Day 7 - 10
Wednesday 14 November 2012.
Staying at Thaphae Gardens which we found to be in an excellent location. There is a swimming pool, hubby tried it out, but too cold for me. Our first destination was Warorot Market where we appeared to be the only foreigners. It was an interesting market and was certainly an experience. We came across live eels, turtles and fish swimming around in large buckets, have to admit that half of the time, we were unable to idenify alot of the food on sale, not sure if things were plant, animal or whatever! We then took a half hour tuk tuk ride around the walls of the city before heading on foot within the walls. Couldn't believe how many wats there are, seem to be on every corner! At night we took the short walk to the Night Bazaar and Anusarn. We came across our first lady boys although I do think have we seen lady boys before but they are so feminine that it doesn't cross our minds that they are not women. We took some time out and had a cocktail at a bar overlooking Anusarn and people watched whilst sipping our drink.
Thursday 15 November 2012
We had booked a day trip through our guest house and got picked up first. We then spent around 50 minutes picking up other guests which was a long time but gave us the opportunity to see a bit more of Chiang Mai. We visited two lovely waterfalls the first one Sirifan but you could not get too close as apparently someone had been killed recently when they slipped on the rocks. Our second waterfall was Wachirathan which was beautiful. You could see numerous rainbows in the spray created by the crashing water, we also had lunch here with our fellow travellers. We visited a hill tribe which had 88 residents. They did own cars, mopeds and even a satellite but it was also a shock to go in their houses which were on stilts and to see how basic their house possessions are. The women were making yard which is then weaved into shawls, bags etc which you can then buy. We then visited Doi Inthanon which we found a bit disappointing and we did not do the walk which alot of fellow travellers have recommended. We also went to the twin chedis nearby and visited both the king and queen pagodas. The clouds kept coming down and shrouded the pagodas in mist. There are some lovely gardens here as well that you can look around. Our last stop was some stalls selling local produce, as the locals are encouraged to grow flowers etc to better the lives of the hill tribe people (used to grow opium apparently). Luckily we were first to be dropped off when we got back to Chiang Mai. In the evening we had a walk towards the river and ate the the Goodview (next to Riverside), it wa very busy but seemed to be extremely well organised. Afterwards we sat by the river where locals were chilling and letting off fireworks and fire crackers.
Friday 16 November 2012
We decided to eat breakfast out but we really struggled to find anywhere and ended up buying some coffee and doughnuts filled with Thai custard and waffles! Its so weird to see food being cooked on the stalls at 9am which continues to be cooked at 11pm at night, a guide told us the locals eat rice 3 times a day! We caught a songthaew to Borsang where we had a look at how umbrellas are made. There are people painting beautiful designs on the umbrellas, they wanted to paint a design on my skirt but asked them to create a picture on our video case instead. They do it so quick but the designs are beautiful. Managed to spend lots of money on various umbrellas for gifts, fans and lantern lights. We then returned the walled city and people watched havin a smoothie near Thapae Gate. We then made our way to Changpuak Gate where we intended to get shared songthaew to Doi Suthep, however afer waiting around 15 minutes, noone else came so we bargained with the driver and just hubby and myself went by ourselves. Although we found Chiang Mai's traffic to be so manic and busy, we were able to escape it and enjoyed the ride out of the city. We climbed the 309 steps to reach the temple and paid 30 bhts to get in. You get a good view of Chiang Mai from here, you can see the airport as well. There are alot of giant bells you can ring but beware, they are quite loud. Alot of Thai's were showing their respects and getting blessed by a monk.
Saturday 17 November 2012
Got a tuk tuk to Chang Puak bus station, timed it right as we only had a couple of minutes to wait before the bus left for our next destination, Chiang Dao.Edited: 16 December 2012, 20:12