Chiang Mai is a gem. A true diamond hidden in the hills, where life is slower and smiles are sweeter. The people are welcoming with their soft voices and smiling bows and we instantly fell in love with this sleepy morning city.
This great little city is broken up into old and new. The old is situated inside the walls (not real walls just corners of brick) that make a perfect square. We stayed in the southeast section of the city within at Smile Guesthouse (I highly recommend this place, the pool alone was worth it). It was the perfect location to see everything inside the walls and it was walk able to the sights beyond the corners of brick.
Within the walls we visited temples, walked the Sunday Market, got massages (for 10 bucks who wouldn’t get one everyday), and ate – a lot.
I love Thai food, I could literally eat it everyday in America – so going to Thailand and actually eating it everyday was my dream!
No idea what kind of meat was in these meatballs – they were a little rubbery – they tasted good with the sauce though.
This seafood Tom Ka soup came in a coconut! It was delicious, sweet, sour and spicy at the same time. And scraping the warm coconut off the sides at the end was the best part.
The Sunday walking market also had food…
But we only tried the bugs… yes we really ate them. I wouldn’t recommend it.
One of my favorite meals from Chiang Mai (which we had for breakfast) was this glass noodle pad thai. It had such a rich flavor, more flavor than any other pad thai I have had, and all of the ingredients were fresh. I loved the texture of the glass noodles over the flat noodles too, ugh perfect dish – I want it for breakfast tomorrow.
Outside the walls we took day tours to visit the elephants, to take a cooking class (separate post on that to come), to walk the night bazaar and to visit the golden temple on the hill.
Wat Thra That Doi Suthep (wat = temple, Doi Suthep = the mountain where the temple is) is the golden temple on the hill. This Buddhist temple sits 309 steps above the road and sparkles in the sunshine. Unfortunately we visited it when it was raining, but it still had some sparkle.
The night bazaar is a crazy place. Overwhelming but exciting and alive at the same time. There are stalls upon stalls upon stores upon restaurants, its a maze of trinkets and clothing and souvenirs.
We really enjoyed our time in this comfortable little city. After we loaded up on trinkets and warm weather we flew down to Bangkok for our next adventure.