Northern thailand, Chiangmai.

Chiang Mai Travel Blog

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Tha Phea Gate
Airasia on sales again. I grabbed a few cheap air tixs without hesitation. I hav no ideas where to go, where to sleep, what to do, what to eat... That's normal to me. Eventually everything will come in place.

Traveling date : 3-11 Feb 2007, 9 days traveled with co-worker.
Started my survey one month before the trip. Took me few days to do the research. I wanna have a wonderful n unforgettable holiday in chiangmai, which needs time to plan n organize. Apart of that, we do have a budget to work on. There were so many places to visit, with the amount of money we willing to spend... hahaha trust me, the most challenging job ever.

Anyway back to biz. On 3/2/07, woke up early, took a cab to the airport with my huge backpack, checked in, enjoyed my journey to chiangmai.
Food market
My first greetings, Sawadee ka from the custom officer with a smile. Got my passport stamped, took my backpack, hopped into cab. About 30mins, we reached chiangmai town. It was a total different feelings compared with city. Thou i was born in small town as well.. Been that n done that. Yet I enjoyed very much. Flashed back my childhood memories.  Turning my head around left n right like a small kid...feeling so peaceful, surrounding by temples. A little dusty, but it didn't bother me at all. We finally reached our guesthouse, sorry couldn't remember the name, anyway it was bout 300m away from the Tha Phea Gate. Checked in, rested awhile, well well well, guess wat... my stomach was making noise.... heheh. Time to feed my empty stomach.

Walking down the street, It was humid n hot in the afternoon.
Fried liver, fried kidney anyone???
Not many shops were opened. We went to one of the shop tat recommended by lonely planet, business hour from morning til late noon. The food was awesome, I ordered Mango sticky rice, my favorite dish n Phad Thai. The waiter was  polite n spoken good english. After lunch, we walked around the square, saw a lot of people walking down the road. Out of curiosity, we followed the crowd to the end of the square, wow a very long walk. If u were lazy, hired Song teow or Tuk tuk. We were lucky, it's flowers celebration going on tat day, nice flower decorations along the road surrounded by food stalls, couldn't resist the smell. Everything looks good to me. Tasted a few local authentic food, thumbs up :P Went back to bed past midnite. Get ready for tomorrow trekking adventure.

4-6 Feb 07 3D2N Trekking Tour.
To reach the top of the temple, there are few hundred steps to climb

At 8am, a song teow picked us from our guesthouse. There were few more travel buddies from US, France, Aus n Canada joining this group. Greetings going on... Hi, nice to meet u!! Hey, I am....bla bla bla

Along the journey we passing thru paddy field, houses ...,we stopped at the old temple which we had to climb few hundred steps before reaching the top. "For those haven't warm up their body, starts here...." said by Kikie, our trekking tour guide. "Walk slowly everyone, step by step," u'll see lots laughing faces crafted on rocks. Nice n scenic view from top. Did some prayer then moved on.

30mins later, we reached a village. "Everyone carry yr own bag, we need to walk at least 11/2 hours to reach the waterfall"... Kikhie shouted. Here we go, our 3D2N trekking began.
Good balncing
Beginners, need not worry, the trail was easy. Concentrate on the green instead. Listen to wat Kikie said, she was a young gal who started working as a porter, now she owns her trekking company. "Come on everyone , follow me... one, two, one, two", passing thru jungles, crossing rivers, birds singing, one by one, follow the trail to our first destination, waterfalls. Allowed to spend 30 mins at the waterfall, we had our lunch n some soaked in the water.

We continued walking approx. 1.5hour, was glad the journey filled with laughter n jokes. Then Karen hill tribe village appeared not far away down the hill. A group of kids, running towards us, welcome with a smile. Thier dirty decent looking face, hands fulled of handicrafts, "Buy from me pls, u buy this okay? Cheap, cheap.
One of the waterfall
Buy one pls." Kids begging. 'Okay, okay, I want this, how much???...bought a few for myself.

The Karen from southern China, began to move into Thailand around the 17th century and occur in large numbers in the western part of Northern Thailand. They lived in basic, no electricity, no tv, no aircon, no proper school. Yet they lived in harmony n peacefully. Every household has thier own piece of land to grow wet-rice, rear chickens n boars. I bought stationary for the kids, cheer up the kids, makes them happy. Will bring more on my return trip next time.

