I think I’m in Love!
No, I haven’t met the girl of my dreams . . . the Pad Thai I had last night WAS really nice, but it’s not that . . and my BOSE Bluetooth Speaker is Prettyyy damn sexy if you ask me . . . but it’s not that either.
It’s Chiang Mai, the largest and most culturally significant city in the lush, mountainous regions of Northern Thailand. It dates back to around 1200AD, so it’s pretty ancient too.
Home to hundreds of elaborate temples, including 14th-century Wat Phra Singh and 15th-century Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai has a laid-back, relaxed vibe that’s hard to come by in bustling Thailand, especially compared to the chaos of Bangkok, the nations capital.
It’s a place for relaxing and recharging, and with some fabulous food, a vast array of activities from Zip-lining to Elephant trekking, and if you’re more inclined, some leisurely wanderings through the quiet Soi’s (the equivalent of a Thai back-street), for a taste of a city that still firmly maintains it’s cultural aspects, despite the constant influx of travelers and tourists from every corner of the world.
Chiang Mai is a medieval city in every sense of the word – its Old City area still retains vestiges of walls and moats from its history as a cultural and religious center. Within the historic city walls, it still very much maintains a residential feel more in tune with a sleepy outback town than a busy city.
A short ride out of town however, will deliver you into the green surrounding countryside, with it’s rice terraces, waterfalls, hot springs and quiet little villages.
Every Sunday around 5pm in the middle of the old city, a number of streets are closed off for the afternoon market, which has spread out in time, to take in many of the smaller streets as well. You’ll find any number of local arts and crafts, along with all sorts of tempting street food Thailand is famous for, plus a few local delicacies like the Chiang Mai sausage – a personal fave!
So you can see why I want to keep Chiang Mai all to myself! – it gets hot there’s no denying, and it can get a little busy at times too, but it more than makes up with a vibrant arts scene, relaxing laid-back atmosphere, and a friendly local population who always make you feel welcome!
So next time you take a holiday, come for a visit, but secret squirrel ok? – otherwise everyone will want to come! 🙂