Charming Chiang Mai | Northern Thailand

Chiang Mai was on my bucket list for a long while now, mainly because of the lantern festival ( checkout next post!>>>soon>>>). As always, I found much more than expected- this little town in northern Thailand is just beautiful.

I. Uniqueness, colors, temples and small town vibes

Walking around you will encounter smaller and bigger temples, decorated with distinctive lanterns:

::: Outside and inside the temple :::

::: The old town is surrounded by walls and a moat: ::

:::  Watch out for the infamous tourist attractions –  tiger kingdom and a long neck village :::

::: I love love loveee refreshing coconuts especially , after walking around in the tropical heat :::: 

::: Surprise! Look what I find while wandering around looking for a coffee:::

::: Closer look at the biggest temple in Chiang Mai – Wat Chedi Luang :::

::: The memorable moment – trying to be a good Buddhist and… do nothing. Just sitting in front of this incredible building, enjoying the view and my coconut ::::

::: Pretty cool ‘monk chat program’ near the temple – if you ever wanted to meet a monk this is a perfect occasion!  :::

II. Memes everywhere

Look into the details of your surroundings, you will notice how bizarre those sculptures are 🙂

::: Sad dragon (?) and… a unicorn-elephant-snake? Why not. ::::

::: My Supervisor and me when I ask for more leave days :::

III. Elephant sanctuary trip

::: Elephant Sanctuary is a bit further from the town, but the trip there is quite fun- you ride in the back of the red van pictured above :::

::: The back of the van is open so you can enjoy the ride through Chiang Mai and then the jungle :::

 Elephants at this Sanctuary are rescues from logging and entertainment industry (when using elephants in the logging industry became illegal, elephants trainers (mahouts) have had to find other ways to feed their elephants, most of them turning to the entertainment industry and tourism, which often involves cruel practices to force the animal into compliance).

What makes an elephant sanctuary? The bottom line is the respect with which the animals are treated. At a real elephant sanctuary, nobody rides the elephants and the elephants are not forcibly made to do anything.  They roam around the jungle-facility quite freely (which is an incredible sight!) and have plenty of room to do so. The elephants are cared for, and receive adequate medical treatment. Of course, there is no prodding, hitting or chaining up of the elephants.

::: Breaking ice with bananas:) :::

::: Seeing happy animals always becomes the highlight of my trip ::: 

IV. Cheap thrills- food & massage

I am sort of famous within my friends for hating Asian food ( living in Asia for years now – so that’s pretty inconvenient..). However, there are some exceptions and Thai food is definitely one of them!

There is no such thing as too much mango sticky rice- delicious traditional Thai dessert made with glutinous rice, fresh mango and coconut milk.

::: Can you image a better breakfast..? A unicorn flavored ice cream (only in Thailand!:P) and mango pancakes. Perfection. :::

Local prawn-mango salad is great but…

… my all time favorite while in Thailand will always be .. toasted cheese sandwiches <3 Available only in Thai’s 7/11:(

::: Can’t leave without having a cheap massage or a manicure! Massage menu with standard prices for Chiang Mai and a perfect picture of how you will feel afterwards ::::

 

> Next : why I really came to Chiang Mai- the magical Lantern festival! 

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