Surprisingly Chiang Mai was one of our favourite places and this wasn’t just due to seeing Elephants and Tigers, although of course it might have been a small factor! There is actually tons of other interesting things to do and see around the city. As soon as we arrived in Thailand we were so shocked and pleasantly surprised by the genuine helpfulness of the Thai people! We have experienced it a little in the other countries but here everyone just seems to want to go above and beyond for you and most of the time it’s not even for money! On our first day walking around we spoke to 2 Thai men who were really inquisitive and helpful, they advised a few nice places to look around and bid us a good day! Of course one of them referred us to his tailor shop but there was nothing forceful in it like we have experienced before.
Now you all know how much me and Liam love a good old Asian temple, we just can’t get enough of them it seems! So luckily for us we had come to the right place as Chiang Mai has over 300 temples nestled in amongst its many many streets. The good thing about this though is that you can just walk around and if you stumble across one just go in and have a look. It’s not forced upon you as a day trip or an attraction as such and you don’t have to pay unless you fancy giving the monks donations for upkeep etc. The temples are pretty special as well and if they don’t stand out then you simply just don’t bother looking! We ended up walking around quite a few of them actually even though we thought we were done with temples!
The markets of Chiang Mai were pretty amazing too! The Chinese markets were full of hustle and bustle all the way through the day but at night as usual in Asia the city comes to life! We had a couple of dinners on the riverside which was gorgeous and then we would meander round the night markets which were beautiful in their own little way! We were lucky enough to be in Chiang Mai on a Sunday though which is when the walking street comes to life at night. We were advised that local people wait all week for it so it was definitely worth a visit!
We tried some lovely street food from the market and had a walk around looking at the various stalls which were actually selling some really nice stuff and not the usual tat that is common in Asia! Liam had a cute little idea to go off into the market separately armed with 100 baht each (about £2.50) and buy whatever we could for each other! After 30 minutes we reconvened but Liam still hadn’t found the perfect gift so he was allowed 10 minutes extra!
Now anyone who knows Liam will know that he’s a big kid at heart so of course I had to buy him boys toys! After some hard bartering I managed to get him a elastic band gun and a frog that makes a croaking sound when you run a stick over its back….hard to explain but we’ve seen them all over Asia and he’s always thought they were funny. Liam came back in the end with a gorgeous glass rose and a squishy googly eye stress ball ….can’t think why I would need that though haha!!
Oh and the icing on the cake for Chiang Mai was that we finally managed to find a proper converse shop so we could get Liam some new trainers to replace his lost Sambas! All in all it was a week well spent in this city!