Northern Thailand – Chiang Mai

I’m getting lazy with these blogs already and I’m only 2 months in.  I want to keep doing them though so I remember all the amazing places I have been!  

With Chiang Mai it is difficult to say what we did because it was like a home from home for us.  We stayed for quite a while and then reorganised things so we could come back for another couple of days after Pai!  

The main thing I will remember about Chaing Mai is eating,  

We ate.  A lot!  And we saw a lot of temples.  But as awful as this sounds you do get a bit “templed out”.  The first one you see is amazing.  

Then the second is good.  The next is OK. Then you just walk past them and through them without noticing them because, although they are beautiful, they are EVERYWHERE!

The first day we went (by accident) to one of the main temples in Chiang Mai which is Wat Chedi Luang.  This is a very old ruin of a temple which is in the centre, and other interesting buildings surround it including the “pillar of Chiang Mai”.  Inside this building is a sacred pillar which is both beautiful and interesting.  I didn’t see it though.  Because I have the audacity to own a pair of ovaries.  Women cannot enter because they menstruate and the people fear that getting menstrual blood everywhere could cause the downfall of Chiang Mai. (Not even kidding – read the sign!).  

The last day we went to the temple on top of the mountain Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.  The view from here was meant to be out of this world.  As you can see from the picture this wasn’t the case!

Top tip. Don’t visit northern Thailand in burning season.  You literally cant see for shit.  However I decided I wanted to “boop” as many things as I could 🙂

We ate a lot in Chiang Mai – It is quite a touristy area so you can find anything that you want.  We had so much food – gyozas, donuts, tasty stone asked pizza and red thai curry from a coconut!  It is also good for nightlife  – we met up with friends we met in India, Ben and Becky from Leeds and found a rock bar so Andrew was happy!

The best thing about Chiang Mai was the elephant day!  Everywhere you go in any of the thai cities there are elephant tours advertised.  It is difficult to know which to go for and I tried to do my research,  Early on I found out that riding is no good.  The elephants backs cannot hold human weight due to the shape of their spines so anywhere that offers riding is no good.  The main place in Chiang Mai is called elephant nature park – They are a rescue centre which started years ago.  However one copycat companies have started where they don’t offer riding and instead you bathe and feed the elephants.   Instead of being annoyed at the copycat company, the original sanctuary actually condone it.  Even though they are purely for tourist reasons, the end results are the same – happy elephants. 

We had an amazing day with them! There were six or seven elephants including a baby called Tulu and his mum (who was our favourite) called Chancy.  

We got to feed them bananas (I didn’t realise how snotty their trunks were) and stroke them!  We went in the water to wash them and two started trying to get jiggy in the water with us!!  

Then we had to throw mud all over them.  Apparently this is a sunscreen and natural insect repellent.  

This was super gross – we were in bathing suits in a mud bath – it was like walking in a giant bowl of porridge which was mainly elephant poop! It was a really great day!

Overall we loved Chiang Mai.  We would definitely come back but maybe at a better time of year when the farmers aren’t burning their crops.

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