The north of Thailand is a place that a lot of backpackers seem to speak very highly about. You have Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Pai that are all very popular. Could it be the climate, the chilled vibe or something more specific that draws them there? Whatever the reason, Harmony and I were going to give it a go!
We were spending a few days in Chiang Mai and we were staying at Deejai Backpackers. It would've been a pretty good place to stay if we just wanted to party, but we had a lot more in mind and did our own thing anyway. With the hostel being on the west side of the old town, it was in a pretty good location. There weren’t many other restaurants around, but the hostel did serve breakfast, dinner and snacks. They also had their very own pool and bar just down the road. Our four-person dorm room had a fan and hot water, but my bed was the worst thing I've ever slept on and gave me the worst night's sleep of my life. Also, whilst running the risk of being too negative, the wifi was unusable, the coffee was unbearable and the laundry service was pants (pun intended).
When we first arrived in Chiang Mai, we got straight to sightseeing. I had a list of temples that we should see, so we were going to walk from one to the other. This is by far the best way to see a city and sus out what it’s like! First of all, we found a nice café called Blue Note, where we had a delicious and inexpensive breakfast. We continued to find a lot more cafés and restaurants that we liked throughout the following days – Honey Boon, Ugo and Miranda's.
The first temple on the list was Wat Phra Singh, as it was the closest to our hostel. It was free to go in and had lots to see (including a market). Wat Phan Tao was second on our list. It was less crowded and more peaceful! We then made our way to Wat Chedi Luang, which was just around the corner. The “City Pillar” (a large, ancient monument) is a must see and is included in the 40 Baht admission fee. Unfortunately, they don’t let the public use it as a panoramic viewpoint!