Chiang Mai, Thailand: My oh Mai

Exiting Wat Phan Tao
After a 5 hour bus ride (218 baht each) north of Sukhothai we arrived in Chiang Mai, a very backpacker friendly city with an assortment of temples in it. We visited Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Phan Tao.

Many tours are available throughout the city. An expedition to Doi Inthanon will take you to the highest point in Thailand, while other tours will show you Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (a wat on a hill) and cart you through a few hillside tribe villages as if you were riding the “Small World” ride at Disney World but with real people instead of chanting, foreign, robots. We skipped these tours and chose to just relax for a few days. Staying at Pakinai Guesthouse, we were treated to our first room that had a mini fridge and a tv (300B/night). This allowed us to get caught up on a little R and R (really cold beer and reruns of The X-Files).

We managed to make it to the night market one night, where we purchased fake Birkenstocks (Editors note: Ryan wore his once and got a huge blister. Sara’s were comfy for one month and then they basically disintegrated) and Ryan showed Sara his superior bartering skills by paying one-third less than her ($10/$15). We had our first western dish in 14 or so days — tacos and burritos at Miguel’s plus a large beer (130B). Ryan had a Thai massage. Together we invented a new meal, dinner 1 (the original dinner becoming dinner 2).

wat chiang man
Wat Chiang Man
Man cooking lunch in Chiang Mai
pineapple fruit shake
Buddha statue
Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Chiang Man
dog guards over the Chiang Man wat
Statue at Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Phan Tao's donation bowls
Wat Phan Tao
Chiang Mai soi
Eating khao sawy at the night bazaar
Scooting around at night
Buddha at Wat Chedi Luang
Stray dog watches the tourists
Looking out the wat windowMonks loiteringPraying at Wat Phra SingThe front gate of Wat Phan Tao

Wat Phan Tao Japanese tourist photo!Man looking out from Wat Phra Sing

Overall, it was a pleasant 3 days in a city that isn’t afraid to throw up the Fonzie double thumbs, but will also coddle your farang ass. Cool but comforting. If only your high school guidance councillor had been like that.

Still heading north, we’re off to Soppong.