Colours of Chiang Mai

16th March 2008, Sunday

Flight AK896 reached Chiang Mai International Airport 25 minutes ahead of scheduled time. Yuin and I looked at each other, rolled our eyes and sniggered. I told him, after flying so many times with Air Asia, they always proudly (to a point of annoyance) announce that they are early to reach a destination, even if it’s only 5 minutes earlier. If there is a traffic police in the air, I am sure he would issue a speeding ticket.

Even though groggy from lack of sleep after being rudely awaken by an announcement from a giggly air stewardess of a marriage proposal on the air and non-stop applause (come on lah); we were very gung ho to take on the city.

We were greeted promptly by Dave, the owner of Chiang Mai Marvel Travel. I came across this contact when I was surfing the internet. I guess I love it because it’s hassle-free. No payment required till we meet upon arrival!

Doi Suthep

First stop is Doi Suthep, the landmark of Chiang Mai. People who came to Chiang Mai and didn’t go to Doi Suthep, would be considered haven’t been to Chiang Mai at all. The road towards Doi Suthep is a winding one; situated about some 30 minutes away from the airport, proudly perched on the hill, some 3,500 km above sea level.

After looking and marveling with awe at pictures of Doi Suthep in magazines, the web or friends’ pictures; I was rather disappointed that it’s not as grandiose as I thought it would be. Nevertheless it was quite worth a visit. We learned that, Doi Suthep was built where a white elephant sent by the King in search of a good land to house relics given by Lord Buddha; died on the site. White elephants are considered sacred by the Thai people.

When we visit any temples, we should go round the temple, following clock wise. Going anti clock wise is meant for the dead.

The happening beef noodles
After a brief visit, our stomachs were growling uncontrollably. Dave asked if we would like to have international buffet or some local Chiang Mai food. Of course we unanimously opted for the latter. He smiled as if agreed with our better choice and took us to Rote Yiam Beef Noodles (I think that’s the name), a shop opposite Shangri-la Hotel. He mentioned that almost everyone he brought to this place would have second helpings of the bowl of goodness. We did indeed! It was heavenly. Go easy on the chili powder. It’s super hot.

After the scrumptious late lunch, we made our way to Royal Lanna Hotel to check in. Dave gave us some directions to the Chinatown and Sunday Walking Street. He mentioned that all visitors must visit the Sunday Walking Street as it’s a place to absorb the entire Chiang Mai experience.

Chinatown – the famous peanut dessert, colorful lanterns, tribal skirts & tuk tuks
Before going to the Sunday Walking Street which is only open from 5 pm onwards, we went to check out Chinatown. It was a typical Chinatown with dried foods and desserts; with the exception that, this one is littered with tuk tuks.

I-forgot-the-name-temple

As we loitered about town, we came across this temple near Chinatown. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember what was it called. There was a talking mynah greeted us as we went in to check it out. There are about 300+ temples in Chiang Mai, so I guess it’s quite justifiable if I forget this one!

Colours at the Sunday Walking Street

Dave was right about the Sunday Walking Street behind the old city walls. There were street performers, sale of goods you would need or merely enjoy looking at, exotic and bizarre foods, delightful bargains and much, much more. We were delighted to immerse ourselves in the colors, sounds, smells and especially, the camaraderie of the very hospitable people of Chiang Mai.

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8 Responses to “Colours of Chiang Mai”

  1. zewt Says:

    cant see the aftermath of the election there eh?

    the beef noodles sure look good…

  2. Jane Says:

    wooi..so fast ur updates……Great job..heeee

  3. Lingzie Says:

    yaaay! you’re back! lovely photos…. and that beef noodles…yum! more more!

  4. edison Says:

    chiangmai is a highly rated city in thailand. doi suthep i juz love it, maybe due to the long ride up by bike, yeah, we took the bike ourselves and mary was doozing off everynow and then on the way up.

    it’s magical! plus the chiangmai girls r really attractive….suay mak makkkkkk.lol

  5. Kenny Mah Says:

    Oh gosh that is so beautiful… the colours of Chiang Mai, indeed. You just made me wanna book my next holiday there lar… :D

    And yes, welcome back to Malaysia! *hugs*

  6. Gina Says:

    zewt: Nope.. don’t care also. LOL! It is sure as good as it looks. We had like one mouthful of soup and already start ordering second helpings.

    Jane
    : Efficient mah! :D

    Lingzie
    : Thanks! Will upload more foodie pics!

    edison
    : Yeah lah. Thanks to you also for the tip to get there on a Sunday.

    Kenny Mah: You should lah. Pack your bags now! Shopping there is heavenly!

  7. shorthorse Says:

    Welcome welcome! What lovely, colourful pics you took! Very sharp – kudos!

  8. Gina Says:

    shorthorse: Thanks! The pictures are taken using my very old Canon Ixus50. See more in my facebook.. I will upload it there soon!

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