Enjoyed the sunlight while the sun is stil out there, I took a quick shower before it turns dark, Matthew, Chirs, Bill n Bob were playing soceer with the locals. Kikie was preparing our dinner. The rest were resting, taking pictures, etc.
Brother n Sister
It was cold at nite, 8-15 degrees, everyone sat around the fire, singing, chating, counting stars, What a night!!!

Our bunker made by bamboo, i could feel the wind blowing from below, cut thru my sleeping bag, transfered to my body... OMG!! It's so freaking cold. No way, how to get a peaceful sleep? Everyone was freezing, trust me, no one sleep well that nite... hahah!!! I kept looking at my watch, Gosh!!! Only 4am????

Koo ko koo ko!!! Great alarm clock! "Coffee is ready on the table, pls have yrself." After breakfast, we started our 2nd day journey. Kikie led us through a wonderful evergreen jungle landscape, through bamboo forests, lianas, rhododendrons and lots of other vegetation. Also there are lots of beautiful birds. Another waterfall ahead of us. We walked about 45 mins to another village, Meo hill-tribe.
Traditional way of making cloth
There we spent our 2nd nite. The temperature at night getting colder n colder. We were lucky there were few masseuse to provide us a very good massage for only 200 baht whole body. TUK! (means cheap.)

3rd day morning, feeling sad, started packing, saying goodbye to the locals. I met a local, he's deaf, what impressed me the most, he written good english, self taugh. Salute!!

Dragging my heavy legs down the trail. A bit eshausted, after 2 days activities without sleep. Somehow, am glad we were heading home. "Hang on, we are not going home yet.... U guys wanna do Bamboo rafting and elephant ride?" My eyes sparked, Blink! Blink! Okay, now m not tired or sleepy, "Yes, I want, I want" raised my hand like a small kid... heheh!

The rafts are made of bamboo stems fit together with ropes.
Elephant ride
3 people in one raft, we started racing, splashing water to each other, pushing each other raft, we had a lot of fun. All soaking wet. Awesome! After the cold, we need some adventure. Elephants here we come!!! The elephant i rode was chicky n greedy. He knew i had sugar cane on my hand, he refused to walk. :P Overall, i had a great time with them. Nice creature on earth.

Back to Chaingmai town, we were exhausted, i need a rest. As everyone agreed, we need to have at least one great dinner together at Uthopia before heading home. Checked out this restaurant/pub, it served great food n cheap beer.

7-9 Feb 07 Exploring Chiangmai town
Have a few more places to explore today, Wat Umong, Doi Suthep & Chiang Dao Cave. The cheapest way to cover all places, hire a Song Teow for one day.
Headless buddha
Negotioate with the driver, I managed to get one at 1500Baht return for such a long distance. We started at 9am in the morning, passing all the winding roads, uphills n downhills. THen we reached our first destination. Wat Umong (the forest temple) was an underground chapels , buddhist library. The oldest temple in chiangmai. It has the longest tunnel, You can enter the tunnels to see the small shrines inside. It's kinda sad that The monastery was eventually abandoned during the world war 2. There are lots of headless buddha sitting on the ground. It's a peaceful place to visit.

After Wat Umong, we went to Doi Suthep. Walked up the steps, paid the entrance fee, bought some flowers, and i started my prayer. It's a wonderful feeling standing on top of the temple admiring the fantastic paranoma scenic view, enjoyed the breezes.
. There were people walking in circle, round n round, performing their prayers. Very interesting to watch.
 
Ooppss! A little hungry, time to find some great food. Saw a tri-motorcycle selling some interest local authentic food. It looks like german sausage, but the ingredient are different. It has minced pork with sticky rice, stuffed in pig intestine. Yeah, it sounds gross but tastes good. That's the lovely part of traveling. Otherwise it defeats the purpose....

Our last destination, Chiang Dao cave is a charming cave located in Amphoe Chiang Dao. It is situated 72 kilometres north from Chiang Mai town. Chiang Dao Cave features beautiful crystal formations which, have formed through dripping water.
Chiang Dao cave
The air inside the caves is most of the times cool but during some seasons it can be extremely humid inside. You can either hire a travel guide to guide u through the cave or self guide. We covered only 2 caves Tham Phra Nawn and Tham Seua Dao. Times up, it's getting dark, time to heading home. At night, we walked to Night Bazaar, shopper heaven.. hehe!! Bargain Bargain dear!! Tuk tuk noi means cheap cheap pls.... Shop til u drop. Happy shopping! :P

My last day in chaingmai, we decided to walk around the town. We went to Nimmanhaemin a slightly more premium place for shopping or coffee, where you can find all kind of boutiques surrounding that area, selling local handicrafts. On our way back, we met a buddhist monk, he told us tat we should visit his monestery, Wat Suan Dok, another old temple provided education for the locals.
Another boutique.
Majority all of them preferred here coz the school fee is much cheaper than University. If they choose to study there , they have to be temparary buddhist monk. Short term commitment.

