Chiang Mai Festivities

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For my week off after summer camp and before the semester begins, Chiang Mai was my first stop. I stayed at a place called “Poi De Ping Guesthouse” and it was one of the nicest and cleanest places I’ve stayed so far while in Thailand. Since it is located slightly outside the city center, it was extremely affordable adding up to a total of only $40 for 4 nights for 2 people. So it was only $5/night for each person!

Our second day in Chiang Mai happened to be on a Sunday, which is the day of a large night market down Ratchadamnoen Road. We went into the city early and spent the morning at Wat Chedi Luang, which is a Buddhist temple that has a program called “monk chat” where you can sit down with the monks and ask them any questions you can think of about their lifestyle, beliefs, etc. It was beautiful!

Then we walked around the town a little bit and enjoyed a fresh coconut, which are for sale on almost every block. We ate some food (Pad Thai) and explored the town some more and grabbed a drink (Thai iced tea) near the market to watch all the vendors begin setting up their tents and tables.

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Finally, around 6p.m. the market started to get crowded so we walked the length of the street in awe of how much was for sale and how cheap it all was. They had anything from fruit smoothies to musical instruments to t-shirts to fancy soaps for sale. There were some musicians performing for the crowd as well.

On Monday, we visited an elephant sanctuary called Elephant Nature Park but that will be it’s own upcoming post!

On Tuesday, we took a taxi to Mae Sa Waterfall, which is inside a national park in North Chiang Mai. The ride from our guesthouse was only about a half hour but the scenery was completely different. We went from an urban landscape to a straight up jungle basically. It was a very dense forest surrounding the path up the 10 level waterfall. In some places there were no steps so it was more of a hike up some rocks as well in certain areas. It was also extremely buggy because that comes with the humid territory here in Thailand. However, we did manage to climb up all 10 levels and each view was better than the next. It usually costs 100 baht to enter but we went so early in the morning (to avoid crowds) that there wasn’t even anyone around to collect the fee and we were almost the only people on the path the entire time. This was really nice because we were able to take in all the sights and sounds of the park without any distractions from the outside world.

This was a really cool used book store (pictures weren’t allowed inside) and this is one more photo from Wat Chedi Luang.

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