Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Checking out Chiang Mai

After our wonderful day with the elephants we were dropped back at the hostel for some rest and relaxation. Our original plan had been to then go check out Chiang Mai's famous wats (temples), but exhaustion took over and we ended up lazing about the relaxation platform in the middle of our hostel and reading/napping until sunset.

Then it was time for the night bazaar. I love markets...my sister tolerates my love of night markets.

This night market was pretty fabulous though, and we had a good time, overwhelmingly large as it was. We ended up buying things like wood framed paper lanterns for our new apartments (as both she and I are going to be moving into new apartments soon after we get back...and how cute is it that we'll have matching items in both of our houses, half a world away from each other?), handmade silver earrings (gorgeous, and extraordinarily cheap, especially after my sister's haggling), and other small items.


But the amount and types of things you could buy at this market was seemingly endless. There was an amazing assortment of knockoff watches and purses, clothes of every design and quality, souvenir items, handicrafts, and just general awesomeness for one's house. If I'd had the time, cash, and suitcase space, I would have brought so much back with me. As this was the beginning of the trip though, we decided to pace ourselves, knowing that there would be other markets (such as the famous Floating Marketing, a bit out of Bangkok) and other times for buying.

And thus ended our first and last full day in Chiang Mai. Sadly we didn't have much time in this wonderful city because of scheduling (we had planned it around the Full Moon Party happening just a few days after landing), but it would really have been lovely to spend more time.

We spent the entirety of the next morning before our flight (we got up early) visiting wats and giving fruit donations to the monks who meditated within them. There really are some spectacular things to see.









Unfortunately I can't recall all of the names of the wats we saw, and it's likely I did not take pictures of all of them either, but hopefully just having been to them and showing you a few, you'll get an idea of what is there. In comparison to what we saw in Bangkok later, these are more modest, but I would also say in a lot of ways, they're more real and authentic as well. We could see the monks praying and meditating in each of these (we were also there in the morning, when this would be happening) and see the communities that were gathering to do their activities for the weekend. It was sweet and wonderful.

Perfect way to wrap up our time in Chiang Mai before heading off to party island.

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