After some days in the bustling city of Bangkok, we were ready for some relax. We had heard Chiang Mai was much smaller and less stressing, and there were some experiences we were really looking forward like the Tiger Kingdom and the Muay Thai class. We arrived to Chiang Mai on a late afternoon and spent 1 full day there. We did not relax. The place was less stressful and we had a lot of fun, but there were just so many things to do and so little time for it! Anyway, check on to see all the things we did in just 1.3 days!
Chiang Mai city centre is within the city walls, and you can access it through one of the four gates, being the most famous one the Thaphae Gate. We walked there from the hotel and there was a nice hippie-ish atmosphere, with groups of people singing and playing instruments outdoors, artists selling their creations, etc.
On the way back we stopped to eat at “Hot Chilli” restaurant, which at first intimidated me because I don’t eat any spicy food at all. Then why would you choose to eat there? Well, the restaurant was very busy and looked great from outside! There were these swings with roses on some tables, and the place just looked really cute and romantic, so we decided to give it a try.
We asked specifically for a table with the swing, so we had to wait a little bit. These tables also weren’t reached by the fans, so it was rather hot, but we were so happy with the table and the swing that it didn’t matter much. The bigger surprise was that the menu actually had a lot of choice, and that most things were not even spicy. Great! I get to eat too then 🙂
We ordered the typical pineapple fried rice, which came elegantly plated in a pineapple, fried wantun with a delicious sour sauce, and chicken wrapped in leaves that were also quite tasty. We ate it all and it was very good!
Perfect place for a date, they also have lots of drinks of cocktails but we decided to save some space in our stomachs for another nutella roti instead 🙂
The next morning we woke up early to go see the Tiger Kingdom, but that will come on a separate post 🙂 We went by car with a tour agent we had found the previous night walking around Tha Phae Gate. I think she drove us there in the morning (and back) for 300 baht.
Anyway, when we came back, we went to do some city sightseeing. Since the place is small and condensed, we could see all these in a short time and had good lunch as well. The funny thing about this restaurant is that the owner took our order completely wrong and the juice took more than the food to arrive, but we still enjoyed it so much! Everything was super delicious and really really cheap.
After lunch we first went to see the monument of the Three Kings…
Then we headed to Wat Chang Taem~
Saw the ruined Wat Chedi Luang, really beautiful!
And Wat Inthakin with its cute buddha statues telling me “you’re so crazy”.
Looks like we did a lot, right? Well there’s even more to it! We also went to Doi Suthep, which is the most famous temple in Chiang Mai. This one is a bit further away and you need to go by tuk-tuk or public transport. We hired a rickshaw for more than we wanted to pay since it was really hot and we had failed to find the public transport to get to the mountain. The trip there was longer than we expected, and our rickshaw stayed there waiting for us to finish our self-tour. The funny thing is that, although I wasn’t happy of having to pay a rickshaw, it turned out to be the best part of this activity, as the visit was just so-so.
Firstly you need to climb a good set of stairs with 2 huge long dragons as handles. In the hot weather, this might be harder than you expected. At the top you will see a sign that says “Foreigners this way please. Buy ticket”. It seemed to me like locals don’t need to pay an entrance while foreigners do… again.
After paying for your ticket, you can enter and see a temple that, actually, I couldn’t enter because I was wearing a dress. Victor said there was a lot of gold color inside, and since we had seen so many temples already, this one just seemed like another one. More popular (and available for anyone regardless their clothing) is just seeing the views from there, as you can see the city quite clearly. There are also other decorations and gardens around that might justify the cost of the entry ticket.
By the time we finished visiting Doi Suthep, we were already very exhausted, so we went back to the Tha Phae Gate and found a place to just sit and wait for my friend Santi, who we were meeting that night for dinner and for a 3-day North road trip. We then had dinner at another Thai restaurant and visited the famous Night Bazaar for yet more shopping~
The Night Bazaar was very huge and sold many souvenirs. These are some of the things that I bought:
Santi and his girlfriend bought an ice cream from a stand that has been made popular thanks to Youtube. I think they waited for at least 30 minutes before getting the ice cream! The concept is that they use a very cold pan to create ice cream from a liquid and fresh fruits/syrups. I had seen this in Korea, where it seemed to be pretty popular as well, but this place knew how to market their product~ Never waited so long for an ice cream!
And this was our super busy day in Chiang Mai. What I really liked from this city was that it seems to be a very artsy place, with those street musicians, cute artisan shops, and detailed decoration in many restaurants and coffee shops. It was a busy but nice day to remember.