Chiang Mai – the city of temples and markets

I had two days of wandering around Chaing Mai, getting lost down the tiny Soi’s in each block and three nights of Night Markets which progressively got better as the weekend progressed. On all the main roads Padoga’s can be found at least once a block. All impressive, gold gilded roofs, statues, brightly coloured mosaic scenes and bells on roofs dinging lightly in the wind or large bells being gonged and normally fairly crowded. My favourite was Wat Ket or Kate as was written on my map. It was outside the old city walls and by the time I happened across it was towards the end of the day. The grounds were quiet except the tinkling of bells. Flowers done in glass decorated the back wall. It dated back to the 1700’s and to me seemed to have an air of tranquility which was harder to see in the busier temples.

Markets make every night a culinary adventure and a challenge for the budget traveller as you pass by clothing, jewellery, lanterns, art work which you want to own. On the Friday night I headed out of the city walls to the nightly Night Bizarre. It is quite large but everything seems mass produced and there are not a lot of single food vendors, it is mostly little restaurants but you can get delicious fruit shakes and I did however find a little stall that made Mango & Sticky rice. My absolute favourite Thai dessert. I could happily eat it till it came out of my ears. Saturday night with my new found friends from cooking that day, we headed to the Saturday Market. Located near Wat Sri Suphran, or the Silver Temple which is just as it states, a temple of pure silver. The market is more genuine than the previous night but super crowded as it is down one rather narrow street. None the less I bought a beautiful pair of chopsticks there! And they love their 90’s and 80’s music in a lot of the little side areas which is great to bop around to.

Lastly was the Sunday Street Market. This well known and loved market is all of the above for good reason, it snakes down one of the main and larger roads – walking traffic both ways, and has side streets of things to explore plus areas solely for food. My favourite street was the art street. My friend Devon always also stated that steamed buns were amazingly tasty. I never really shared her enthusiasm until I shared one with Paula and Terrance that evening. Soft, chewy bread filled with flavour filled pork. Topped off with a freshly cooked roti stuffed with banana and egg, drizzled with chocolate. Slightly devilish.

 

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