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Chiang Mai – a city of 300 temples, the capital of digital nomads. The city has many expressions. It is the largest city of northern Thailand and its cultural and supposedly culinary capital. The city was founded in 1296 as the capital of the Lanna kingdom and was given the name “New Town” – that’s exactly what the name Chiang Mai means. Although the city is called the capital of digital nomads (even the famous island of Bali gives way this title) I did not come here to work, but only for a short tour during the Yi Peng festival. People who are looking for an active vacation will not be bored here. I chose only some of the possible attractions because of the limited time.
How I get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok
I went to Chiang Mai for an extended weekend. On Thursday, after work, I set out on a journey and on Sunday evening I was back in Bangkok. Many people travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by night train. Due to the lack of time, I chose a slightly faster form of transport, AirAsia airways. The plane took off at 20:35 from Don Mueang airport (DMK) and at 21:50 I was already in Chiang Mai (CNX). For two tickets I paid 116EUR ($ 135), where a one-way night train ticket costs $ 35- $ 55. The difference in price is not so big, and the comfort is much bigger (During the promotion at AirAsia you can get even cheaper flight tickets).
The airport is only 3 km from the very center of Chiang Mai. After leaving immediately you will be attacked by tuk tuk drivers with their prices (about 150THB). All you have to do is go out to the airport area (~ 100m) and you can call Grab Taxi. The price to the hostel in the center cost 52THB.
Flight with the Gibbons – Zip line
The next morning I wake up early in the morning because I bought a trip to the rope park in the rainforest – Flight with the Gibbons. The price is 4000THB, included: a pickup from and to the hotel, 2-3 hours in the rainforest and zip lines, lunch, and the opportunity to visit the nearby waterfall Mae Kampong. According to their website, there is also the opportunity to hear wild Gibbons, but I did not notice anything like this during my visit. At about 14 o’clock I was already at the hotel, quickly swallowed up and headed out into the city.
When I was hanging around the city, I decided that I had time before the start of releasing the lanterns during the Yi Peng festival. I decided to go to the Zoo with the Tigers. The relation from this place can be found in this entry.
Yee Peng – Latern Festival
It was no accident that I chose this weekend (3-5 November 2017) for a visit to Chiang Mai. It the date of the Yi Peng holiday celebrated by releasing thousands of lanterns into the air. A link to my relationship with letting lanterns in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Rai – White Temple – Golden Triangle Trip
On Saturday I went on a day trip to the White Temple in Chiang Rai and the border area of Thailand, Laos, and Burma, called the golden triangle. The trip started at 7:30 in the morning, and finished at 21. The report from this trip is available at this link.
On the last day, I went for a morning visit to the elephant sanctuary, where I had the opportunity to feed them and take a bath with them. A separate entry was also made from this trip.
Temples in Chiang Mai
I did not manage to visit all 300 temples of Chiang Mai in such a short time. I took 2 short walks around the city during which I visited the following places:
- Wat Phra Singh – temple in which we can watch the Thai national treasure. Golden Buddha brought by monks, from Sri Lanka in 1367. (20THB for entrance)
- Wat Phan Tao – entirely wooden temple, entry is free.
- Wat Jedlin – located right next to Wat Phan Tao.
- Wat Saen Muang Ma Luang (Wat Hua Kuang) – located near the northern gate
- Wat Chiang Man – In the middle you can find a small crystal Buddha from the second century
Silver Temple – Wat Sri Suphan
The temple is located outside the center of Chiang Mai. It is kept in silver and has silver decorations. An interesting fact is that women are forbidden to enter. Yes, ladies can admire the temple only from outside. According to the legend, valuable amulets are buried under the foundations of the temple, which will lose their power after the woman has crossed the threshold. In the interior, the metal floor is decorated and depicts a map of the world, with stars.
Back to Bangkok.
At 21:20 I had a return flight to Bangkok. This time I arrived at the airport on foot, visiting the night market on the way, which was just opening – Night Market. I realize that this is only a little part of what you can see or do in Chiang Mai, but unfortunately, I did not have more time. I will definitely come back here one day, even for mountain trekking or even a bit of work.