We have been to this wonderful city on many occasions, and have made it our official home-away-from-home city. Since the turn of the century, we’ve visited Chiang Mai seven times, for a total of fourteen months.
We no longer come here, as in earlier visits, to see the sites. We’ve pretty much seen them all. Now we come because it is a great place to hang out in winter. The temps range from 75-90 degrees, and the day-to-day expenses are very cheap. We can stay here on less money than if we stayed home.
Some of the things we love about this place is the fact that almost everything is within walking distance. We love to walk, and enjoy trekking to the different markets, temples, sidewalk cafes, and local restaurants. Every Saturday and Sunday they put on a street market where locals sell food and handicrafts. The whole town turns out for it. And of course the city puts on a huge New Year’s celebration with tons of fireworks.
I think the thing I love most about this city, about Asia in general, is the fact that Buddhism is by far the predominant religion. Because of that, the locals seem more at peace with themselves and their environment. They are happy. Thailand is called: The Land of Smiles. And I’ve found this to be true. It is a place where everyone is accepted, and if people do judge others, they certainly don’t have the poor taste to show it. The feeling seems to be: It’s your karma, so you deal with it.
Anyway, I titled this entry Chiang Mai Blues because we leave in another couple of days. I’m already beginning to miss the place, and we’re talking of coming back next year.
For some great pictures of Chiang Mai, check out my travel blog: http://hermanandalan.blogspot.com/