Chiangmai square has 5 gates to enter from each side. We walked soi by soi in the square itself, it has so many Wat surrounding it. All with different architect. Smell something nice from far... OMG!! My favourite food.... Satay!!! Grilled BBQ pork stick like kebab. Aroi !! I ate 10 sticks. Those wanna have nice burger, try out Mike's burger opposite Tha phea gate. Worth it. As for me, i always look for phad thai , tom yam sup n mango sticky rice. All time favourite...M droooooling now... haha!

The whole day we've been walking, eating, sightseeings, keep repeating the same routine.
Cheap shoes on sales
....at 5pm, Night street market started. It was like 5km long. Gosh!!! The longest night market i've ever been. Be prepared, get ready for another round of shopping!! Remember only on sunday!!! From 5pm till midnite. No worries, there were plenty of massage center along the road. "Mam, Sir, Maaassage??? Do u need massage sir??? Cheap cheap!! ".... well it's only 50 baht for foot massage, worth it rite??? I decided to spend all my money since m heading home tomorrow....never ending nite.

Wow!!! It was fun, refreshing and exicting to recall what i did in chiangmai, such an enjoyable trip that i never forget, especially the people, the food and the smiles :P

Kaprunkap!!
 






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Tha Phea Gate
Tha Phea Gate
Food market
Food market
Fried liver, fried kidney anyone???
Fried liver, fried kidney anyone???
To reach the top of the temple, th…
To reach the top of the temple, t…
Good balncing
Good balncing
One of the waterfall
One of the waterfall
Brother n Sister
Brother n Sister
Traditional way of making cloth
Traditional way of making cloth
Elephant ride
Elephant ride
Headless buddha
Headless buddha
Chiang Dao cave
Chiang Dao cave
Another boutique.
Another boutique.
Cheap shoes on sales
Cheap shoes on sales
Local kids costume.
Local kids costume.
Colorful earrings.
Colorful earrings.
Pagoda at Wat Umong
Pagoda at Wat Umong
Mother n son.
Mother n son.
Mummy
Mummy
Paddy field
Paddy field
Boutique around chiangmai town
Boutique around chiangmai town
Enjoying n relaxing at the waterfa…
Enjoying n relaxing at the waterf…
Ia a house not hut.
Ia a house not hut.
pretty ladies from France. The gal…
pretty ladies from France. The ga…
Souvenir n food stall.
Souvenir n food stall.
No idea who are they??
No idea who are they??
Amazing face expressions! Evey sin…
Amazing face expressions! Evey si…
Street sign
Street sign
Morning glory, Time to brush your …
Morning glory, Time to brush your…
The biggest n longest night market…
The biggest n longest night marke…
Kitchen
Kitchen
Beer Chiang
Beer Chiang
Night market
Night market
Traditional bathroom
Traditional bathroom
Food stall
Food stall
Handmade bags
Handmade bags
Travel buddies around the world.
Travel buddies around the world.
Mobile coffee vehicle.
Mobile coffee vehicle.
Time to have a break. Have a Kit K…
Time to have a break. Have a Kit …
Am helping on cooking. Taste good …
Am helping on cooking. Taste good…
Our lovely lodging
Our lovely lodging
Time to move on.... start packing.
Time to move on.... start packing.
Left over food.
Left over food.
Human vs animal
Human vs animal
Advertisement space
Advertisement space
Handmade teddy bears. Great workma…
Handmade teddy bears. Great workm…
Poor puppies.
Poor puppies.
Monks cemetery
Monk's cemetery
Monks cemetery
Monk's cemetery
Best advertisement of the year
Best advertisement of the year
Old vs new
Old vs new
Entrance to Wat Umong
Entrance to Wat Umong
Blessing time.
Blessing time.
Wish list!
Wish list!
Sponsored Links
Chiang Mai
photo by: Stevie_Wes