I love Pai, Thailand

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The road to Pai

Pai is situated in mountains north of Chiang Mai. I took a minivan to Pai from Chiang Mai, which takes about four hours and only cost me $8.  It is quite a hair-raising, stomach turning ride!  With 726 bends for 3 hours, it is quite an experience.  You can’t read or watch anything, so charge your phone listen to some tunes and enjoy the view.

Some choose to rent a motorbike from Chiang Mai and ride the way to Pai.  It does seem adventurous and romantic, and if you know how to ride a bike go for it!  If you do not, consider if you can last for 3 hours on 726 bends – steep ones?  I saw a few casualties along the road, minor ones thankfully, and a good 60% of foreigners in Pai are accessorized in a bandage or two.

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Last Day in Chiang Mai

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Kao Soi Soup

You know I really did like Chiang Mai and I know that if I was staying in a different hostel I would have enjoyed my time more.  But, at the time I just wanted to go to Pai, where I hoped things would be better.

And even though I was starting to feel ill on my last day I still went out, as I really didn’t want to be at the hostel with my ever-present and obnoxious hostel mates.  They were quite terrible actually, they made fun of the new German guests who seemed like perfectly decent guys.  I couldn’t wait to get away!

After visiting all of the temples I just walked along the wall and  through the center, exploring parts of Chiang Mai I hadn’t seen yet.  I also ate the famous Kao Soi soup, the Curry Noodle soup that Chiang Mai is known for.  It was amazing, spicy, full of flavour and the crunchy noodles added a delicious texture!

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Saturday Night Market & Makha Bucha Day

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Memorial for King Bhumibol

I was temple hopping in Chiang Mai the last time I wrote about my epic Thailand adventure, but the best thing about my stay in Chiang Mai was it was Makha Bucha Day.

Makha Bucha Day is the second most important buddhist holiday in Thailand.  It is the day on which Buddhist honour Buddha and his teachings.  One of the ways that Buddhists celebrate is to attend a candle light procession around their temple.

Makha Bucha Day fell on a Saturday, which is the day on which Chiang Mai has its weekly night markets.  One of the largest takes place right outside my hostel on Wualai Road.  Which also happened to be the route you took to get to a good number of the Temples and I found myself on a journey through the Night market, with stops at temples, where I would stop to participate in the Makha Bucha celebration. Quite an experience!

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Chiang Mai Temple Hopping: Wat Chedi Luang

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Me with Wat Chedi Luang in the background

Another major temple in Chiang Mai is Wat Chedi Luang.  The current temple is made up of three temples, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Ho Tham and Wat Sukmin.

The temple is known for the semi destroyed brick Wat Chedi Luang which use to house the Emerald Buddha and was at one point one of the tallest structures of the old Lanna kingdom.

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Chiang Mai Temple Hopping: Wat Phra Singh

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First selfie in Chiang Mai

It was impossible not to visit a temple while in Chiang Mai.  The city has a history as a Buddhist spiritual center and is compact, so you can’t walk very far without stumbling upon a temple.

Wat Phra Singh is one of the most well-known and prestigious temples in the city, and was part of itinerary for my first day in Chiang Mai.

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Continuing My Thailand Story with Chiang Mai

I last left off my Thailand story in  Ayutthaya where I biked around to visit the ruins of the ancient city, ate delicious food and made friends with fellow travelers.   I loved Ayutthaya and I couldn’t wait to get to Chiang Mai, a city that everyone I met spoke with reverence and excitement.  I was told I would LOVE it there.  That Chiang Mai was amazing and the best place in Thailand.

They were right, I did love Chiang Mai, I just hated my hostel.

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A Day in Ayutthaya

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At the train station

I had always wanted to visit the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya.  It has been on my bucket list for years & I was finally going to get to see it!

I took the 9 am train from Bangkok a journey that took 2 hours.  Once I got there I took a Tuk Tuk to my hostel as I had no idea where it was.  But, if you are staying within the city, I recommend you take the ferry across the river as its only 5 baht & the city is small enough that most things are within walking distances.

Seeing the small & charming city of Ayutthaya it was hard to imagine that in 1770, it was the largest city in the world with a population of 1 million people.

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Photo Diary: Bangkok at Night

Before I take you on the next stop on my Thailand adventure, I wanted to share some of the photos I took during my many evening walks in Bangkok.  The heat in Bangkok results in life picking up in the city in the evening hours when it becomes cool enough to be comfortably outdoors.

It is perfectly safe for a woman to be out alone at night in Bangkok.  I took the same precautions as I would at home & never felt in any sort of danger.  So even if you find yourself alone in Bangkok, don’t be afraid to venture out at night.
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