Chang Mai – Heart of the North

I am writing this post in Chang Rai, watching the clouds go by with a cold Leo Beer to my left. Very relaxed ;). But before we cover laid back Chang Rai it’s time for a summary of Chang Mai.

Leaving Singapore with our big backpacks we arrived in Chang Mai mid afternoon. A short cab ride later we were at Hotel Iron 32 – a nice little gem (fantastic value for money). Always good if the first accommodation is great.

With 300 Wats one must choose

After an afternoon nap (hey it’s a holiday after all) we headed towards the night bazaar for diner. The first thing we noticed and immediately loved was the low season. Very little tourists on the street made the city even more relaxed than usual. After some food at the market we already called it a night. It definitely felt good to be on the road again.

The next day started with a yummy papaya salad and satay sticks from a street food vendor (for us street food is one of the highlights in Thailand) and lunch a bit later in a road side cafe.

Afterwards we enjoyed a good foot massage while hiding from the heat.

Breakfast
Breakfast

Later on Hazel was off for her painting class and I continued to explore the city on foot. With over 300 temples (called Wat) the choice was mine.

My first stop was Wat Prasat, followed by Wat Phra Bong and the very impressive Wah Phra Singh with its golden Pagoda. I let the pictures speak for themselves.

Wat Prasat
Wat Prasat
Wat Phra Singh

Even if you are not a Buddhist the several hundred years old temples are striking in terms of grandeur and level of detail. I have always enjoyed to explore them and soak in the atmosphere.

Yummy Thai Food and some Jazz

After all the Wats and painting we headed to the nearby Lemongrass restaurant for some excellent Thai Food – especially the Yellow Curry Egg Noddles (Khao Soi) were fantastic.

Yummy Kaho Soi (a Northern Specialty)
Yummy Kaho Soi (a Northern Specialty)

A night cap at the nearby open air Boy Blues Bar was a great ending to a great day.

More Painting and a fantastic Dinner

The next morning Hazel continued with her class. In the afternoon I visited some more temples (Wat Loi Khro, the impressive Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Chai Pra Kiat and Wat Pan On).

Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Chedi Luang

For Dinner we met Joel a friend of Hazel’s. He brought us to Woo Cafe – a great place with great food and lovely interior (it’s like eating in a flower shop).

Amazing Woo Cafe
Amazing Woo Cafe

Chang Mai is always worth a Visit

The beautiful northern gem is really always worth a visit and we highly enjoyed our stay. Especially the low season added another layer of relaxation to it. Thailand at its best.

Next we were off to Chang Rai even further up north.

Sleep, Eat, Drink, Repeat – Our Recommendations

We stayed at Hotel Iron 32 and booked it via Airbnb (you can also book directly). Outstanding value for money.

We can recommend Lemon Grass Restaurant for cheap yummy local food and highly recommend Woo Cafe. First day lunch was at the Coconut Shell Restaurant which was nice. Needless to say street food always goes.

A cool beer or two is very enjoyable at the Boy Blues Bar.

In terms of transport – by now Grab (the Asian Uber) is very common and reliable in Thailand (but they only accept cash for now).

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