Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Northern Thailand: Chiang Mai

After spending almost a week in Bangkok with our visitors, we all headed to northern Thailand for a week, where none of us had been before. One of our stops was Chiang Mai, a small, quaint city. It is very easy to get around in Chiang Mai, and we liked its small size, but it also was fairly touristy. We stayed in and explored the Old City, where there were many beautiful temples, vestiges of the old city wall, and a moat that went around the city. Food in Chiang Mai was amazing, and everything was surprisingly inexpensive.

Other things we did in Chiang Mai included exploring two temples: Wat U Mong, a temple complex with tunnels, and a well-known, but overcrowded and touristy, temple in the hills called Doi Suthep. We also did some shopping at the expansive Night Bazaar; and visiting the Art in Paradise 3D Museum, which we had previously visited in Bangkok. Our friend and her son also went to a night market and to a Thai dance performance on their own. Finally, the highlight of our time in Chiang Mai was spending a day at the Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary and rescue center for injured and abused elephants. We spent the day learning about the elephants, feeding them, petting them, and bathing them. It was an amazing experience. Overall, we enjoyed visiting Chiang Mai and liked the city better than Bangkok.

At Wat U Mong:
A stupa at Wat U Mong.
The emaciated Buddha at Wat U Mong.
One of the tunnels at Wat U Mong.
At the Elephant Nature Park: 
Feeding the elephants.
Petting the elephants.
This poor baby elephant was injured after stepping on a trap.
Ahhh. Scratching an itch against a tree trunk.
Bathing the elephants.
These two elephants were frolicking in the river. So cute!
This baby elephant got up on a log and kept making little whimpering noises to get attention and food. He even reached his trunk into his care taker's pocket!
Scenes around Chiang Mai:
A part of the city wall of Old Chiang Mai City.
A Volkswagen van bar.
A temple we saw.
Loved this.
Another temple.
The first time I encountered a temple where women weren't allowed inside.

At Doi Suthep:
The steps leading up to the temples of Doi Suthep.
The temples up top.
The stupa at Doi Suthep.
Girls dressed in traditional costumes to make money.
View from Doi Suthep.
At Doi Suthep.
At the Night Bazaar:

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