Chiang Mai

11 Nov

Chiang Mai was part two of our October break extravaganza. After returning from Pai (on a slower van that lacked the entertaining motion sickness aspect), Orestes and I spent 5 days wandering around Thailand’s second largest city. The best way I can explain the difference between Bangkok and Chiang Mai is with a NYC comparison: Bangkok is like Midtown; Times Square, bright lights, lots of tourists, lots of people in general, and hustle bustle that I tended to avoid like the plague. Chiang Mai is like Harlem; still busy, still lots of people, but shorter buildings, more local flavor, and you can find quieter residential streets amidst the fun. I was a big fan of Chiang Mai.

We stayed in the old part of the city, which is surrounded by a moat (yes, I thought that was super cool). Chiang Mai has a big university, so it has some college town aspects to it. There are tons of little cafes and restaurants with a variety of cuisines. We had Indian, Italian, Thai, burgers, Guinness, and mojitos while there. There are also a zillion temples (wats) to be seen. Orestes and I spent one entire day following the temple walking tour out of my trusty Lonely Planet guidebook. I took many a photo because the temples are all gold and bling and old and fascinating, and I’m a huge fan of old architecture and shiny objects. History lesson: Chiang Mai was the capital of the Lanna kingdom way back, so many of the wats have the three-tiered roofs that is characteristic of Lanna architecture (yes, I’m a nerd). At one point, the Burmese invaded Chiang Mai, and later, the Siamese from southern Thailand kicked them out, at which point Chiang Mai became part of the kingdom of Thailand. (see, these blog posts are informational too).

Highlights of Chiang Mai include:

* Visiting Doi Suthep, the shiniest wat of all, which is located on a hill outside of Chiang Mai and has amazing views of the city. Also, we took a sorng-taa-ou there, which is a mode of transportation I enjoy.

* Wandering the Saturday night walking street, and eating yummy street food (including waffles, the Thais love waffles).

* My adventure up to the Thai horse farm, and Orestes’ adventure flying like a gibbon (zip lining). Photos and separate blog post about those activities to follow.

* Our amazing  3 1/2 hour couples spa treatment we indulged in – for less than a one hour massage for a single person would have cost in NYC. Lemongrass scented oil is my new favorite thing.

And now, photos of shiny objects! So many shiny objects..


4 Responses to “Chiang Mai”

  1. Colleen November 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    You and your hubby are so adorbs!! Love these pics from your recent adventures. Looks like you had a fabulous time! Miss you!!!

  2. Elaine McCormick November 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    This is sooooo exciting! Keep the blogs coming, I enjoy reading them as well as viewing the pictures. This is such a fabulous opportunity to live in Thailand and I am pleased to see you are taking the opportunity to see as much of it as you can. Love you both!


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