasn’t worth it. The second reason was that my friends that I met in Vietnam was in Chiang Mai, Caro and Damien. And the third one as a bonus and the important one for this particular story was that Jina had invited me to come by the 19th because there would be an annual celebration for the Dozy House, now turning three years old. Happy birthday!
It turned out to be a good choice to go back earlier because I became I’ll. I had fever and weird stomach issues for a day. It would not have been nice to experience Mae Hong Son like that. And what better place to cure yourself than at home away from home? Jina made sure that I got the rest I needed. But unfortunately this meant that I could not meet up with Damien and Caro. I hope we can find time to do it soon!
The celebration was an honor to witness and partake in. In the morning 5 monks came to give their blessings. They chanted for half an hour or so and it was actually very soothing, moody and kind of mystical in a way. The family sat in the front and we visitors in the back. They finished the ceremony by blessing us all and the house. They got some donations in form of food from the family and then they sat down to eat lunch prepared by the family. Jina had been preparing this from 03 in the morning to make it all perfect. And here comes the main reason why I bring this up in this post. Because of the early rising from Jina they accidentally overbooked the hotel. So she asked me to stay in her sons room!
I am not picky with sleeping arrangements from day to day so this was no problem at all. In fact it was an honour to be invited into their home. And it also showed the kindness and problem solving nature of them all.
They all treated me very nice and almost as if I would have been a family member. I felt that this was a home away from home (remind me to write about what I think of my home during my travels :p). Several times they invited me to come sit with them and eat breakfast, lunch or dinner.
They showed complete trust in me early on. They let me take care of the hotel for twenty minutes! What a responsibility and a fun one!
When I was ill I didn’t plan anything. So Jina asked me to come by when Dham had his last day in school. I did not know what to expect but it turned out to be fun. We went to the kindergarten, Brain School just a few minutes away. The school had a big room where a bunch of kids were hanging around, playing and doing what kids do. It was clearly a good place for kids. All the staff I met were good with the kids and kind people. Mint had also been working there before which actually made a lot of sense because earlier I had noticed that she was very good with kids (unlike me)! Jina had brought pizza, sodas and balloons. I inflated some baloons and played with a couple of curious and cute kids. We then had the pizza (they bought too much so they let me have some for free), put on some kids music and we also had a tad bit of wine. It was fun!
None of these experiences could I have planned for. And none of these have I experienced before. I am very greatful to have been apart of it, to have been apart of their life for just a blink of an eye. It has enriched my life. I almost feel that I shouldn’t though, because these are such everyday things. But the everyday things and events are what fills most of our lives. And if those moments are good. Then I guess life is good!
If this sounds cheesy or overdone, try inserting any other positive philosophical statement about life of your own choice because… I’m not good with things like this 😉
I will not forget Jinas kindness and her smile. I will not forget Dhams endless youtube watching of “the wheels on the bus go around and around…”. I will not forget Mints happy ways and our discussions about tv-shows. I will not forget the fathers ride with me on his scooter to get some mango sticky rice only to see that the shop was closed and I will not forget the two times I accidentally scared the housdkeeper, Sang Duan in the stairways (sorry!)
I am truly greatfull to have met these people. Thailand has much to offer. And people like this is why I need to come back! Thank you Jina, Dham, Thor and Mint. But also the kind housekeeper and another girl Jha, staying with the family (for free because she has a scholarship and is a very good student!!), both of them always greeted me with a friendly smile. And not to forget the chill driver, always ready to go to the airport to get someone, waiting in the back of the lobby watching videos on his phone.
I hope I can come back some day 🙂
Sa wa dee krap!
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