So after a well-earned rest in gorgeous Ko Lanta we took a flight north to Chiang Mai, the major city to visit in the north of Thailand. We’d heard good things about Chiang Mai and after not really throwing ourselves into Bangkok we had to compensate here – I can confirm we warmed to Chiang Mai very quickly!
Chiang Mai’s centre is a big square, we stayed about a 30 minute walk from the western entrance to this part of town. Our hotel was cheap and the room was amazing but my one criticism would be the location. Anyway! Once you’re inside the heart of the city you’ll soon find a temple to check out, those things are everywhere. Walking along the streets one would pop up every so often, they’re a useful way to get out of the sun for a few minutes even if you’re at the stage in your Asia trip where you’ve bored of temples. Let’s face it, it happens! Just like I’d expect anyone coming to Europe to get sick of churches and cathedrals after a while.
Saying that, we still decided to take a trip up the big hill that overlooks the city to visit… you guessed it, a temple! This one was pretty special to be fair, the blue sky brought out the shine of the gold used for the statues, all of the colours on show were vivid and beautiful. We’ve been in China for almost 3 months now where everyday it’s grey and gloomy – Thailand’s blue skies are calling my name! We also saw some monks at the temple on the hill, not surprising given we were at a temple but I think this was the best monk picture of the trip… possibly.
When that beautiful sun started to drop and the temperature might just have been sneaking under 30 – the horror! It was time to browse the night market. For the first half of the trip I had been judging people with an air of superiority, ‘look at that stereotype wearing a beer/touristy t-shirt… lame!’ I’d think to myself all smug. But when you’re on your first backpacking trip in Asia… you’re on your first backpacking trip in Asia! So I bought a t-shirt that said Chiang Mai on it, I still wear it with pride. Time to redeem myself with an authentic experience. After looking around the stalls we found (another) a temple and signed up to join a meditating session. There were only 5 of us in total, including the monk teaching us. It was a cool experience but I’ve not taken up meditation, maybe my life just isn’t stressful enough for that yet. Out of all the posts I’ve done about the Asia trip this one has made me miss the place most, I want to go back soon…