It is blistering hot outside, the kind of heat that dries your lungs out with every breath. I am sitting here in the shade of a mango tree, and my phone is telling me it is over 100 degrees. In my head, I am mapping out a way to make it home concealed in the shade as much as possible. The sun feels like lava on the skin.
The weather might be oppressive today, but it all changes on the 13th.
The water fight begins.
I am here in Chiang Mai to document Songkran, the Thai New Year celebration. It is the most important celebration of the year for the Thai people.
Songkran marks the beginning of the new solar year in Thailand, literally translating to, “a move or change in the position of the sun from Aries to Taurus.”
Next week I will share with you what I have seen, learned, and experienced during this festival, so stay tuned!
But let’s start with the basics. There is so much to know about Thailand, and before I get in too deep, we should back up and take a look at the country’s geography.
Where in the world is Thailand?
Thailand's Geo-Coordinates are:
Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia. It borders the countries of Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos, and Malaysia.
A quick glance at
513,120 sq km of land total
10,890 sq km of land
2,230 sq km of water
Ranking by size
51st largest country
3x the size of the state of Florida
3, 219 km of coast
Doi Inthanon mountain
Chiang Mai Province
Gulf of Thailand
OF AGRICULTURAL LAND:
From rainforests, to palm trees, to bamboo groves, to cactus, Thailand is undoubtedly a tropical place.
Rainy season: May – September Dry season: November – March
HOT & HUMID
Make sure you come prepared. Of course, it depends on when and where you go specifically, but this is a general theme throughout the country.
THE SUN IS STRONG
It will only take one hour in the sun without sunscreen for you to figure this out. Save yourself the burn and cover up.
Thailand’s Monthly Average Temperature (°F)
Thailand’s Monthly Average Rainfall (inches)
My name is Rachel Kulchin, though here in Thailand, I go either by Mali or Cherry (sounds more like Shirley when they say it)—both nicknames gifted to me by friends. Mali means jasmine in Thai, and I earned this nickname because of my white skin. I live with a woman named Pancake (it really is the name she goes by—she is fantastic), and she calls me Cherry because she says I am sour but also sweet.
I have been living in Thailand and working remotely for the last 7 1/2 months, and my adventure isn’t over yet. So far it has been fantastic, and I am excited to share with you many of the things I have been lucky enough to experience and learn about while living in this crazy, strange, and wonderful country. I have been taking notes furiously, running into street poles while trying to capture as much as I can with my camera, and picking the brains of anyone and everyone who will take a minute and share their thoughts with me.
It has been a wild ride, and I am beginning this journey of sharing it with you on the tide of this Thai New Year. It seems fitting.
Till next week.