Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Images of Chaing Mai

Chiang Mai is a city that is finely tuned for tourists. Many of the city's sights are within walking distance from any accommodation close the the center of town. If you get tired, there's always a tuk-tuk waiting to take you anywhere you please. Always negotiate your fare before hopping on. Metered taxis are rare in town but red mini-trucks outfitted with bench seats (songthaews) are everywhere. Just flag one down and let the driver know where you want to go. If he already has passengers, and your destination is in his general direction, he'll let you know how much it is to take you to your destination.
Chiang Mai is considered the gateway city to the rest of northern Thailand and attracts a wide range of tourists. Backpackers are everywhere, and guesthouses are plentiful inside the walls of the Old City. Mid to upper end accommodations are scattered around the city with most around the night bazaar.
There is a wide range of activities for eager tourists. Everything from elephant camps, butterfly sanctuaries, hiking trips in the nearby parks, orchid farms, snake farms, a monkey center, a tiger park, a night safari, cooking schools, day trips to the hill tribes, as well as activities some people cannot do without on holiday such as white-water rafting, bungy jumping, and time at the shooting range.
But come first to Chiang Mai to see the temples and markets, and enjoy the food and hospitality of the Thai people.
High season is November through March, with things peaking during the year end holidays when the days are mild and relatively dry. The warmest months are March through May.

Thais love fried just about anything. Take your pick.

Dogs are plentiful on the streets of Chaing Mai. Unfortunately, many are in pretty sad shape in comparison to dogs back home. There are several groups raising money to help the dogs, and cats in the city, to provide them with basic vaccinations.

Sunday Market at Tapae Plaza.
Buddha image on the Chedi of Wat Pan On, one of the most beautifully restored temples inside the Old City walls.

Alan at Wat PraSingh.
Flower offerings at the flower market.

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