Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Chiang Mai (Thailand)

Much explored and much more I know about Thailand. Bangkok (Solo Trip to Bangkok) was where I started, thereafter to the rest of the country including Phuket and Krabi. A year and half ago, I covered Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. My half-half as usual opted out and I went with the couple I met during the Vietnam and Cambodia tour. Such so, this 3 nights 4 days "all arranged tour" cost was higher mainly for the single room occupant.

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. 

Wat Phra That no doubt is impressive but having visited other Wats in Thailand (Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple Wat Na Phramen & Wat Lokayasutharam), basically, I took it, let's say as another on-going travel experience. Furthermore, for whatever reason it may be, Wats are always crowded even during the off peak season and the souvenir shops and throng of vendors are common wherever you turn your head in Thailand (Damnoen Saduak Floating Market). 
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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  1. Nice photography and yummy dishes Nava dear

  2. Nava, you're so adventurous! Mmm....... I've yet to try travelling with strangers. Glad it turned out well! xoxo

  3. I love visiting Buddhist monastery, its so so calm. Lemongrass drink, very refreshing :)

  4. Travelling different places n trying out different cuisines is so amazing especially small eateries.. loved the pics u clicked.. u look lovely xo


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