My trip has begun! After traveling over 24 hours and 3 flights, yesterday I finally arrived at my first stop – Chiang Mai, Thailand. Today was my first full day here, I decided I would spend the day getting acquainted with the city. Armed with a map, grumbling tummy and wide eyed wonder, I set out to explore on foot. Here is a quick little snippet of my first day:
Always busy, the streets of Chiang Mai are full with motorbikes, tuk tuks and cars zooming by every which way. Pedestrians make a run for it, dashing across the street and dodging quickly moving motorized objects. Lining the streets are several parked motorbikes, which are a popular mode of transportation with tourists. Motorbikes are available for ren everywhere here. At first I was nervous that I would get lost, but navigating was easier than I expected. With a map and helpful locals, it was very manageable. Also, getting a little lost isn’t too bad. What better way is there to find your way around and familiarizing yourself with your surroundings?
Chiang Mai has several ornate wats, or temples, scattered within the moat. These are all very easily accessible on foot. Within the walls of the temples, it is very common to see monks chanting, people praying and giving offerings.
There is absolutely no shortage of yummy options here. The hard part is choosing! For a more aunthentic experience, I made an early decision that I would look for food stalls where locals gathered to dine. I also had set my mind to having Khao Soi, one of my favourite Thai dishes (which is also a traditional Chiang Mai.
And one of my fave Thai beverages..Thai iced tea with milk!
Sunday Street Market
Every Sunday between 4 to midnight, a 1km stretch of road is closed down and vendors set up shop. Selling handmade goods, clothes, artwork, massages, sunglasses, shoes and street eats, you can spend hours looking around and bargaining with vendors.
Tomorrow I leave the busy city and head out the countryside to volunteer at an elephant conservation park for one full week.