Thailand, Part 2: Chilling in Chiang Mai

So with a strange Bangkok night behind us, we got up and headed up to the airport for our flight to Chiang Mai. It was a short flight, so we arrived there late afternoon with no real idea where our hostel was. After nearly an hour of wandering around we decided to sack the prebooked one off (and lose about £1.50) and checked into one 2 minutes from the main road through the town.

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Sunset From The Hostel Balcony.

 

That night we headed off to watch some Thai Boxing. It took a bit of effort to find the arena but was completely worth it. We were pretty close to the ring and got a decent view of all the fights, seeing some brutal punches and elbows landed, as well as one spectacular knockout. The highlight of the night though was the 5 man, blindfolded (yes, you did just read that right) everyman for himself brawl. Some of the punched these guys took without dropping to the floor were incredible, and the comedy value of someone trying to lay into the referee by accident is something most sports can’t match.

Seen as we only had one full day in Chiang Mai we decided to cram a lot in, with a couple of the areas famous temples on our to-do list. After a bit of negotiating and waiting we jumped in the back of one of the pick up taxis which ply their trade between the town and temples, and headed to our first stop in the mountains.

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The Long Climb To The First Temple.

 

300 stairs led the way to the temple, and the mid morning heat didn’t make it an easy climb, but we pushed on, and it was definitely worth it, the view from the top was awesome and the beauty of the temple was out of this world. The jade Buddha (below) caught my eye, it was an amazing piece of art.

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The Jade Buddha.

 

Once we’d seen enough of the temple, and it took awhile the place was that stunning, we headed further up the mountain. Unfortunately due to time constraints we didn’t visit the Royal temple here, we did get to explore some of the little side streets and cliff top paths which offered some great views of Chiang Mai.

After a bit of a rest towards the end of the afternoon I emptied my day pack and we headed off to the night market in search of some bargains, and bargains did we find! The night market in Chiang Mai was the best market I experienced during my trip, the variety of stuff was unbelievable and with a bit of smart haggling you could get t-shirts, shorts, perfume etc for ridiculously cheap prices, and the street food there was great, giving you much needed energy to hunt for more bargains.

Our short time in Chiang Mai came to an end too soon, and we were back on a plane to Bangkok the next morning, planning on heading to Koh Phi Phi. Upon arriving in Bangkok we headed to the train station and booked onto an overnight sleeper train going down south. After a 5hour wait sat in a restaurant knocking back Singha and cheap steaks, we boarded the train and began the long trip to Thailand’s beach paradise.

 

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