We only had one full day in Chiang Mai, so I’m sure we barely scraped the surface of this ancient, northern Thai city. But we gave it a good go all the same…
Breakfast – normally you’d be thinking cereal, toast, yoghurt, fruit etc. Not this time, we started in a local market on the southern fringes of the old town walls. Bamboozled by all the food on offer,it was a couple of laps before we made up our minds (thanks to the gentleman at the stall beside us for his recommendations). Various fried, boiled and crisped pork ends, a fiery dipping sauce and some mango sticky rice…perfect fuel for wandering and temple hopping.
Ready to rock and roll, we began strolling along the streets of the old town. There are temples on almost every street, each with its own significance. We won’t claim to know much about the specific shrines we saw or the different religious symbols. It was very much a case of just drinking in all the rich visuals on display and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere that each temple swam in.
Wat Phan Tao:
Beware…Chiang Mai has street tigers!
Wat Chedi Luang:
Wat Phra Singh:
Then it was time for a break…both in terms of view and for our feet. So we hopped in a songtheaw (pickup truck with benches) and headed up the nearby mountain of Doi Suthep to the temple that shares its name. This is an amazing road that seems to be a never-ending succession chicanes and switchbacks. Here is a video (not ours) to give you an idea. Its way too long so just skip to the middle.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep:
After all that, suffice to say, we were starving. Conveniently, on a Saturday night in Chiang Mai there is a brilliant street market on the south edge of the old city. More food focused than the famous Sunday market, it provided us with the perfect way to end our day.