A few years back, a friend told me story about how she spent a wonderful week in Chiang Mai. By the time she finished telling us of her adventures, I had already added it into my list of places I want to go in Thailand. By twist of fate, our plan to visit Chiang Mai had been postponed way too many times until recently, we finally made it.
Chiang Mai was divided into three main areas – the Old City, Night Bazaar and riverside area. I have always think myself as a history geek, so Old City spontaneously became my choice of stay. As the taxi ride took us through Chiang Mai, we admired with awe, the ruined walls and the deep moat surrounding Old City, as if still defending this place from invaders.
We reached hotel too early for check in so we left our luggage at the reception and rented a bike. As there’s only one bike left, both of us shared one and loitered around the Old City area. THAT was a bad idea. Other than the ruins, Old City is like a doppelganger of Patong beach (Phuket). That being said, the traffic was a chaos. CS had hard time steering the bike with a burden that has gained a few kg recently (Me! Me!) at behind. Bystanders looked at us while cars honked at us. :p
Chiang Mai is famous for its many ancient Buddhist temples (Wat), mostly were more than a few hundred years old. Each of these wats gave a different architecture and ambience. Some were jam-packed with tourists and locals, while some were rather hidden and forgotten but all are special by its own. We ended up looking at five wats in one breath that I forgot some of the names.
Wat Phra Singh
Wat Chiang Man
Dirty and exhausted from exploring old city, we returned to Vieng Mantra Hotel. I'm happy that my 'special request' for a quiet room was not unheeded.
Nothing beats having a dustless room and clean white bed sheet.
One thing I could complain about will probably be the slight sewer smell that appeared once in a while, but it seemed to be a common problems among hotels in Chiang Mai.
Vieng Mantra is equipped with a rather beautiful swimming pool, albeit small.
The bonus of being in Chiang Mai on weekends is having the fortune to visit both both Saturdaya and Sunday nightmarket. The Saturday night market happens at Wua Lai street, south outer side of old city.
These little cuties were similar to small little cakes that can be found in Malaysian night market but it has a very strong taste of jasmine in it. Can't say that we like the taste of flower in our mouth very much.
As you might have guess, there were many food stalls selling Chiang Mai delicacies.
We ordered an chicken soup vermicelli which taste exactly the same as Zow Zow brand instant noodles. There's no mistake in this because we even saw the stall stocking up on this instant noodles. I guess their soup were cooked from using instant noodle's spice powder. Now, eating something that tasted like instant noodles with such small portion wasn't my idea of 'enjoying local food'.
On our way back from night market, we stopped at our old time favourite - Black Canyon at Ratchadamoen Road. We can never go wrong with its Cha Thai Yen (Thai Ice Tea with Milk).
Its Green Curry was still as creamy rich as ever although a bit on the oily side.
Tom Kha Gai, another of our all time favourite but since we had a really nice one recently, Black Canyon's version didn't really wow us. I think (I think) this might be contributed by the lacking of galangal taste in it.