Thailand Adventure: Chiang Mai

After a few days in Bangkok, I headed to north to the city of Chiang Mai.  Chiang Mai is one of the largest cities in northern Thailand, but it dwarfs in comparison to the massive sprawl metropolitan of Bangkok.  It is a really beautiful and vibrant city and I fell in love with it almost instantly.



Chiang Mai reminds me a little of Portland and maybe that is why I was so enamored with it. It's a slower pace, filled with happy & creative people, and surrounded with incredible mountains and natural beauty. I am so glad I choose to spend the largest chunk of my trip in this lovely city. I took many walks around the old town, surrounded by a moat and pieces of a crumbling old city walls and found a lot of beautiful treasures down little alleyways and I also got to go on some grand adventures from the city. I took an amazing cooking class at a local farm, visited tigers, and spent a day hanging out with elephants.


 


The first night I was there just happened to be Sunday which is the night of the weekly night market through the center of town. Sunday Night Walking Street spans from the old Tha Phae Gate and is over a half mile down full length of Ratchadamnoen Road full of amazing vendors of all kinds - soap carvers, musicians, painters, and everything in between.  It was a great place to pick up some unique inexpensive souvenirs to bring home. There is an incredible amount of street food and I everything I ate was absolutely incredible. The street is overwhelmed with colors and people and it reminded be a lot of Last Thursday in Portland.  The one edge the Sunday Walking Street had?  There were most amazing $3 foot massages available all over the street.  Nothing soothes achy feet that are tired from a day of walking like a quick pamper break.



Gender has always been a topic that fascinates me & kathoey (aka ladyboy) culture is something I've read about and wanted to check out while I was in Thailand. I found out that there is a free cabaret show every night in the Anusarn night market that I was excited to check out.  It was an incredibly fun show that the performers had obviously put a lot of time into with the amazing costumes and impressive choreography!  I also made some new friends at the show and had a lovely time checking out the nightlife in Chiang Mai!


The next day, I ventured out to see Wat Phra That Doi Suthep - a gorgeous treasure high above the city of Chaing Mai in the mountains.  I took songthrew up long, winding mountain roads with beautiful views the whole way there. Simply tell your driver you want to go to the temple and he will likely take you to a "bus station" where you can meet up with another songthrew that makes the daily route up to the temple for about 50 baht (less than $2). It's about a 20 minute drive, but it is well worth the effort. To reach the temple, you can choose to walk up 309 steps for free or pay a dollar to take a tram.  The highlight of Wat Phra for me was the gorgeous views there and along the trip.






I also just got to spent some time wandering the city and looking beautiful ruins.  I was just so taken with the culture and vibrancy of this small town.





Overall, Chiang Mai was amazing I hope that I'll get to see it again someday!

3 comments:

  1. Love your post! I just went to New Orleans for the first time and can't wait to go back!

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  2. OMG. This is so cute! I love the baby!!

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  3. Fantastic photos! I love elephants. I recently helped write a children's book about elephants. I had the amazing opportunity to visit Kenya years ago and see them in their natural habitat. I would love to go to Asia and do the same!

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