Looking back through pictures from Chiang Mai, I still can’t believe all we did in 4 short days. Here are a few more highlights…
Magha Puja Festival
This Buddhist holiday marks an astonishing event that occurred 10-months after the Buddha’s enlightenment.
On that day, 1250 enlightened disciples arrived to see the Buddha without being summoned. It also happened to be a full-moon.
The public holiday is celebrated in every temple. Participants carry candles and small bundles of flowers and incense as they walk clockwise around the ordination hall three times.
We joined the festivities at Wat Phra Sing with the largest congregation of monks! A very old monk sat before them reciting prayers into a microphone. Afterward the whole congregation began their laps.
We happened to be standing on the inside of the circle, ostensibly trapped, as hundreds of men cloaked in golden robes paraded by.
Time constraints forced us to choose between taking a Thai cooking class and attending this festival. I am so glad we chose the festival. I loved every second.
Empty ring and no one around to stop me…
A superhero themed ice cream parlor and funny signs
The world’s most disgusting fish “spa.” The water was murky and there was a crusty band-aid on the seat next to us. Maybe this was actually a lowlight.
I still can’t believe Madison put her feet in. (We both did but she’s especially germ averse.)
And with that appetizing photo and description…
To say we ate well is an understatement. This trend continued for the duration of our trip. Madison is a Jedi when it comes to finding amazing restaurants, and I ate especially well when I let her choose my meal. (That woman has a gift and I can’t wait to eat in her café someday.)
My favorite dish was Khao Soi, a creamy and spicy coconut curry with egg noodles topped with diced onions, cilantro, and lime. It’s a northern specialty and the perfect blend of spicy, sweet, and sour flavors.
The coffee game is strong in Chiang Mai and we sampled the beans at many cafés. Our favorite was from an incredible gem called Clay Studio Coffee in the Garden.
There’s an awesome courtyard inside dotted with piles of intricate ceramic figures. I never found out if they were unfinished projects or castoffs. Either way, it was a cool atmosphere.
There is still so much to see and do in Chiang Mai. I can’t wait to go back to rock climb at Crazy Horse, volunteer at an elephant sanctuary (I actually booked a day at one but some, um, gastrointestinal trouble kept me from going), wander around a hundred more wats, chat with more monks, and eat all the food.
I just might need to live there one day…