Chiang Mai…Temples Galore
After a long overnight train trip, we finally arrived to Chiang Mai. As soon as we attempted to exit the train terminal, we were surrounded by many Tuk-tuk (3-wheeled motorbike with 2 passenger seats, Songthaew (pick-up truck with covered bed with seats) and taxi drivers trying to get us to go with them. We just stepped back to the train station to look at the map to make sure we knew where to go. We finally decided to exit, and I negotiated a tuk-tuk to our guesthouse.
We stayed at Sarah Guesthouse, which was recommended in the Lonely Planet guide; the room was clean and we had Aircon and hot water. We carefully read the guesthouse rules…No prostitutes or Bar girls allowed and no Drugs. We thought we could handle that!
After settling down and taking nice showers, we went out for lunch. We spent the rest of the afternoon doing a temple walking tour. Chiang Mai used to be surrounded by a city wall; nowadays, you can still some remains of this beautiful brick wall. The first temple was Wat Phra Singh, one of the most impressive temples in Chiang Mai, which houses the city’s most regarded Buddha image. This was the first time we saw Thai Architecture and we were delighted. The Lanna style temple looked like I was made out of gold. My favorite parts were the dragons in the entrance; they were so elaborated. Our second stop was Wat Chedi Luang. In the temple we saw offerings to Buddha made out of flowers and ribbons. The most impressive part of the complex is the Chedi ruins dating from 1441. After our visit we stop at the Monk Chat. As the name suggests you chat with a monk. You can ask whatever you want. There we learned that every Thai male is expected to be a monk for at least a short time. This brings blessings to the family. Later, we visited Wat Phan Tao, an old brown teak temple, decorated with contrasting yellow flags; it looked gorgeous.
The next stop on the walking tour was the woman prison Spa, where inmates offer affordable massages… we decided to skip that one, and headed to Wat Chiang Man, the oldest temple in the city. We ended the walking tour at the Anusawari Sam Kasat (Three King Monument)