Some of you may have already read a bit about our hotel in Chiang Mai from our recent review (if you haven’t, have a look here) so you know about how great our hotel was. This was one of the main reasons we extended our stay here from 2 days to 6 days, and we decided not to go to Pattaya. The Spice House was in the middle of everything, so made it easy to take Chiang Mai at our own pace.
Chiang Mai was filled with temples. We knew that with Thailand being the ‘Buddha Land’ (Their billboards saying, not ours) it would have a lot of temples, but Chiang Mai has the most temples of the places we have visited so far. On the first day we visited one of the most famous ones, ‘Wat Chedi Luang’. This temple was built in the 1400s and is famous due to it’s ruins of a Chedi which was hit by an earthquake in the 1500s.
On the Saturday we had a stroll to the Saturday walking market. We were told by one of the hotel staff that this was a ‘small’ market.. this was in no way small. A whole road was cordoned off and there were so many stalls. We walked down a road for a mile looking at stalls selling everything, from jewellery to street food, to paintings, to massages, literally everything was there. We had a browse and then went back to our hotel. We found out later that evening, the Saturday market is smaller than the Sunday one which was down a road opposite the famous ‘Tha Phae Gate’, just around the corner from our hotel.
The Sunday walking market starts at 5pm, and it was CRAZY. Imagine a market, going on for 2 miles, 2 miles, insanity. This market sold even more of everything than the Saturday one. It sold the same items as the Saturday market, but even more (we don’t know how that is possible, but it was), it sold kitchenware, clothes, bags, temporary tattoos, glass ornaments, dreamcatchers, sunglasses and more, this place was a joke. They had a stall with a mountain of gold rings, you picked up your favourite 5 rings and bought them for £5?! Who needs that many gold rings? What really made this market was the food stalls. The side roads and 3 temples off of the main market had food stalls, we had some great chicken and beef skewers, a coconut, a crepe, a waffle and a plate of mini ice creams, and we still had change from 200 baht/£5.
We ended our trip by visiting a temple… at the top of a mountain! The ‘Wat Phra That Doi Kham’ temple was just outside the main city and has a 17 metre tall golden Buddha statue. We took a tuk-tuk for 600 baht/£15 for a return journey and we got to see more of the wider city on the way. When we arrived at the top of the mountain, the driver could only drop us off at the bottom of a very steep hill, on the way up they had shops selling clothes, ice creams, drinks and popcorn. If you ever visit Thailand and decide to visit a temple, you have to dress modestly, we forgot this rule on the day, meaning an emergency Chiang Mai top was bought by Jade to visit the temple. The temple also has a 500 step staircase on the other side with gold dragons from the bottom to the top, which is where we got some great pictures of Chiang Mai from above.
We hope you enjoyed our last post from Thailand, next stop Malaysia, how much can we fit in one day in Kuala Lumpur?