Another weekend in Chiang Mai I decided escape the city and head to Yogamala. After a lot of waiting about, people got fed up and hired a red songthaew (there was supposed to be free transport). Quite a distance North of Chiang Mai, it was located at The Spa Resort. A very nice spot out besides some lush green rice paddies, with some great views back down the valley. A few stall were setup selling health & organic products, also the cathouse restaurant, which I had just eaten a monster salad at yesterday. Along with practioners of various new agey mediation type stuff. I watched a bit of yoga when I found out where the salas were. Everybody else seem to know what they were doing bringing their own yoga mats. I was just being nosy!
There was a few walking trails further up from the salas (which have amazing views!), I walked along through the shaded banana plantations, popping out on a dirt road. But this was out in the afternoon sun, and it was HOT! I peaked over the hills and saw the path stretch down and off in to the green mountains, and decided that I couldn’t be bother going down there as I would have to come back up the hill, and I didn’t have any water. Also it didn’t look the path would have many shops! Retracing my steps, I briefly chatted with some locals. (“Hey you! Where you going?! Hot? Yes very hot!”) Back down to the restaurant for a long cool drink.
There was a panel discussion on sustainable living, but it wasn’t really much of a discussion as everybody agreed “good idea”. One woman was from Cafe Compassion (which I later visited for a tasty lunch. It has an interesting veggy menu), another guy had helped push forward a interesting process, where consumers in the city purchase a subscription of organic vegetable to be delivered weekly for the duration of the farming season from the producers. That way the farmers know they can sell their vegs, and the consumer cuts out the middle man. It's known as Community Supported Agriculture
After that there was an good traditional band taecompai. After working in Bangkok the main guy had returned to Chiang Mai (Pai) to work on building up his own farm using traditional methods. He talked about how when in Thailand you buy the seeds and pesticide as one package. And how people told him was practicing permaculture and he’d never heard of it! Also the music was pretty good!
After all that healthy talk I headed back into Chiang Mai to chow down on a Big Mac :)