This weekend was the Beginning of Vassa, which is a 3-months retreat during the rainy season. In this time the Buddhist monks will stay inside their temples to study and train ascetic practices like the abstinence of meat, alcohol, and cigarettes. That’s why it’s sometimes also called the Buddhist Lent.
Therefore Monday was a holiday and this means that I had time for another trip. I’ve decided to skip the Thai islands for now and come back to Thailand another time and see more of the south. So I went to Chiang Mai for the long weekend because everybody told me that I would love it here. They were absolutely right. So many good food places, small individual shops I love so much and just a lot to see in general.
There’s such a great vibe in that city, it’s hard to explain. Chiang Mai is somehow between hippie and hipster, traditional and modern. There are more than 300 temples but also a lot of digital nomads who found themselves a home here. I think it’s a great mix and I felt super comfortable everywhere I went. It was almost as if I would know it for years already.
Since there’s so much to see I decided to rather divide this post into 2 parts to be able to talk a bit more about the single things because it’s seriously so much I’ve done after two days already!
When in the afternoon I first checked in my hostel The Coincidence Hub. The hostel is super central which is also the reason I booked it (and it’s cheap). It’s located pretty much in the middle of the old city and so everything is very easy to reach. I decided to rent a bike to be able to go to all placed quickly and that was a very good decision (the traffic can be a bit scary at first though but still nothing against Bangkok). Socially there was a bit of a low in the hostel unfortunately because I actually hoped to meet a few people since I was traveling alone. I wanted to go on some trips outside the city like the Grand Canyon or the Sticky Waterfalls but that’s just way more fun with a group (another crucial part is that I don’t know how to drive a scooter 😀 ).
As the first point on my itinerary, I wanted to check out the Nimman area, which is supposed to be the more hipstery part of the city with small shops and heaps of coffee places. The best finding was a cute little shop, the Buri Gallery, which had the cutest postcards and accessories designed and produced locally. I guess it was just naturally that I couldn’t resist but buying quite some stuff because it’s very important to support local suppliers, isn’t it? 😉
The following stop was dinner at Taste from Heaven which is a super nice vegetarian and vegan restaurant. I can only recommend going there when in Chiang Mai. I actually went there twice for dinner, that’s how good it was. Trying the falafel and the veggie burger were probably the best decisions I made that weekend.
After having that great dinner I went to see the popular night bazaar which is actually just one of the common night markets you can find everywhere in Thailand. It’s very big and I would say you can visit it but it’s not necessarily needed. I’ve also heard that the Saturday and Sunday walking streets are a bit nicer but I didn’t make it there. Just around the corner of the bazaar is the famous Ladyboy Cabaret which I had to see after it got many great reviews. And to be honest, how often do you get the chance to see this kind of show? And I can only say it’s well worth a visit. It was super fun and if you’re a guy or bringing one, be aware of the high chances to receive a lot of kisses, lab dances or even get pulled on stage 😀
That night I also joined a Facebook group with events in Chiang Mai where I found some really nice things to do like a laughter yoga class and a concert.
On the 2nd day, I originally planned a temple hopping tour with my bike in the morning. Unfortunately, one of the temples was closed so I ended up going only to one, the Wat Sri Suphan. It is a completely silver temple. I’ve never seen anything like this before and it’s beautiful. There seems to be some kind of light show in the evening so maybe it’s worth going there at that time as well.
I hung out there for a while I went to the Yogatree afterward for my first laughter yoga class and I was super excited. I mean, how cool does that sound already?! So I went there with no real expectations and got an hour full of childish games and loads of laughter. It was great. I felt like I’m a 6-years-old child again, playing around with my friends and we all had heaps of fun. We played games like walking on hot sand and when we met another person we had to laugh. Or imitating the laughter of the others which was hilarious too. It might sound silly or stupid but it’s actually scientifically proven that both fake and genuine laugh have a good influence on the health of your body and mind.
After the all that laughing I felt super high and so I thought that it would be the perfect time for a nice relaxing massage. I went to a special place where trained blind people do the massage and it was awesome. I actually found out about that when I walked out but well 😀 I was very happy that I had found that place anyway.
As I told you above I couldn’t resist but go to Taste from Heaven for another dinner and it just tasted as delicious as the first one. I got the veggie burger with sweet potato fries (with those you can always get me anyway).
After being completely filled with so much deliciousness I felt ready to spontaneously get my next tattoo. It’s the evil eye with a little modern twist and I’m super happy with it. The meaning of it is to keep the bad away from you. So now it kinda watches my back.
Did I promise too much when I said I had some exciting first days? I’m glad I came here and I can’t wait to write about the other 2 days of my trip which is currently still in work 🙂
I hope you liked the post. Leave a comment if you want to say anything about it.
Find the second part of the blog here.