Did you really go to Chiang Mai if you didn’t get a tuk tuk?
Because are you really a blogger doing the above if there isn’t picture proof?
The vlog of my trip to Chiang Mai with PANDORA is over on my YouTube channel but I have a few more posts to share with you from my short trip to Chiang Thailand. I decided to dedicate an entire post to our day of exploring because we visited temples, shopped in a local street market and got a tuk tuk around the old town. It was basically ‘how to Thailand in a day’ and its given me an itch to get back out there as soon as possible to explore some more.
Heads up: I’d never been to South East Asia before this trip so I apologise if this is a complete gap year Brit’s explanation of Thailand. I tried to soak up as much information as I could..
First up was the Wararot Market in central Chiang Mai. The market is mainly indoors with the flowers around the outside and various floors and sections. I’ll be honest, it was an absolute sensory overload because all of the colour, sounds, smells and the sheer quantity of goods on display. Thai marketplaces are a place to only touch if you want to buy, according to our tour guide. Apparently the sellers get quite angry if you strike an interest and walk away – which is completely fair enough except I’m the girl who goes into a shop and touches every single thing. There was anthropologie-esque homeware, basket bags and mules everywhere so my limited suitcase space was a blessing in disguise.
I don’t know of any other markets in the area but this is a great one if you want to get a feel of Thai culture. According to our guide, its common weekend tradition for couples to go. Wives leave their husbands in the local cafe and venture inside to shop and therefore, gossip with the other local women!
We spent around an hour walking through the market before jumping on some Tuk tuks for a quick drive around to the temples – Wat Prah Singh and Wat Chedi Luang.
Most of the Thai are Buddhist and its frowned upon not to respect Buddha when you visit the temples. Its essential to wear closed toe shoes and clothing that comes below your knees and especially nothing too revealing. Guys need to be wearing trousers, closed toe shoes and their t-shirts.
The temples are rich in colour and culture with an atmosphere to get lost in because of the calm surroundings. Wat Prah Singh had the most beautiful architecture with lots of gold and intricate architecture and artwork. The temple dates back to 1300BE and most of it remained untouched, or unchanged therefore adding to the beauty.
I found it so interesting to find out about the monks as lots of the children in the school opposite were practising. Apparently its their decision, or the decision of their parents to enter into the monastery. The boys decide when they want to leave for a ‘normal’ life and many monks decide to leave at 18, or enter into the monastery later in life. Its a very free culture and most young boys want to dedicate some of their life to Buddha because they are so passionate.
The second temple was Wat Chedi Luang, across the other side of Chiang Mai and again very rich in culture. The imagery in this post was at Wat Chedi Luang and you can see the attention to detail. I wish I’d got more pictures from Wat Prah Singh to compare for you.
There is a hilarious clip in the vlog of Josie and I walking around like penguins. The girls told us not to face our toes towards Buddha, so we didn’t. Until later when we realised that it meant not to bare the soles of your feet while praying. To be honest, everyone must have thought we were nuts!