Because we were so crazy and excited to go to Chiang Mai, we booked a 8.20am flight there. This meant waking up at 4.45am to leave at 6am (at the latest). Thankfully I had done most of my packing the night before so I didn’t have much to do, apart from have a frightfully cold shower and make sure I didn’t put any liquids in my luggage bag. The good thing about it being so early meant I got to talk to some of my friends back in England. We got Aum to call us a taxi, after calling him over Facebook to make sure he was awake, to get to the airport. I had asked him how to order a taxi earlier in the week and he just laughed – it turns out it isn’t as straight forward as I had hoped! He then told the cab driver to not cheat us just because we’re foreigners and told us that it shouldn’t be over 400 baht. I’m not sure how we’ll cope without him in Chiang Mai.
We got to the airport and checked in and sat in a coffee shop, eating our cereal bars as a very early breakfast. We chatted until the gate opened and went through security. Somehow I had forgotten to take my phone out of my pocket the first time I passed through. It was far too early for me.
We landed in Chiang Mai around 10am after a flight with no sleep, but with cake. After taking a taxi to the hostel we dumped our luggage and went to a hostel that served food nearby. Pad Thai had never tasted so good.
We then got to our rooms (Kate and Eilidh were on the bottom bunks, Hannah and I were left to the top) we unpacked and tried to nap a little before going to the Sunday walking market. Unfortunately it’s rather difficult to sleep when it’s too hot and there’s a fan blowing cool air on you with 10 second intervals.
Before 5pm we got a red bus to the temple (only 20 baht each) which was conveniently situated on the walking street. We were dropped off at the three kings’ monument and walked through the market to get to the temple. The buildings looked amazing; I took a few photos and even got a photo with an elephant!
When we were inside the temple we happened to be there just as the monks were gathering for evening prayers or an evening service. There was a voice going through a speaker leading the singing and chanting but you could still hear the rest of the monks clearly. I even thought I heard harmonies at one point.
Once we left the temple we walked around the Chiang Mai Sunday Walking Street– it was so busy. We all ended up buying some fabulous elephant trousers and anklets with bells on (mine is light purple). I also bought a bag, as my current bag was falling apart from the heat, and an elephant vest. As much as I swear I’m not starting a collection, the elephant patterns are really nice.
That night we had dinner at a cute Thai restaurant and enjoyed a Chang beer with our food. I shared pig stick kebab with chips and spring rolls with Hannah. We then decided to head back to the hostel around 9 and took a tuk-tuk back. We managed to all fit in one tuk-tuk with a bit a reshuffling and squeezing. Chiang Mai tuk-tuks are definitely smaller than the ones in Bangkok.