Sunday, October 30, 2016

Teahouse and Temples in Chiang Mai








































Friday was our first day in Chiang Mai and we slept in a little later than we normally would, as little Charlotte woke up many times the previous night. It sounded like she was having nightmares in her sleep, poor little love.
Anyway, we all woke up starving, so we headed to Warorot day market hoping to find some food there. We did find a small food court under the market, where we had chicken with big flat noodles, and pad thai in an omelette. The big noodles were so silky in texture, I don't think I have ever eaten anything like them before but it seems to be very popular here.

In the Warorot Market you can buy anything from colourful lanterns, to clothes,  backpacks, dried fruits and snacks. Oh, and you can also buy live frogs and eels. Anyone care for a fresh frog dinner?

After exploring the market for a little while, we made our way to the old city of Chiang Mai, which lies inside the ancient city walls. On our walk to the old city, we noticed a beautiful teahouse with a pretty garden in the back, so we stopped to have a pot of green tea and some cake. Charlotte was having a little nap in her stroller, so it was quite peaceful for about 30 minutes! Haha

There are over 300 Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai, and while we're certainly not trying to visit them all, we will definitely stop and visit ones that we find interesting. The first temple we visited today was Wat Buppharam. It was a very peaceful temple, with hardly anyone around. Just as we were about to leave, an elderly monk ushered us into a room and signaled for us to kneel down on the floor as he first performed a blessing on Charlotte, wrapping a woven cotton bracelet around her wrist, and then did the same for me. Charlotte didn't know what to think and she was quite unimpressed haha! It was a rather interesting experience, one that I didn't know what to expect going in to it. So now Charlotte and I have both received a Buddhist blessing for our travels.

Finally we entered into the walled old city, where we stumbled upon Wat Phan Tao. Outside the temple there are hundreds of colourful yellow flags which caught my eye. Inside the main temple building stands a giant golden buddha statue, to the left of which are beautiful golden flags hanging from the ceiling. My favourite thing about all of the temples we have visited in Thailand has been how colourful and magical they have been. Gold is usually only a colour we associate with wealth and riches, yet it is used liberally here in the temples. It is very beautiful to look at.

Around the corner from Wat Phan Tao,  we stopped to have some thai curry, and fried vegetables and tofu for lunch.  Of course we also shared a Chang beer to refresh us in the heat.

We were very nearby to another temple which we were recommended to see, which was Wat Chedi Luang. There you can see the remains of one part of the temple, built of bricks,  and guarded by stone carved serpents. The assembly hall next to the ruins is quite impressive,  with crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and glittering gold chairs and statues inside.
There is another small building next to this which contains a city pillar to protect the city of Chiang Mai. For some reason, I didn't stop to read why, only men were allowed in here, so Nathan took pictures inside for me.

Soon after this, we headed back to our guesthouse so that Charlotte could have a nap. We then went out to get dinner and take a look around some of the night markets. There are so many markets and stalls in Chiang Mai, it almost feels like one never ending market! You could definitely blow your budget on shopping up here.

The last couple of days we have taken it easy, waking up late and not trying to do too much in one day. It's never fun trying to squeeze too much into the day with a little baby, especially one who doesn't want to nap, like today! We have just extended our stay in Chiang Mai actually,  because we have enjoyed our time here so far as it is a very relaxed city. We would like to go to the zoo and aquarium, and there is an elephant sanctuary nearby that I would love to visit. Plus there's about 297 odd more temples for us to visit! Haha

Thanks for reading,
Hannah xx








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