Our time in Thailand was largely spent in Chiang Mai, a popular city in the north of the country, not far from the borders with Burma and Laos. My old friend Mike has been living there for eight years and we decided it was time to take it easy and spend a long time in one place and just relax. Aside from all the amazing food we had in Chiang Mai, we also took advantage of some the sights. We actually did intend to see more, but a minor motorscooter injury sidelined us a bit. (Don’t worry, we are fine! I just bruised a ligament on my foot that made walking a lot a bit difficult. And, as Mike pointed out, we got to experience a Thai hospital!)
The first thing we did was take advantage of the cheap, yet excellent massages on offer on just about every street. For about $3 you can get an excellent 60 minute Thai massage. Heaven! We also spent some time perusing the old walled city of Chaing Mai which is chock full of temples, or wats, both old and new.
A popular tourist destination is Doi Suthep, a temple on top of a mountain that affords a lovely view. Because of my injury we couldn’t walk up the hill so Mike suggested Doi Kham instead, which is very similar but you can drive up the hill instead of walk. The large Buddha at the top of the hill was imposing but peaceful and there was a nice view, too.
While we were in Chiang Mai a large international flower show was taking place so we checked it out one day. It was actually pretty cheesy, but we did get to see some lovely orchids.
And of course, we had to see some elephants! We went to the Mae Sa Elephant Camp where we saw a cheesy show involving elephants playing soccer and painting–actually the painting was kind of cool. Then we rode an elephant, which didn’t quite live up to hype because you are actually sitting in a wooden box on top of the elephant. But after our ride we wandered around the grounds and we got to see some elephants getting a bath and I even got to get a kiss from one–FYI, elephant saliva smells disgusting!!!!
On the way home we stopped at a strawberry field in the hopes of picking some, but the field was pretty much picked clean!
One of the best parts of Chiang Mai is its markets. We talked about the awesome food we had there in our last post, but the shopping is great, too. The University Night Market near Nimmanhaemin is a great place to find unique fashion.
I’ll leave you with this adorable picture of an incredibly tiny dog we saw outside the market. Mike and Manor had to drag me away…