travel

A Month in Chiang Mai

If heaven is a place on earth, it’s Chiang Mai, Thailand. I’ve spent the month of February not really doing much. Chiang Mai is well suited to leisurely lounging around town.

Chiang Mai is situated in a valley, so the climate is more pleasant than a lot of the region. The surrounding bluffs make for a lot of great hiking. I made the trip west of town to Doi Suthep national park four times, in search of hiking and birds. I wasn’t able to spot any weird birds but the waterfalls and hiking were good.

A temple halfway up Doi Suthep Mountain.

A temple halfway up Doi Suthep Mountain.

In the center of the city is a walled area surrounded by a moat, 1.6 km on each side. Inside the walled “old city” are lots of temples and stores and cafes. My guesthouse was situated a couple blocks south of the southern gate to the old city. There’s a fresh food market at the gate, and tons of street food stalls in the evenings, so I ate most of my meals there, seated next to the moat. I ate mostly sushi and smoothies.

A moat outside the old city south gate.

A moat outside the old city south gate.

Almost every street in Chiang Mai is lined with little shops and cafes and bars. In the evenings there’s live music coming from everywhere, and on the weekends there are “walking markets” in a couple locations, usually crowded beyond belief. There also seem to be music stores and instrument shops all over town.

I got breakfast and lunch at a coffee shop near the guesthouse a bunch because it was cheap and the lady that worked there gave me the scoop about all the places I need to visit. Usually I was the only person there but the second-to-last time I went there were a couple Americans debating whether 911 was an inside job. Yay America

The full Chiang Mai photo album is available here.

Tomorrow morning it’s onwards and upwards to the island of Penang, Malaysia. I really need to get to bed but I can’t stop watching Rick and Morty.