When in Chiang Mai: Exploring the city

Chiang Mai is located in the north of Thailand, near the borders of Laos and Myanmar. With far less wild Australian tourists than the more southern beachy parts, Chiang Mai was a perfect location for a Culinary Adventure.

Wat Chiang Man | When in Chiang Mai: Exploring the city | lizniland.com

Full of temples – called a “wat” in Thai – Chiang Mai is a fairly conservative city so you’ll need to have your shoulders and knees covered if you wish to venture inside a temple. If you forget to pack your emergency sarong, simply walking around these opulent buildings is worth it – that’s mostly all we did!

Temples everywhere | When in Chiang Mai: Exploring the city | lizniland.com

Temples really are everywhere so try not to peak too early¬†– you don’t want wat fatigue! While Wat Chiang Man (that first photo) was a really impressive structure with stunning grounds, a temple we stumbled across in the Old City was by far the most interesting. The temple itself wasn’t much on its own but it was a beehive of activity with orange-robed monks everywhere completing set up for Yi Peng Lantern Festival celebrations.

Buddhist monks at work | When in Chiang Mai: Exploring the city | lizniland.com

Tree filled with lanterns | When in Chiang Mai: Exploring the city | lizniland.com

Something I found incredibly fascinating in Chiang Mai was the amount of advertising. Juxtaposed against the poorer areas, the gold-flecked temples and cold stained cement buildings, giant billboards looked completely out of place.

When in Chiang Mai: Exploring the city | lizniland.com

In addition to those ads, utes like the one in the top right picture above, drive around blaring advertisements through speakers – I’d hate to be the driver! I think I’d prefer to have a tuk tuk!

Waiting tuk tuk driver| When in Chiang Mai: Exploring the city | lizniland.com

We didn’t find out a whole lot about the history of Chiang Mai – too busy learning how to ride elephants & how to cook authentic Thai food! It’s obvious though when you look around, especially in the Old City, how long this place has been around for.

The old city moat | When in Chiang Mai: Exploring the city | lizniland.com

From what my good friend Wikipedia told me, Chiang Mai was founded in 1296. The capital of its region at the time, it was prone to attacks by neighbouring countries which triggered the creation of huge city walls and a moat. While the moat looks like it would be lucky to stop even a puppy these days, it makes a scenic addition to the city.

The old city walls | When in Chiang Mai: Exploring the city | lizniland.com

There’s a lot of tourist-y things to do in Thailand but I’m glad we got to spend some quality time walking around and seeing how people live everyday. It’s always one of my favourite things to do in a new place.

 

What’s the most fascinating, mind-opening thing you’ve seen on a holiday?

One Thought on “When in Chiang Mai: Exploring the city

  1. Pingback: Chiang Mai: Culinary Adventures | Liz Niland

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