Chiang Mai, between temples, mountains and smiles

Templo Chiang Mai - Wat Chedi Luang

Chiang Mai, the city with the most temples in Thailand

Trip from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai - Wat Chedi Luang

We arrived in Chiang Mai after 15 hours by train and 2 hours by bus because the floods made it impossible to get there by train.

We spent 15 hours in a mosquito-ridden wagon with lights on all night.

With the heat it was, either you covered yourself with the blanket completely and started to sweat like a chicken, or you didn’t cover yourself and the mosquitoes ate you alive. It has been one of the most stressful and overwhelming journeys of my entire life. I’m sure we’ll think again about travelling by train at night.

Upon arrival in Chiang Mai things improved. The family of Dew, a Thai friend who now lives in Spain, came to pick us up at the same station. They invited us to lunch, dinner and let us stay at their house the first night.

The next morning after breakfast we were taken to the Little Bird Guest House, where we stayed 3 nights.From here, I want to thanks the Dew family for all their hospitality. We will always be indebted to them and hope to return the favor someday in Spain!

What to see in Chiang Mai?

Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep

On the first day, we wandered around the city seeing temples. In Chiang Mai there are about 300 temples in total so it is impossible to see them all.

Above all we enjoyed seeing the two biggest: Wat Phra Sing and, my favorite; Wat Chedi Luang. In the evening we were walking along Sunday Market Street. Every Sunday the main street of the city is filled with stalls selling all kinds of decorations, clothes and food.

We rented some motorcycles on the second day and we went to see some waterfalls and Chiang Mai’s most famous temple: Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. It is located on top of a hill and is characterized by its golden stupa. It’s always full of tourists but it’s still worth seeing.

Trekking through the mountains

Aldea Chiang Mai

On the third day we bought a tour of two days and one night. The tour combined trekking, elephant rides, sleeping in a mountain village and rafting.

The trekking was quite nice although the elephant ride was too programmed and short. Without a doubt, the best was being in a lost village and spend the night in the cabin with an indigenous family observing their way of life.

At night, a huge storm fell. I remember thinking that even the cabin where we were could be dragged by the water. Going to the bathroom and meeting a palm spider was also something to remember without a doubt. 

Unfortunately, the next day the rafting had to be cancelled because of the heavy rafting down the river. Without a plan b, we went back to Chiang Mai. As it was not a good plan to lose a day, we remedied it by going out at night to party. We discovered the Banana Bar, the most famous bar in the area. And we had a great time thanks to the good atmosphere of the city.

After 4 good days we left Chiang Mai. It was time to visit the old Thai capital: Shukothai. We took a nice memory of Chiang Mai, the second largest city in Thailand, the city with more temples and, surely, one of the most charming cities in the country. 

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Author: Marcos Silva

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