Tourists visiting Thailand probably first go to Bangkok - one of the most visited places in the country. Right behind it is Chiang Mai, a city in the northern part of the country, in the province bearing the same name. The capital of the region is also called the Rose of the North, which perfectly reflects its beauty. There are many Buddhist temples covered with blossoming gardens, and in the picturesque streets, we encounter beautiful flora at every step.
A city bathed in flowers
The full name of the city is Nopburi Srinakornping Chiangmai, which means "New Town" (although it is actually over 700 years old). It is impossible not to love Chiang Mai. Not only for the beauty of the city itself, but also for the landscapes that you can admire while exploring it. The most beautiful views are from one of the city's most magnificent temples - Wat Phra That Doi Suthep . The complex of delicious buildings is located on the hill of Doi Suthep, west of Chaing Mai. The beauty of the temple delights and dazzles with the richness of gilding and colors. The openwork umbrellas surrounding the chedi (towers) add to its attractiveness.
Rules must be followed in this and all other Thai temples. This includes appropriate clothing (covering the shoulders and knees) and behavior. Before entering the vat, you need to take off your shoes, while inside you should not touch the figures representing the Buddha. One should also be careful not to exceed the head of the prophet's imagination.
A feast for the senses, or what to eat in Chiang Mai
After arriving in Chiang Mai, we can direct our steps to the moated Old Town. Interestingly, you can easily fish in the aforementioned moat. The local infrastructure is impressive - wherever we look, we will encounter a restaurant or a cozy pub, and there are rows of shops along the streets. You can also go shopping at night, to the famous Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, where a sea of jewelry sparkles, and many women will have a glimpse of hundreds of models of handbags.
It would be a sin not to taste the local specialties. Thai cuisine is extremely varied, colorful and spicy - it is eaten both with the mouth and with the eyes. One of the many dishes worth knowing is Kao Soy , which is pasta with coconut milk, with the addition of chicken curry. Maybe it looks a bit like a home-made broth, but it doesn't taste like it. Pad Thai, i.e. fried Thai noodles, is also delicious. The above-mentioned dishes and dozens of others can be eaten in one of the most local restaurants - an excellent choice is Daret's Guesthouse (4/5 Chaiyaphum Road), highly praised by tourists on forums.
After feeding your body, it's time to saturate your other senses. Chiang Mai is a place where you can walk for hours between the streets, turning to one of the hundreds of Buddhist temples. The ubiquitous flowers and the aroma of incense floating in the air make us feel like in a completely different space-time. If we are lucky enough to visit the city during Vesākha Day (Buddha's birthday celebration), we will see how the usually quiet temples fill up with crowds of worshipers praying. During this period, Chiang Mai turns into a place full of magic and beauty.
A place where time does not matter
Chiang Mai Province attracts not only with the beauty of its capital, but also with many other attractions. Nature lovers will be delighted with the local waterfalls, which are exceptionally abundant. The most beautiful are located in the National Park located at the foot of Doi Inthanon , the highest mountain in Thailand. The over 50-meter-high Namtok Wachirathan Waterfall , falling off a cliff into a deep pool is definitely worth seeing. If we are not afraid of getting wet, we can admire it from a small wooden bridge. It is an exceptionally romantic picnic spot.
Mae Ya , situated in the southern part of the park, is also beautiful. It flows down rocky steps from a height of about 250 meters, and in order to reach it, you need to overcome a 5-kilometer route. On the road from Chiang Mai to Sameong we find the beautiful Mae Yim waterfall, while about 26 km from the provincial capital, Mae Sa is hiding among huge trees. In fact, it consists of several smaller water drops, which adds both beauty and romance to it. It is a charming corner, very liked by the locals and tourists who visit this place frequently.
A Polish missionary in Thailand, Father Cyprian Czop, compared Chiang Mai to Zakopane. Whether it was due to the city's climate or its location among mountain ranges is unknown. However, one thing is certain: Chiang Mai will charm everyone who appears in it. There is no exaggeration in the comment found on the forum: "When I had to leave it, I almost cried."
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