The beautiful city of Chiang Mai has always been one of my favorite and this time was no different. It was also the resting place that my body needed after what happened in Pak Chong. I woke up at 4:30 am the morning right after our jungle trek with my right leg on fire. What is going on?!? I was in excruciating pain no matter my position. I couldn’t seat down, walk, nor lay down—I was in trouble.
Tracy had to do some extra work!
We took a 4 hour bus to the city of Sukhothai in the early morning, my pain mildly numbed by 1600mg of ibuprofen, but once we got there it was pretty obvious that something serious had happened to my body and that I needed to go to the hospital. Fortunately, the owner of the hotel we were staying at (EZ House) was an extremely kind person and offered to drive us to the emergency room, he actually stayed waiting for us to be done for 3 hours! In a matter of minutes my back was being X-rayed and I was talking to a doctor. It so happens that my lower vertebrae (L5 and S1) were very close to each other and were likely pinching a nerve, hence the constant pain and burning sensation in my right leg. I was prescribed more ibuprofen to reduce the inflammation, some B-complex and physical therapy. Approximate time for full recovery: between 2 and 6 months.
We stayed for a couple more days in Sukhothai waiting for the pain to subside a little bit and then took a bus to the city of Chiang Mai. We booked a more comfortable hotel than what we usually get (thanks to my parents!) and I started the recovery routine. Mr. Yut, our tuk-tuk driver from the picture above, would drive me to physical therapy one day and to acupuncture the next and then back to the hotel where I would lay in bursts of pain and boredom. Thankfully, Chiang Mai is a wonderful city to be stuck in! Tracy was able to keep herself busy by taking a Thai cooking class and a week long Yoga anatomy course. My body reacted well to the therapies and in around 10 days or so I was able to move, albeit clumsily, through the city. What a relief, especially because we were there during Loy Krathong Festival, the second most important festival in the region where thousands of small floating offerings are released in the river and are accompanied by as many if not more hot air balloons.
No one was hurt by this balloon and at the end it flew great!
The whole city was decorated with hundreds of lanterns
Once I was feeling better, we were able to move to the house of someone we knew (sort of) and that’s when we met Danielle. It was lovely to stay with her and at a real house after so many months of hotels. Oh, and to be able to cook our own food! Now it was time to enjoy the city, do some sightseeing and learn to cook Thai food!
Finally on the move!
Tracy and Danielle at a wine bar…
Markets and more markets
All and all we spend three weeks in Chiang Mai. I was feeling a lot better and with the help of a walking stick I was ready to conquer the world again. Next destination: the laid back town of Pai. Here we go!
The famous Sunday night market