Chiang Mai: Thailand’s Hidden Gem

November 7, 2023

Chiang Mai is a destination that seamlessly blends rich cultural heritage with natural beauty.

For me, it’s a very special place. I guess it was a huge part of my dreaming of travel.  This vibrant city is often described as Thailand’s hidden gem.  With its enchanting temples, bustling markets, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality.  The smiling people.  I identify with the religion, Buddhism.

Chaing Mai : Land of Smiles

Chiang Mai is steeped in history and culture. With its roots tracing back to the Lanna Kingdom, which thrived in the 13th century. As an illustration, the city is adorned with ancient temples, each telling a story of its own.

Chaing Mai Temples:

Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep are just a few of the remarkable temples that you can visit. In fact, as you walk in the streets, you will come across spirit houses.  These small shrines, perched on pedestals. house guardian spirits that protect the property and offer good fortune. From time to time, you will see all sorts of offerings, such as cooldrink, bowls of foods, coconuts and fruit.  In essence, as a Thai explained to me, it’s to “keep away the ghosts.” I love how the people respect the gifts.

Doi Suthep:

The first time I walked up the 300 steps to reach Doi Suthep, I was completely in awe, of the temples and the monks.  I spent a few hours here with my best traveler friend, my mum.  We also left a little urn of my grandfather’s ashes there.  And trust me, we went back many times to see him.

Lighting of candles at Doi Suthep

Sunday Market:

Without a doubt, this city is renowned for its vibrant night markets. Famously, called the Sunday Market, takes place every Sunday evening. Here, you can stroll along the bustling streets, shop for handcrafted goods, sample delicious street food, and witness traditional dance and music performances.

Warorot Market:

Additionally, the Warorot Market which I was dragged to many of times by my mother, who shopped literally until we dropped.  Of course, my best – the Night Bazaar offer an array of local crafts, clothing, and souvenirs for you to take home. Usually, you can get everything and anything at these markets. Given these points take a lot of spending money if you love to shop!

Chaing Mai Food:

Chiang Mai is a haven for your taste buds. Time to Let’s talk about the food.    In brief, you do need to have experience eating the food sold in the streets and markets. I did have a dodge meal and was man down for 3 days.  In reality, you live and most importantly learn.  Take charcoal tablets.  And go where the locals go. They might not be fine dining restaurants; they are usually full of the community.  If you see that, you know the food is good.  The seafood is delicious!  And of course, you can get everything and anything pork related.  Ribs, belly, chops, and bacon.  Lip smacking stuff, made with such love!

Another key point, make sure you go into the fancy supermarket and buy the fruit there. It is fresh and packed with goodness. Oh and, don’t drink a Green Tea Shake every day! Although it’s the most refreshing divine green smooth juice that you sip slowly, so that it never ends.  It has a half a tin of condense milk and ideal milk in it!

Festivals in Chaing Mai:

Chiang Mai hosts several unique festivals and events throughout the year. Obviously, the most famous is the Yi Peng Lantern Festival. You will see thousands of lanterns being released into the night sky. Pretty awesome for photography. If you are like me. I hate crowds, stay clear of this time!

Indeed, Songkran, the Thai New Year’s water festival. A celebration of water fights.  Here, you will locals and tourists spraying water at each other in water guns.  Such fun.

Overall, I found the people of this city to have incredible warmth and hospitality. You’ll find that it’s easy to strike up conversations.  I can guarantee you; it will be easy to make friends. As I did.

Without a doubt, this beautiful city offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you a desire to return.

 

 

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