Higher learning

Today was our first full day to spend exploring the city of Chiang Mai and all its temples. This was also our first chance to sleep in, and we took advantage. We took our time and left the house about 10am, heading back to Green Bamboo for a quick 30 minute head and back massage. Post deep tissue annihilation, we make a brief stop back at the apartment for a footwear change and stopped into the nearby coffee shop, Burtka.

Once sufficiently caffeinated, we went temple hopping. After perusing a couple of smaller temples, we stopped for an extended stay at Wat Chedi Luang.

Wat Chedi Luang

This place is amazing. It was built sometime between 1385 and 1402, during the reign of King Saen Muang Ma, 7th ruler of the Mengrai dynasty. While the structure had its size reduced by half in an earthquake in the 1500s, its still absolutely massive.

At this point it was time to … you guessed it, eat! So we headed for the best Khao Soi spot in town, Khao Soi Khun Yai (it literally translates to Grandma’s Khao Soi). Grandma only serves 2 dishes, and everyone comes for the Khao Soi. We both wished we could eat this every day.

Refueled, we headed back out to seek more temples, and eventually found our way to Wat Phra Singh. My favorites were the golden domes and the sleeping Buddha, slightly hidden in rear of the complex.

Sleeping Buddha

By this point, we were a bit templed out, and the sweltering heat was starting to take its toll, so we made our way back to the apartment to cool down. Having made reservations for yet another massage, we set out again for Green Bamboo, this time having opted for their Aloe Vera and oil massage.

Muscles thoroughly worked, we headed for one of the popular attractions in the city, the Pavilion Night Bazaar. While it was certainly an experience, we both felt like it was overly touristy, and seemed to lack the charm of the market from the night before. We ate Gyoza, and a wide noodle dish, both of which left us wanting more. So we decided to head back to the market from the night before, which felt like the place the locals eat at. I grabbed another order of the coconut milk pancakes, before we decided we’d had enough for the day and returned to the apartment, exhausted and ready for sleep.

It was a day of hits and misses, with Wat Chedi Luang being the best of the bunch, and the bazaar falling a bit flat, although we did have our first lady boy sighting on the way there.

We settled in a bit early knowing that we had to be up early the next morning to check out before heading to our Thai cooking class.