Monday 3 April 2017
Last night we were here at Sunday walking street and today, Monday morning, you would never know it was the same street.
We are back at Tha Pae Gate and first things first, its coffee time at Black Canyon. All tourists to Chiang Mai, including us, end up at Tha Pae Gate at least once during their stay and this has got to be the best place to people watch.
Which way? Where?
We changed some money and then set about finding a driver to take us to the temple Wat Phra Tat near the top of the mountain Doi Suthep. It is a very popular tourist attraction and we have been there once before on our first visit to Chiang Mai in 2011.
A tuktuk driver took us to a red van hub where we waited until there were about six people and then headed to Doi Suthep. The road is very bendy and curvy and triggered my motion sickness but I had my peppermints to help (I don’t like medicating for car sickness).
We drove past the temple and went higher up to mountain to Bhubing Palace where you can walk around the gardens. Last time here it was magical as we were walking through a cloud.
Back in 2011 if your shorts or your skirt were above the knee you would have to hire a sarong to be able to enter. This time they were a lot stricter. My shorts were below the knee and I was told that was not acceptable. They also no longer hire sarongs so we were pointed in the direction of the markets to buy acceptable clothing. Perhaps the stricter rules were to do with the country currently still being in the 12 month mourning period for king who died in October last year.
After about 15 minutes of trying to buy something that would fit me, which is hard to do in Asia, I gave up. I had eventually found something but I really didn’t think it was worth it. I was annoyed that we had to do this. I didn’t feel it was worth the money to buy something acceptable to wear that I would never, ever wear again. Also, we have seen the gardens before so it didn’t really matter if we missed them this time.
We decided to walk around the village area a little before we were due back at the red van.
Driving down the mountain to the temple didn’t take too long as it is only about 6 km. With being such a tourist attraction there are always a lot of tourists and a lot of red vans.
To get to the temple you need to go up. You can take the stairs, several hundred of them, this photo just shows the first few of them.
Or you can take the train tram thing, for a small fee, which is on a track and enclosed in a shed like structure. So no nice photos to take of that. Needless to say we took the train.
The temples in Thailand are like a compound of outbuildings or smaller temples and the main temple.
There is a great look out spot where you can see the city of Chiang Mai though today it was a little hazy.
After circling the main temple and walking by all the outer temples and building it was now time to get our shoes off and enter the temple.
This temple is one of the most extravagant and beautiful temples
We left the main temple and collected our shoes.
The stairs looking back down to the street level
Some of the more peaceful outer areas where there were less people
I tried to get another photo of Chiang Mai but it was still a little hazy
Back down on the road we had to find our red van and driver … ?
Driving down the mountain back to Chiang Mai
We were back at the hotel by about 3.00pm where there was a message for us. Our family friend Kun A would be by to pick us up later and take us out. We went for a swim before we got ready to go.
First we went to the Royal Project Foundation shop where there is an assortment of foods, fruit and vegetables, chips, biscuits, crafts, clothes and other stuff. The Royal Project was founded by the recently deceased king in 1969 to help the people by promoting crops other than opium.
Next to the foundation shop there is a market but this one is more for locals than for tourists.
There was also a small garden nursery
We then went to dinner at the Galae Restaurant which is in the lower slope of Doi Suthep. The restaurant is beautiful and by a lake with the airport not to far away.
Our lovely friend Kun A and our first view of the restaurant which is mostly outdoor seating. There is an indoor area for when the weather is not as nice but this view is stunning.
We had a wonderful dinner and a wonderful evening with our friend.