Sunday, August 10, 2008

Chiang Mai - part 1

Wat Doi Suthep, the proud symbol of Chiang Mai.
it claims to house Lord Buddha's Relic within the confines of this magnificent temple. legend has it that the location of this was determined by a blessed elephant. an ancient siamese king put Lord Buddha's Relic on the back of this elephant, and set it free to wander. the elephant came to this spot, trumpeted, and died. and here Wat Doi Suthep was built.

Chiang Mai, the northern most major city of Thailand.
i was there for 5+1 days. plus 1 because i had to miss my stupid flight home.

was suppose to be going with a group of friends, but they had other priorities, or maybe its just me. what the heck, i had so much fun going alone. hahahaha.......

so, here are the photos .... in chronological order....

she shy

return tix to chiang mai, rm270 all in.
thank you air asia for making flying cheap, and *uncomfortable.

only airasia serves direct flight between KL and chiangmai, and only 1 flight per day, much to my dismay when i missed my flight home...hahaha.

airbus A320, a modern mid-range wide body bird

A320 exposing herself upon touching down

touching down in chiangmai international airport just before noon local time.
fortunately for us, we were 20 minutes ahead of schedule, coz just about when i lined up to get my passports stamped, several more flights came in, bringing several hundred people lining up at the 8 lanes immigration counter.

took a cab to my guesthouse.

the Gongkaew Huenkum Chiangmai Home

the gongkaew was my home away from home for 5 nights.
its freaking cheap, rm25/dorm bed, rm65/queen room, and rm85/queen + single bed.
its clean. its beautiful. its perfect.

actually, i gathered a lot of useful information from nicolekiss's blog prior to my visit to chiangmai. so, i strongly recommend those who want to do a bit of traveling around indo-china,
please go to her blog and read about what she has to say, since she's covered most of indo-china already.

right after i checked in myself and freshened up, i hit the streets.
chiangmai is a very easy city to navigate yourself around.
chiangmai is an ancient walled city. with a defensive wall built around the city, and a moat to keep enemies out.
part of the walls and the moat remain as signatures of chiangmai.
with the moat as the rectangular perimeter of the city, its near impossible to remain los
t inside the city.

*courtesy of nicolekiss

armed with a simple tourist map, and a good sense of bearing, you're good to go.
every tourist attraction within city walls is just walking distance away. i strongly suggest visitors to equip themselves with a really comfy pair walking shoes.
tuk-tuks or any other form of public transport is not a necessity at this point. walking is the best way to smell the roses.

a quick research on wikitravel reveals that chiangmai is home to over 300 temples!!!
which i found it impossible to doubt, since there is like a temple at every corner of a street. an
d mind you these temples are not small ok? most of the temples' history spans over hundreds of years. some have a lot of bling-blings, and some have huge-huge structures that is nothing less than jaw-dropping impressive!!!

despite my mild interest in history and structures, it is impossible to visit every temple there is in chiangmai, and trust me, your interest wanes significantly after visiting 5-6 temples......

i believe this is Wat Phra Singh

a very typical layout of the temple ground, 2 halls in perpendicular direction to each other, and a pagoda behind it.

some holy ceremony here, but i have no idea what its about. but it looks really important.

very beautiful

wat chedi luang which is one of my favorites, this is a significantly important temple for chiangmai, not only for its impressive 80+m pagoda, but also its history.

*to be continued.................Chiang Mai Night Bazaar!!!


a boring pigpig said...

wow seems that u r so happy abt ur trip n u wrote like promoting temples hahaha. did anyone help u to take pic? i told u to diet airasia is too small for u :)i would pick an aisle/window seat with the skiniest person beside me haha...

michellesy said...

Chiang Mai looks like fun! =)

And sometimes travelling alone can be....liberating? No more squabbling over the where-to-gos and what-to-sees, which can be refreshing.

But it can get lonely after a while - and this coming from someone who's been watching movies by herself for the last year or so =P

So yeah, the ideal scenario would be to travel on your own, but to meet interesting people on the way? =)

sheon said...

a boring pigpig: nah..the airasia plane seats are just about nice for me for a short flight. and of coz i am damn happy about the trip!!! hahaha

michellesy: chiang mai IS fun!!! 3-4 days there would be just nice.
yeah, traveling alone means i have all the freedom to do whatever i feel like doing, go wherever i want to go...its great!!! however, it is also great if you have a companion to share the experience with. meeting interesting people along the way is a good consolation.

haha, i know what you mean...hey, top my record, i've been watching movies by myself for the last 4 years!

michellesy said...

Haha, I usually drag my sister along for movie sessions. But since she's relocated for work, I go by myself if the mood strikes me.

Nothing like a movie kaki no?

Even though the freedom when you're single to do whatever you want, whenever you want can make for a refreshing change.

Four years? Hmmmm....I've been single for three years now, so am I on track to beat your record? =P

ps: I'm hoping to travel around Asia with a friend for a couple of weeks next year, so I'll certainly be awaiting your posts on Chiangmai with interest. Nothing beats getting advice from people who've actually been there and done that =)

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bear said...

where is ur handsome pic bro??

sheon said...

michellesy: oooh...more pics coming. mr busy is busy. and it doesnt help that over the last few days, its almost impossible to access the internet.

nah, you wont dethrone me anytime soon. i'm always 1 year ahead of you!!

bear: policy. apart from my profile pic, no other pictures of myself will be displayed here. sorry bro. coz i might just scare away the very few readers that i only have.