Backpacking Southeast Asia Fourteenth Stop: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Last Updated on April 1, 2021 by Tina

It’s the first day of April, and I haven’t finished writing about my Southeast Asia backpacking series yet. My goal was to finish it last February, but I got busy preparing the onboarding requirements for my new job. And then I wrote about other things and completely forgot about finishing it. Chiang Mai, the fourteenth stop of my trip was my last stop before going to Bangkok for my flight back home. Unlike my previous posts, I don’t have any travel expenses to share, because I was not able to record them. You’ll find out later why.

I loved Luang Prabang so much, and I had a great time in Myanmar, but Chiang Mai was the most special. I have mentioned in my previous posts about my “Gerald”. When I was in Luang Prabang, we agreed to meet in Chiang Mai. So instead of staying “forever” in Luang Prabang (I fell in love with the town so much that I considered extending my stay there for a few more days), I took the slow boat to Thailand, explored Chiang Rai for 2 days, then went to Chiang Mai.

I took the bus trip to Chiang Mai at around 2:00 PM and arrived there at night. “Gerald” arrived the following day. While waiting for him to arrive, I went to Chiang Mai Train Station to buy a  train ticket to Bangkok. Then I went to the post office which is within walking distance from the train station to send myself and “Gerald” a postcard.

Related Post: Postcards From My Southeast Asia Backpacking Trip

Exploring Chiang Mai on a Motorbike

When he arrived in Chiang Mai, he picked me up at my hostel before going for lunch. After lunch, we looked for a place to have cheesecake. Both of us love cheesecake.

Cheesecake with Andreu
Our first cheesecake and first picture together

After having a cheesecake, we walked to the bike shop to rent a motorbike. It’s what we used to explore Chiang Mai. I didn’t record my expenses in Chiang Mai because I didn’t spend much there. My major expense there was the ticket to watch the live Muay Thai fight.

Since I can’t share the details of my expenses in Chiang Mai, I’ll just share the places we explored and the things we did.

Motorbike in Chiang Mai
The motorbike we used to explore Chiang Mai

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang is a massive chedi (pagoda) located in the historic center of Chiang Mai. It was once the home of the Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most sacred religious relic. It used to measure 80 meters tall but its height reduced to nearly half of its original size after it was damaged during an earthquake. in 1545.

Wat Phan Tao

Wat Phan Tao
The large stupa located at the back of Wat Phan Tao

Wat Phan Tao is a Buddhist temple also located in the historic center of Chiang Mai. It is directly next to Wat Chedi Luang. Unfortunately, it was under renovation when we visited it so we weren’t able to see this beautiful wooden temple.

Checked Out the Night Bazaar

After visiting Wat Phan Tao, we checked out the night bazaar on the road near the temple. There were nice handicrafts and paintings, pieces of jewelry, toys, and clothing.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Located on Doi Suthep Mountain, Wat Phratat Doi Suthep is one of the must-visit places in Chiang Mai. It is a royal temple sacred site to the Thai people. It is marked by seven-headed serpent statues that line the 306-step staircase to the temple.

Wat Pha Lat

We visited this after visiting Wat Phratat Doi Suthep. It is a few kilometers away and hidden within the forest. This was my favorite in Chiang Mai. It is a place of meditation for the monks. You get a sense of tranquility when you visit this place.

Watched Live Muay Thai Fight

I was able to tick off one of the items on my bucket list which is to watch the live Muay Thai fight. We watched it at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium. The standard seat costs 600 Baht. There were six bouts of matches and the last two matches were very thrilling.

Wiang Kum Kam

Wiang Kum Kam is an archaeological site south of the town of Chiang Mai. It is an ancient settlement that was submerged and abandoned for more than 700 years. In 1984, archaeologists found a set of artifacts while doing some digging around Wat Kan Thome temple. This prompted them to extend their digging and discovered a large cluster of temples beneath the soil.

Ate Lots of Cheesecake

We didn’t have luck with the food in Chiang Mai. All the restaurants we choose to eat at weren’t the best. However, the cheesecakes we had there were really good.

From Chiang Mai, I took the train to Bangkok. Because “Gerald’s” flight was delayed, he was able to take me to the train station. Which was good because I had someone take a photo of me boarding the train. 😁 I really enjoyed my time in Chiang Mai even though I was not able to eat khao soi there, thanks to “Gerald”. I especially love that time we ate crepe beside a water fountain. We planned on having dinner at the night market after watching Muay Thai. However, the stalls were already packing up when we got there. Good thing the stall selling banana crepe was still open.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post. Next time I’ll be writing my last post for this series, what I did in Bangkok, before going back to the Philippines.

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