The day has finally arrived for me to pack up my things and leave Chiang Mai. It's been just shy of two months in this city, and I can happily say that my time here has far exceeded expectations. Whether I was learning Thai Massage, swimming at the pool or jamming with friends in the garden of my guest house, my experiences were full of laughter and happiness.
So what better way to say goodbye to Chiang Mai on my last night than to attend the Smile Party!
Four of the most popular bars in Chiang Mai- Roots Rock Reggae, Babylon, Zoe in Yellow, & Cafe Del Sol- teamed up with the best bands and DJs to create this outdoor party. Located at a big lake about 20 minutes outside of Chiang Mai, the Smile Party cranked from 5pm to 7am. Farang (Thai for foreigner) from all over the world gathered between two stages to dance,
paint their faces with glow paint,
and drink obscene amounts of liquor out of buckets
Smile Party could be categorized somewhere between frat party and rave. I was enjoying dancing with the international crowd but was happily reminded of home when I came face to face with a cute Thai girl in a Yankee cap.
At some point in the night, I found the semi-competitive sport of tequila luge. It was around that time that the Smile Party turned into the Frown Party, and alongside my Aussie girlfriend Taj and hundreds of other sloppy Farang, I fell asleep on the grass in front of a bonfire.
Eventually Taj's boyfriend, Punya, came to retrieve us from "sleeping in the bush" and we shared a tuk tuk back to their guest house for a very subdued slumber party.
Although I felt a little closer to 21 than 31 last night, the Smile Party was a fun, albeit painful, way to say goodbye to fair Chiang Mai. I'm headed down south to Koh Phangan this evening where I plan to detox my entire system, practice yoga and sit on the beach. Nevermind that it's the biggest party island in Thailand...
I'll miss Chiang Mai and the friends I've made here. It was the perfect start to this journey.
(Oh yeah, and a big shout out to my girl Taj on her 28th birthday! Easy on the buckets...)