Temples, Temples, Temples: The City of Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Travel Blog› entry 3 of 15 › view all entries
We got into Bangkok at around 1:30 or 2:00am. Checked in, slept, and checked out. It didnâ€™t leave a lot of time for exploring the hotel. We will see more of it on the way home.
After four hours of sleep, Andrea and I headed to the new airport in Bangkok. The airport is beautiful. It has a ton of light and it looks like the airport is made out of glass. Everything has a very white, clean, and modern feel to it. From Bangkok we had a one hour flight to Chiang Mai.
It is a growing city but it still has a small town feel.
Chiang Mai was one of the first places, in what is now modern Thailand, which was ruled by the Thais. Chiang Mai was a very important religious center and this is shown today by the 121 temples that are located within the city and another 200+ are located around the city.
Andrea and I arrived in Chiang Mai around 10:00am and checked into our hotel. After getting organized, we decided to grab the Groovy Map, which our hotel sold, and wander around the town, taking in the sites as we passed them.
The temples had a ton of colored glass in different mosaic patterns decorating the outside and the insides where filled with murals on the walls. They were stunning and bright. I have never seen anything like them in person before. One problem that Andrea and I had was that there are so many temples in Chiang Mai it is hard to keep them straight. If you are trying to find a temple and get lost you will end up at another temple and have no idea where you are. Most of the temples are labeled with signs written in Thai and unless you have a good map or can read Thai it is hard to figure out what temple you are at. This is a draw back to wandering around with out a real plan. On the other hand, by just wandering around you get a better feel for the city and find some of the temples that are not on the map; making them less crowded.
Chiang Mai is a great town.
As we wandered around the town we passed the three kings statue and the Chiang Mai Prison. There was a sign outside the prison that said â€śPrison Product Shopâ€ť with a smaller sign below it that said â€śWelcome: Foot Massage 120/hourâ€ť. I really hope that they were two different places of business. While we were walking around we found a travel agency that took care of all of our transportation. I am thrilled that it is done! We are going to fly from Phitsanulok to Bangkok and from there take an overnight third class train to Surat Thani and hop a ferry for Koh Samui.
We arrived back to the travel agency early and Andrea started looking at tours we could do tomorrow and found one for white water rafting. She tried it when she was in Australia and had a blast. She talked me into doing here so we will be going tomorrow. It will be an adventure. I am so glad we got travelers insurance.