So we have left Chiang Mai on Wednesday and I am writing this blog post now from a café in Kuala Lumpur. We spent an amazing month there and explored the city and surroundings quite well. We didn´t see everything, there are few well known places we just didn´t go to but instead of being rushed into being everywhere, we prefered just to chill and when we felt like going somewhere we did. This time was my second time in Chiang Mai and below you can find list of things I suggest you to go, see or do.
CHAT WITH a MONK
When we went to see the Wat Phra Singh, our intention was not to take part in the monk chat. As we wondered around we met a young monk who approached us and asked whether we want to chat as he would like to improve his English. So we sat down for about 30 min and chatted. We learned that anyone can become a monk and that he needs to know (and follow) 227 rules by heart. He said that four most important ones include: not kill, not steal, not lie and not to have intercourse. This was a happy coincidence that we met him but if you wanna go for sure then head to Wat Chedi Luang temple where the chat is available every day from 9am – 6pm.
Go to Sunday walking market
One of the best markets I have been to in Thailand. First time I went, I spent four hours there! It starts at Rachadamnoen Road and is never ending! The sellers offer many traditional products like clothes, candles, jewellery, lamps, purses, handbags and much more. If you are not interested in buying anything you can go just to feed yourself. You will find number of stalls selling delicious food like noodles, fried chicken, kebab, sushi, fried potatoes, grilled seafood, pancakes, sweets and various kind of fruit and smoothies. The market starts around 5 PM and finishes between 10 -11 PM.
Visit Doi Suthep
As you probably know there are numerous temples in Chiang Mai and after visiting few of them you will think that they all look the same. But as the locals say : If you haven´t been to Doi Suthep – you haven´t been to Chiang Mai and I think they were right. This temple is absolutely stunning and the way up is experience itself. How to get there? You will see Doi Suthep on the list of almost any tour agency and they will charge about 500 bath for it. You can also get a private songtaew which will cost you somewhere between 400 – 500 bath. Don´t worry, there is a cheaper option! Go to the Chang Phueak Gate in the north of the Old Town, cross the road and on the left side, just in front of 7 eleven is a songtaew stop where is a price list and a bench where you will sit while waiting for the bus to fill up with other passengers. We got there first and within 20 minutes, another 6 tourists showed up so we were ready to go. Price was 50 bath one way per person. The driver was waiting to take us back down and we had 1,5 hour to explore the temple. Definitely worth it!
feed and bath elephants
Every travel agency will offer you trips to elephants. It will be either elephant trekking or elephant camp visit. The first one is very popular among most of the tourists coming to Thailand. Unfortunetely, they have no idea about the way the elephants are treated. There is only one place I can recommend you and that is the Elephant Nature Park – a sanctuary in the north of Chiang Mai. You can find more info about a day in ENP here.
wander around the lake
I have never read about this place in any guide or on internet. We discovered this only by a coincidence as we were trying to find our way to the secretly hidden temple Wat Pha Lat. You might not find anything special about it but we did. So where is it? Go to the main gate of Chiang Mai University, walk thru and on the first crossroad turn right, after a while you will see a little hill and if you climb up you will spot the beautiful mountains and Ang Kaew Reservoir which serves as a supplier of water for the University. The whole Uni area is one huge park looking incredible and you don´t really feel like you are in Chiang Mai anymore.