Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Thailand Part V: Goodbye, Chiang Mai!

Sadly, we had somehow come to our last day in Chaing Mai.  We woke up early because we wanted to go see Chiang Mai's best-known temple, Wat Doi Suthep.  This temple is located a little ways outside the center of the city at the top of a mountain.  We took a tuk-tuk from the area around our hotel to a ways down, where we went to a place where there were a bunch of drivers waiting to gather enough people in the back of their trucks to go to locations around Chiang Mai.  Unfortunately we ended up for quite a while before there were finally enough people to head to the temple...but at least the price was super low.
These red trucks are everywhere in Chaing Mai.  We had to wait for forever until we had enough people to go to the temple! 

When we got to the bottom of the stairs that led up to the temple it was a bit like being in an amusement park.  Vendors lined the stairs all the way from the bottom to the top, ready to sell you anything and everything.

Once we made our way through the crowds of people and the vendors, the temple was sure enough, quite beautiful. There were tons of people visiting the temple, some to pray and to some (like us) who just wanted to see the sights.  It was a bit weird taking pictures of the area while people were making offering or meditating (or praying? not sure about the correct word in Buddhism)...but I suppose they wouldn't open the temple to the public or let us take pictures if they found it inappropriate?  Nonetheless, the detail of the temple really made an impression on me.  I took tons of pictures, but as is often the problem when traveling, it's hard to really capture any picture that can do any sort of justice to the actual beauty.
The stairs leading up to the temple.

So much gold everywhere!

I'm sure if it had been clearer this would have been an awesome view of Chiang Mai! 

After we finished we got back into a truck and headed back to have lunch.  After we ate more delicious food, we picked up our bags and headed to the train station.  That evening it was back on the overnight train to Bangkok.

For our second trip on the train we were roommates with elderly Thai women.  One of them spoke English and was quite sweet, but the other was asleep pretty much the whole time.  And snored.  Really loudly.  So that was fun.

Anyway, that is the end of my tales from Chiang Mai.  I promise I'm almost done with the Thailand posts! If anyone is still reading're a true champ!

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