We spent our first day in Chiang Mai in the Old City. The Old City is the area of town inside the moat and old wall. It’s a great place to stroll, shop, maybe get a little henna done, things like that. There are also several museums but we were too busy shopping and temple hopping to make it inside the museums.
A few shots of things that I found interesting around the Old City.
We ate lunch at a really fun restaurant called The Red Hot Chilli. Walking towards the center of the old city from the Tha Phae Gate, it’s on the left hand side of the road, you can’t miss it. I’m not going to lie, we chose this place because we wanted to take pictures of ourselves sitting on the swing. This was a girls trip after all and you’d be hard pressed to find a restaurant any more girlie than this. The food may have been expensive compared to Thai standards, but at $6ish bucks a meal it was delish, and didn’t break the bank.
For me the best part of the Old City was the Temples. There are so many that you can barely walk one block before running into another one. They are each unique, ornate, and amazingly beautiful. Modest clothing is required to enter the temples, meaning shoulders and knees must be covered in most cases. Many temples offered sarongs at the entrance for guests to borrow but it’s also very cheap and easy to buy a couple and then you have a beautiful souvenir.
Wat Muen Tum
Wat Phan On, built in 1501. This temple has a nice little market inside it’s walls.
Wat Phan Tao, this temple seems plain in comparison to most of the other temples but the teak wood work is beautiful. After a day spent visiting numerous temples it’s easy to get them mixed up in your mind, but not this one, it’s simplicity is what makes it stand out.
Finally Wat Chedi Luang. One of the most well known, deservedly so, and the only one we went to that we had to pay to enter. The ticket cost 40baht so a little less than $2. Construction on the temple began in 1391 and was commissioned by King Saen Muang Ma to house his father’s ashes. When first built the spire of the monument was 84m high but after an earthquake in 1545 it was reduced to it’s current height of 60m. The entire complex is beautiful.
We also saw the Sunday Night Walking Market in the Old City, but that’s for another post. I probably could have used one more day to further explore, but I’m happy with what we saw while we were there. 🙂