I could say that I loved this city and it is a place that I would definitely go back. In fact, after a few weeks coming back to Muscat where I currently live, I woke up one morning missing Chiang Mai, the surroundings, the temples, the local food………
Chiang Mai is located 700 kms away north of Bangkok and according to history it used to be the capital of Lana Kingdom. No, I wouldn’t be telling you history on this post, I will show you Chiang Mai on a glimpse.
Due to the Burmese threats in the past, Chiang Mai is a walled City and surrounded by a moat (I remember Intramuros in Manila, the city within the walls). The part of the city inside the walls is what they call the “old city” as the areas outside the walls are also part of Chiang Mai City as a whole.
The walls and the moat are also added (aside from the many) attraction of Chiang Mai as it gives the city an identity and added charm. This one corner of the wall is the Hua Lin Corner which is on the north western side.
The moat at another location, this is on the western side of the old city.
On the streets of Chiang Mai, Songhthaews ply on every route. This is one of Chiang Mai’s public transportation. It is a red pick-up which back side was converted to accommodate more passengers. The seat was put side by side, and passengers face each other. Minimum fare is THB 20.00. Before getting in, check with the driver if he is passing by your destination as they don’t have a fixed route.
Here is another form of public transportation which is very famous in Thailand, the “tuk-tuk”. It is a motorbike with a cab at the back and 3 wheel instead of 2 wheel bike. They charged higher than Songthaew, a minimum of THB 50.00 is asked by the driver and additional cost if the distance is far. I avoided tuk-tuk during my stay in Chiang Mai as I had a not good experience with them when I visited Bangkok in 2003.
As you walk along the streets, you will not go hungry due to numerous eateries you can find and to add 711 which is in every street corner. One evening, I was lazy to go far from the guesthouse where I was staying, my host led me to a local eatery with only one type of food, the well known “Pad Thai”. My mouth watered just to hear the name, this is a kind of Thai flat noodles cooked with some vegetables and meat. The eatery cooks the Pad Thai at the entrance and you have to go on queue for take away.
We went back to the guesthouse and here is the Pad Thai waiting to be attacked…..
I also tried this Thai northern sausage which I found in a fast food court of Top Market, a shopping mall in Huay Kaew Road, approximately 500 meters from the Hua Lin Corner.
The combination of the Thai herbs and spices was just superb!!! Mouth watering again……get me back to Chiang Mai!!!