Chiang MaiDecember 16, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C
There are over 100 temples in Chiang Mai so for our first day we explored the city on foot. With a temple on every corner (sometimes 2) we found a walking tour route online which highlighted a few of the more interesting ones as well as some other interesting sights the Old Town had to offer.
Chiang Mai is very different to Bangkok. The Old Town area is located within an old stone wall, remenants of which can be found around the city and a canal runs around the outside, resembling a moat. We now understand why people say Bangkok is crazy as Chiang Mai is so much more relaxed!
As we wandered around we saw some beautiful temples including:
Wat Chiang Man or the Temple of the Fortified City which is the oldest temple in Chiang Mai, built shortly after the city was in 1296 and one of my favourites with a tower supported by 15 elephant statues.
Wat Hua Kuang with its beautiful architecture.
Wat Kun Kha Ma or the Golden Horse Temple which as the name suggests is surrounded by loads of gold horses.
And many many more...
We also saw many sections of the old wall including the White Elephant Gate which is the North Gate into the city (there are 5 in total with bridges over the surrounding canal). There are only remenants of the old wall left now as most of it was torn down during WWII so that the bricks could be repurposed however some of these have been rebuilt since. The gate gets it's name as it is said that the 8th Lanna King in Chiang Mai, King Geuna, had a piece of Buddha's shoulder bone and let a sacred white elephant free out of this gate to find a spot to build a shrine, of which is the Doi Suthep Temple outside of the city.
For lunch we stumbled across a very cute garden cafe where Si indulged in an enornous club sandwich (with real meat this time) and chips whilst I tucked into a scrummy spinach and cheese roti.
After lunch we checked out a few more sights before making our way back to the hotel. As we were heading back they were setting up for the big Sunday night market and I may have accidentally purchased 4 lovely glasses!
In the evening we headed back out to the market with our haggling game face in search of some more goodies, returning with a rather large thai cushion which we can hopefully squeeze into the suitcase and some other random trinkets.Read more