Why did I come to Chang Mai?
One of the questions that I often get asked is: what originally brought you to Chiang Mai? As many of you know, Chiang Mai is a beautiful city in the northern part of Thailand. It is a photographers dream, as we are surrounded by not only natural scenery, but a friendly local population that lets camera wielding adventurers roam the city with little to no hassle. The countless trendy cafes on every street corner cater to photo and video editing on the fly, and the digital nomad community ensures smoking fast Wi-Fi in all areas of the city.
Aside from photography, Chiang Mai is a travelers paradise. Thousands of tourists flock here every year to get a taste of what this city has to offer. Although being a city of a million people, anyone that comes here will tell you that it certainly doesn’t feel that way. Chiang Mai radiates a strong feeling of peace, and the local government has done a great job at maintaining that. You certainly feel this vibe when living her, and it is exacerbated by the glowing tourist community in the area. While tourism is often viewed as a downside, living here gives you access to some of its more positive qualities. Fantastic restaurants, a mix of loud and classy bars, beautiful nature excursions on the tips of your fingers, and countless other activities that positively shock your senses. Of course, the true beauty of this city lies beyond its tourist façade, and engaging with the locals outside of this realm is where life in Chiang Mai truly shines.
The northern Thai people of Chiang Mai are some of the kindest and most amazing individuals I have encountered throughout my travels across the world. Not only are they kind at heart and polite at all times, but they always go out of their way to ensure you are enjoying yourself. I am always greeted with a smile and a sawasdee khrup/ka (hello in Thai), and the same when I depart. The local population plays an incredibly large role in your interaction with the city, and the people in Chiang Mai are certainly fulfilling this duty.
I have made more than a few Thai friends during my two month stay here. They have opened the door to seeing the local side of Chiang Mai, a side filled with laughs, incredible food, peculiar perspectives, and out of this world adventure. These friends have taken me to some of the coolest locations littered in and around Chiang Mai. Waterfalls, elephant parks, Thai food buffets, coffee shops tucked away behind thick jungle foliage, live reggae and jazz bars that jam harder than anywhere I have seen before, and countless other restaurants and bars where my laughs will linger for what seems like years to come. The bars here close at midnight, but the locals keep the party rolling late into the night behind the doors of closed cafes and underground parties. The heart and soul of this city lies within these local joints, where Thai beer is downed by the glass and timeless conversations echo throughout the night.
But okay, enough about the place itself and back to the original question, why did I come here? Oh, wait… that's your answer. I came here because Chiang Mai is the most incredible place in the world. Not only for the average person, but for a photographer who values the beauty of this area and the glowing photography community that is alive and well. Everyday something new presents itself, and I can say without any hesitation that I absolutely love it
PS: My portrait business has really come alive here in Chiang Mai. Loving the shoots I am doing J Everyone I have worked with has been super amazing, and the vibe of the city allows my subjects to relax, resulting in shoots that are always fun and easy-going. Being in front of the camera isn’t easy, but that Chiang Mai vibe certainly changes that. Check out my portraits here on my website under the Portfolio section J