Escape of the Week: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai was my first experience in Southeast Asia, and one I will always remember for countless reasons.

It’s the city where Katie surprised me with an early visit, forcing me to power through my jet lag.

The city which was my home base after a week with the elephants at Elephant Nature Park.

And, the city I tried to fall in love with.

Somewhere, deep down, I knew Chiang Mai very well could end up being my home.

So, I did what anyone would do who is scouting their potential future city. I took photos. Lots and lots of them.

A barber shop in Chiang Mai. There are no doors or outside wall, just open air to the street.

I loved wandering around and just taking in the beauty of life on the side streets.

A tuk tuk driver awaits his next fare.
Some street cats explore a motorbike.

For me, even with the mountains in the distance, with the humid weather and the tropical flowers, it was hard not to think I was living in a beach town.

New to me were the little “restaurants” on the side of the road, in places you wouldn’t imagine. Throw out some plastic chairs, a little table and assemble a mini-kitchen on the sidewalk, and you’ve got a bonafide place to enjoy some seriously good homemade Thai food.

A quaint and colorful street restaurant.
Ingredients to prepare some fresh and amazing Pad Thai.
A more formal restaurant.

And then, there’s life around the old city walls and moat. There were plenty of times I’d be walking near Thapae Gate and see random trucks decked out with colorful decorations.

The ancient wall around the city.
Taking in the few minutes of no rain during the country's rainy season.

I loved the way the city looks entirely different at night. Even the side streets seem to have a different atmosphere, with paper lanterns lit.

And, of course, no visit to Chiang Mai (or Thailand) is complete without visiting the numerous wats. Within the old city walls, there are plenty of them.

The gold of the temple glows against the rain clouds.

A temple dog hangs out on the table.

Tip:ย When visiting Chiang Mai, be sure to head to the Mae Ping River for some riverside exploration and dining.

Where to stay:ย While I was there, I stayed in a dorm room at A Little Bird Guesthouseย (four-room, mixed dorm, around $2.50 a night), and later, at Chiang Mai Thai House. Little Bird is in the old city; the guest house is just outside of ThaePae Gate. Bonus? It’s got a pool!

A private at the Chiang Mai Thai House? Oh, a cool $13.


The good news? By the time I was ready to leave and put aside my excuses, I was smitten with this tropical mountain town.

Published by dtravelsround

Awakening the soul while traveling ... a story of being on the cusp of adulthood.

23 thoughts on “Escape of the Week: Chiang Mai, Thailand

    1. Awww, well you will have to come and visit me! I love the dog, too! It seems like animals just naturally gravitate towards the tables there!


  1. Lovely photos! I’ve never been but have heard so much about it. I just discovered your blog and enjoying it! Totally identify with that 30LC! ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. great coverage of CM and lovely pics – I’m visiting for the first time in Dec with an eye on moving there next year – are you enjoying it?


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