Temples, Temples, Temples: The City of Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Travel Blog

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 We got into Bangkok at around 1:30 or 2:00am. Checked in, slept, and checked out. It didn’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.

It is easy to move around the town as there is a ton of public transportation. The city is divided into two parts the inner city and the outer city. The two parts of town are divided by moats and walls that marks where the old kingdom of Chiang Mai ended.


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.

All of the locals we talked to be very friendly. Whenever we had the map out and looked confused, someone was always ready to point us in the right direction. Dogs are everywhere here. Word of advice “don’t pet them” you don’t know where they have been. There are also a ton of scooters. It is amazing to see how many people you can fit on them. I saw one with four kids on it.


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 “Prison Product Shop” with a smaller sign below it that said “Welcome: Foot Massage 120/hour”. 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.

On the way back we are going to fly from Surat Thani to Bangkok. As we were waiting for the ticket information to be sent to the travel agency we walked through the Sunday night market. It was three or four city blocks and it had everything. There were paintings, purses, skirts, dresses, paper lanterns, live music, elephant dung photo albums, and a ton of food. I bought a purse with a picture of an elephant on it. It is lovely if I do say so myself.


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.

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Statue of the Three Kings
Statue of the Three Kings
Chiang Mai
photo by: Stevie_Wes