Charming Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Sightseeing
Doi Inthananon Temple Thailand
Largest Buddha Statue
The White Temple
In a previous article here titled “Exploring Exotic Thailand” we had mention about Chiang Mai. Now we get a closer look at this rich historical city at Northern Thailand.
A street in Chiang Mai
OVERVIEW OF CHIANG MAI
Chang Mai had gained popularity through the years. In 2014, TripAdvisor, an online travel guide, ranked the city as one of the “25 Best Destinations in the World.” Some have also dubbed the city as “Rose of the North” because of its size, location and surroundings.
With a total land area of just over 40 square kilometers, it is the country’s fifth largest city. At an elevation of 316 meters, it stands a top of a peaceful village with abundance of greenery and vegetation.
The city of Chiang Mai dates back to the year 1296. Since those years, Chang Mai could only be reached via Ping River or an elephant trek.
Due to this difficulty in reaching the city, it had preserved its charm and uniqueness. And in the year 1920’s things changed. The city became more accessible and tourists were able to see this unique and charming city.
WHAT IS EXPECTED FROM THE CITY?
One could expect nothing but the best from this charming northern city. Tourists will get to see the walled ruins and temples dating back to the city’s establishment.
Here are just a few things that should not be missed.
The first thing could see are remaining walls. Although portions of the wall had been destroyed it still remains a vital part of the city in terms of tourism.
Ancient City Wall and Moat
After seeing the ruined walls, one must see the temples. There at least 30 temples within the city, each having a distinguishing style such as Burmese, Sri Lankan, and Lanna Thai styles.
Each temple is adorned with beautiful wood carvings, Naga staircases, leonine and angelic guardians, gilded umbrellas and pagodas.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
The most sought after temple is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep also known as Doi Suthep. This Theravada Buddhist temple could be found on the slopes of Doi Suthep Mountain and overlooks the city of Chiang Mai. A few pf the things that could be seen include the Golden Buddha Statue and Green glass Buddha Statue.
Wat Chiang Man
On the other hand, Wat Chiang Man is a Buddhist temple complex built also in the city. The first temple was built in 1383 making it the oldest standing temple in the city.
Baan Haw Mosque
Another religious place in the city is Hadaytul Islam (Baan Haw) Mosque. This is located at the Night Bazaar (which could be read more in a while). The façade is a mixture of Chinese and Arabic styles. Aside from being a mosque, the place also serves as a school every Saturday and Sunday. There is an average of 20 students enrolled here every year.
Chiang Mai Night Market
On the eastern side of the city one can spot Chiang Mai Night Market. Here one could purchase handicrafts, paintings, jewelry, toys, clothing, CDs, and DVDs. This is the place to buy souvenir items for yourself, family and friends.
But Chiang Mai is not all about temples, mosques, and shopping. No. It is more than that. There are a number of festivals celebrated here. Listed below are some of the well-known festivals:
Loi Krathong or Yi Peng
The festival of Loi Krathong is celebrated every November. It is tradition that decorated krathong (floating banana-leaf containers) is drifted along waterways. This tradition is done as worship to the Goddess of Water. At the same time sky lanterns are launched in the air in belief that it would drive away troubles.
Sky lanterns during Loi Krathong Festival
Songkran is a celebration of Thai New Year during mid-April. During this festival there are other activities like citywide water fight, parades, and a beauty competition.
Water fight during Songkran Festival
Chiang Mai Flower Festival
Every first weekend of February, a three-day festival is done called Chiang Mai Flower Festival. This is the time of year wherein flowers are in full bloom.
These are just some of the things to visit and experience at the charming city of Chiang Mai.