Chiang Mai has long been on our list of must dos. A hub for expats and digital nomads in Southeast Asia, we imagined it as a place we could settle down for awhile. After a few weeks of Bangkok, we needed to get out of the big city so we purchased a cheap flight to Thailand’s north. You can also take the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, but for a minimal amount more you can trade the 12 hour ride for a 1 hour flight. On arrival around midnight we took a cheap taxi pickup truck, called a songthaew to our hostel.
The hostel, to our dismay, had forgotten our booking, which we found out right as it started to downpour. Fortunately we found a private room right around the corner at Nomadic Guesthouse for only 200 baht per night and got ourselves some rest, ready to explore the town in the morning.
We instantly loved Chiang Mai. The vibe was so much more relaxed than our previous weeks in Bangkok, and the friendly people made us feel very welcome. Read more →
We were long overdue on a trip to Portland, Oregon. Over the years we’ve met so many friends who’ve lived there or who were moving there. It always sounded like a place that we would love. And we did!
Portland is one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world, so food was our number one priority! Of course our first stop had to be the super-famous Voodoo Donuts! They have regular and vegan donuts there. I never used to be a huge donut person, but somehow in the last couple years I’ve become a super-fan of these creamy, dreamy delights. With their funky creative looks and flavors, Voodoo did not disappoint.
The rest of our two days was spent mostly wandering around seeing some of the sights and eating more. Highlights were vegan chicken wings (really!) from Fire on the Mountain Buffalo Wings, shopping and coffee and pie from the Vegan Mini Strip Mall (which consists of a coffee shop, a grocery store, a vegan clothing boutique, and a vegan tattoo shop), ice cream from Salt & Straw, and the most amazing vegan pizza ever from Virtuous Pie. Seriously, go there.
We also enjoyed checking out all the amazing street art around town! We especially loved the Alberta Arts District where we each found a mural of our favorite animal that perfectly matched the shirt we were wearing. Crazy!
Oh, and Portland also has a vegan strip club, which we didn’t have a chance to make it to. I guess it’s great to be able to support veganism no matter what other activities you’re into!
We took a break from the city one morning to drive down the Columbia River Gorge, checking out several beautiful waterfalls along the way. We ended our drive at Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks, a PCT and road bridge spanning the river and crossing into Washington state. Sadly, about one week after our visit, the whole north side of the gorge area was set ablaze in a careless human-caused wildfire and the views will never be the same.
Back in Portland, we drove up to Pittock Mansion to watch the sun set over the city. Our visit was too short so we’ll definitely have to go back for more someday!