Whilst in Chiang Mai, I saw a market, shops, a few temples and got a massage.
Chiang Mai is not all that big. I walked around the inner ‘old city’ part quite happily without feeling flustered. Things of note are the second hand bookshops and the Boots. Yes, that’s right, an actual Boots with real Boots products. The second hand book shops can be found at the eastern end of Ratchmankha Road. There’s a few next door to one another (Gecko Books and the Lost Book Shop). Not only do they have lots volumes for sale but they will buy yours off you which is brilliant. I loved these book shops,
My massage was from the Chiang Mai Women’s Prison work training centre. For 180 baht, I was thoroughly massaged. The only odd bit of the experience was the reception desk being staffed by prison wardens otherwise, you would not have known that the women were inmates on a work training programme. You can find the centre on Ratwithi Road just north east of Wat Phra Singh. It works on a first come first served basis so you might have to wait an hour or so before your time slot if they’re busy.
That brings me nicely to the temples I saw. First and foremost, these little statues made me feel very happy.
There are three temples within about one kilometre of each other that I saw. I went to Wat Thung Yu, Wat Si Koet and Wat Phra Singh. First of all was Wat Si Koet, a fairly small temple but quite pretty none the less. It was definitely the least grand of the three.
Wat Si Koet and Wat Thung Yu are on opposite sides of Ratchadamnoan Road to one another so they are not hard to find. They’re found at the more western end of the road. Wat Thung Yu has a main temple, a chedi and a second smaller shrine building so definitely more grand then it’s over the road neighbour. Work was being done to the main building when I went so you can see the scaffolding in my picture below.
The largest of the three is Wat Phra Singh. There is an entrance fee to go inside but I didn’t go in because, honesty, I’m not interested in temples anymore. I’ve seen so many and they’re all looking distinctly the same now. Walking around the outside of the temple is free though and that’s how I took this picture.
Also on Ratchadamnoan Road on a Sunday night is a rather brilliant market. There’s tonnes of souvenir shopping you can do and street food to eat. It is huge, actually huge. It starts practically at Wat Phra Singh and continues sprawling down Ratchadamnoan Road and the side streets for a couple of kilometres, maybe more. Set aside plenty of time to walk around it if you want to go.
Chiang Mai is a relaxing city to be in. I enjoyed my few days walking around aimlessly.