Upon arrival at Chiang Mai airport, we met the four unknown travel buddies and with the tour guide, the first stop was to a road side stall for a bowl of Muslim Curry Laksa and a cup of coffee. The laksa served with sliced onion, cucumber and Thai style kimchi, we ate so little, looked at each other and wickedly grinned. Honestly, I can cook better Thai Laksa.
After the non-interesting meal, a 15km winding mountain drive to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and the 300 intricately carved mythical Naga Serpent steps leads to near the top of the“Doi Suthep/Mount Suthep". Included in our tour was the cable car ride and before seeing the pagodas, statues, murals, bells, a museum and shrines, we were reminded on appropriate dressing and removing footwear. So, I wrapped the scarf I always carry while travelling around my waist and walked into the temple - a must see iconic tourist destination, built as a Buddhist monastery in 1383 and is still a working monastery till today.
This site is well maintained, the entrance fee is reasonable and "Lo And Behold" the Chiang Mai view/mountain scenery. The golden spire which decorates the centre of temple was the first sight, next the Emerald Buddha beautiful copy statue whereas the real statue I have seen in Bangkok as well. Outside this area there's the shrine to the White Elephant, the story on how the temple was founded and the world’s largest gongs, lines of bells and orchids are within the wide walkway.
From the temple, we arrived at Holiday Villa, our 3 nights permanent residence and then a late lunch at one of the stalls across the road. Truly satisfying was the tom yam fried rice and the refreshing lemongrass drink available throughout Thailand I vouch is the best drink.
Returning back to the hotel for a short nap, later we had an early dinner at a Thai restaurant, again, wasn't anything spectacular. Subsequently, a leisurely walk at the night market before calling it an early night because it is going to be an early rise and shine second day in Chiang Mai.
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