Chiang Mai

Welcome to Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand, about 430 miles north of Bangkok. It is also a former capital of the Kingdom of Lanna. The Old City is surrounded by an ancient wall and moat. Within the city are many old temples. Getting around town is easy — plenty of red pickup trucks called songthaews roam around the city, acting as shared taxis. The food in Chiang Mai was very good, and the people are friendly!

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View from Hotel Balcony
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Songthaew, Transport Method of Choice in Chiang Mai -- Sort of Like a Shared Taxi
Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang is a Buddhist temple in the Old City of Chiang Mai. The temple was built between the 13th and 15th centuries. The name literally translates to “Temple of the Big Stupa”.

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Entrance to Wat Chedi Luang
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Buddha Statue Covered in Gold Leaf
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Inside the Temple at Wat Chedi Luang
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Golden Statues at the Front of the Temple
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Ancient Stupa at Wat Chedi Luang
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Another Temple Building at Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Phra Singh

Wat Phra Singh is another large Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai’s Old City. This temple traces its origins back to 1345. The pure-white temple stupa is smaller than Wat Chedi Luang’s — but still very impressive!

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Entrance to Wat Phra Singh
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Gold Statue in Front of Wat Phra Singh
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Golden Buddha in Temple at Wat Phra Singh
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Side of the Temple at Wat Phra Singh
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Stupa at Wat Phra Singh
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Painting on the Wall of Temple
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Another View of Painting
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Make a Wish, Hit the Gong
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Window of Temple
Loy Krathong

We happened to visit Chiang Mai during the biggest festival of the year, Loy Krathong. Loy Krathong is celebrated all throughout Thailand, but Chiang Mai is the largest celebration. Many Thais visit during this time to set off fireworks, launch floating lanterns, and send floating flower boatds down the river. The floating lantern tradition actually was part of another festival, Yee Peng, but the two are celebrated together these days. The festival lasts several days, with hundreds of beautiful glowing lanterns rising into the sky every night.

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Kids Light a Floating Paper Lantern

Watch the Thai Family Launch Their Floating Lantern

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Paper Lantern Floating Up Into the Sky
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Waiting for Our Lantern to Fill with Hot Air
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Almost Ready to Let Go...
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Festival Lanterns Were Everywhere
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Traditional Dance Performance
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Colorful Decorations
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Paper Lanterns
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A Potter Making Clay Tea Light Holders
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Arts and Crafts Time: We Made Some Krathong, Sort of a Flower Boat to Float Down the River
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Lin with the Krathong Lady
Around Town in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai was a great town to explore with so many good restaurants, coffee shops, massage places, and beautiful scenery everywhere.

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Chiang Mai Tuk-Tuk
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We Hesitated to Order a Burrito in Thailand, But It Turned Out Good!
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Mango Sticky Rice
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Fried Brown Rice and Vegetables
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Chiang Mai Ancient Coffee
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Gate in the Old City Wall
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Night Market
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Foods at the Night Market
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Night Market Pad Thai
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Waffle Lady
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Even Monks Need Cash
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Stupa on the Side of the Road, Chiang Mai
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Pad Thai
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Curry in a Coconut
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Ice Cream in a Coconut
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Three Kings Statue
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Satay Street Food
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Temple at Night
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Another Pad Thai
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Khao Soi, Sort of a Curry and a Specialty of Chiang Mai
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Durians Were Not Welcome in Many Places (Too Smelly!)
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Fried Rice
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More Pad See Ew
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Heading Out of Town

Because of Loy Krathong, every hotel in town was booked. We ended up heading out of town into the mountains after a couple of days because we couldn’t extend our hotel reservation. Stay tuned for the next post…

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Packed Up and Moving On

3 thoughts on “Chiang Mai

  1. Annie

    The photos of the temples and lantern festival are gorgeous and the meals look and must taste delicious
    The Thai sky is beautiful too.
    Stay safe-have fun 🙂 Love, Annie