There are over 300 Buddhist temples in the glorious city of Chiang Mai! If I had the chance to visit only one place in Thailand, it would definitely be Chiang Mai.
For the number and variety of those breathtakingly beautiful houses of worship, for the lovely coffee shops, for the charming little shops, for the good massage places, for the fact that they offer language lessons, for the perfect mix of traditional and historical and modern and hip.
Did I make myself clear? I love this place!
Every single one of Chiang Mai’s temples is different in material and design, yet all of them are incredibly beautiful and I didn’t get tired of visiting them.
It was very hard, but I did it: I put together a list of the ten nicest sights in wonderful Chiang Mai where I’ve spent three days which was by far not enough. I want to come back, and then I’ll stay at least for one week.
1. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep – located on the slope of the Doi Suthep hill. From the parking lot, you have to climb the 200 steps of the stairs to get up there. The banister is decorated with two magnificent Naga snakes.
Every little detail is just dazzling, but what fascinated me the most was the gold plated artifacts shimmering in the glazing sun – just magic.
|Jade Buddha surrounded by his golden posse|
|Yes, she is cute, but it’s her job to be cute, so I have strongly mixed feelings about this.
Note: You get there easily by public transport. Take the bus to the last stop, from there a shared taxi is bringing passengers up to the temple.
2. Wat Chedi Luang – Located right in the center of Chiang Mai and is especially known for offering monk chats.
4. Wat Phan Tao – This Wat made of teak wood is not only one of the oldest temples, but it also was used as a palace. The artistic craftwork will blow you away – it’s chased in such a refined way.
|Amazingly refined handcraft.|
I think it’s silly to pick five of 300, so go and see for yourself. You would think, 300 temples, that must be drab, but actually it’s not at all since they are all so different. Already the various construction material makes each one unique, then they are all so sumptuously decorated. I’m just an ordinary tourist and no expert at all, and still, they like cast a spell over me.
|Every Wat has an assembly of a motive it flashes in many different materials and designs. At Wat Kuan Ka Ma it’s…got it?|
Don’t miss Wat Kuan Ka Ma, especially since there is a good eatery next door.
Oh, talking ’bout eating, I just loved the Dinner Show at Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. I know it sounds like Disney Land and super cheesy, but actually, it’s really nice – and there weren’t even so many foreign tourists there (probably they think it’s cheesy while the local tourists enjoy it; the world is a funny place).
|bye:myself enjoying the Dinner Show at Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center|
|This is the Dinner part…|
|…and this the show part.|
|Kòbkûn ká, ladies, I had such a great evening!|
Very recommendable is to get a massage in Chiang Mai, performed by ex-cons – or even cons – of the women’s prison. This way, not only do you feel good – you also do good, because with this job, the women – mostly in there for drug trafficking, so no mass murderers – can start a new life.