Published: June 5th 2012June 3rd 2012
After a long flight and transfer from Bangkok, we arrived at Chiang Mai slightly later than planned after sitting on the runway at Bangkok waiting for a slot. We were met at the airport for our transfer, and taken to our hotel which was about 10minutes away. Our only bugbear was that the transfer lady didn't offer us any information or a map or point out any useful places to us. Our room was not ready, as it was well before lunchtime, so we went for a short walk down the busiest of the surrounding streets to get our bearings, and buy some water. We at least found a Tesco Lotus! however to get there we had to pass a "local" food establishment, unusual smell! we also saw the latest way to transport your prisoners, caged truck, doesn't matter if it rains it will teach them stamina!
Once the room was ready, we unpacked, changed and went out again in a bid to keep in with the local time. Having procured a map from reception, and guide book in hand, we wanted to see some of the city. Our hotel is outside the old walls, and most of the main
Wat Phra Singh
Honestly, he's not real!
Wats are within it. we set off walking, it didn't seem that far on the map! We did walk a fair distance, taking in Wat Phra Singh, temple of the lion buddha, which had some rather scary life size models of what must have been famous monks sat cross legged. There was also a golden reclining Buddha, sizeable but not on the scale of the one in Bangkok. We also saw some people praying and winding up a shute with water in that emptied on the top of the Wat. We took a break from Wats, and found a paper making shop, which had lovely wrapping paper, boxes and gift tags in it. We eventually stopped for lunch opposite a Wat, not one of the 8 on my list to visit, and then carried on. Our next Wat, Chedi Luang, was impressive, with a stone temple behind it which had been destroyed in an earthquake. They are carrying out restoration work, and you could buy a brick and write your name on it! There was also an opportunity to take part in "monk chat" if you wanted, to discuss the ways of the world. When my feet had had enough,
we stopped at a bar for liquid refreshments along a street that seemed quite lively, and a possibility for later that night. We eventually hailed a tuk tuk, and returned to the hotel. It was quite a distance back, and we had certainly walked further than we thought. Tuk tuks are cheap, and other option was one of the converted red pickup trucks that act as hop on hop off modes of transport, but with the language barrier, and having no idea where we were going, tuk tuks were the safer option.
After a quick nap, we were ready to go again, deciding to return to the area of bars we had been to earlier that day. After eating for £13 including 2 drinks each, we wanted to see where the Night Market was. We once again set off walking, but the map was a little off, so we walked further than we needed to. it was okay as long as you didnt look down too often, as the local cockroach population was out in force. As a result, some of the market was just packing up, but we had a quick look to see what treasures there might
be for another night. We hailed a tuk tuk, negotiated a price and headed back to the hotel. We jumped out on the corner, and went to the Y Bar (which is in front of a kitchen showroom) for a cocktail before bed. My Mai Tai was good, but there was something strange about the Margarita - salt instead of sugar round the rim of the glass - yuk!
There are more photos below