Our first morning in Chiang Dao we climb 500 steps to a monastery on the side of the mountain. Next to the steps are “inspirational” sayings that feel like taunts in the heat. Every step is grueling and (‘m hating every minute of the walk up. But then we turn a corner and reach the top, where we’re confronted with an endless expanse of jungle. Bananas in the foreground & mountains on the horizon. A blue sky with a spiral of clouds framing a golden temple. We see an almost neon-green snake wrapped around a tree. More butterflies and a huge centipede. Yes, we are in the jungle.