The city I am referring to is Chiang Mai, which is now also the capital city of Chiang Mai province in the north part of Thailand. Chiang Mai is the largest city in this part of the nation and it has been the capital of the old Lanna Kingdom. Just like Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai is located in a mountainous northern Thailand, and while the latter is larger and more crowded, both cities still cannot be compared to the hectic life of Bangkok. These two cities of different provinces are not very far apart so that many tour providers would usually involve combinations of attractions in both cities in their programs.
The most evident legacy of the old Lanna Kingdom in the city is the remaining part of the defensive wall and moat around the center square of the city. Although a large portion of the wall is no longer fully intact, there are still visible remnants especially the corner walls and other parts like the Thapae Gate. This gate was the east entrance to the old walled city and today it become an important spot in Chiang Mai where various public festivals and ceremonies are held. There are several beautiful temples around the city, both inside and outside of the walled city square as well as to the mountains at the outskirt of the city. Further story of some of these temples will be published in my next posts.
I reached Chiang Mai by bus from Chiang Rai bus station. The journey took around 3 hours and in this trip, I stayed in Chiang Mai for 4 days before taking a flight back to Bangkok. The first two days I spent the night in Thapae area, which is the older part of city near the Thapae Gate. We can also find the famous Night Bazaar in this area. It was actually only a couple of minutes from the hotel where I was staying so it was very convenient. The Night Bazaar is typical of what you would find in night markets in other parts of Thailand. Nevertheless, it is always fun to explore the area to find cheap food or nice souvenirs to bring home. There are plenty of food stalls and food courts along the Night Bazaar so visitors would be offered various kinds of food.
While for the remaining couple of days, I stayed in Nimmanhaemin area, which is a newer district near the University of Chiang Mai and not so far from the airport. This area is pretty chic, with a lot of coffee shops and restaurants, and some nice new hotels. There are also a couple of shopping malls including Maya which was near to my hotel. Besides visiting the temples in the city as I mentioned earlier, I also got to visit the Chiang Mai Night Safari, took a cooking class and also visited Doi Inthanon, the highest peak in Thailand. I will write more on those later this weekend once I got back to my hometown!