From Bangkok I took the night bus to my last major destination for this trip, Chiang Mai up in the north west. Something I don’t understand about the night buses here in south east Asia is that they tend to leave around dinner time, then arrive in the early morning before anything is open. It would be more convenient if they arrived an hour or two later, so the hostels and breakfast places have time to open. I wasn’t able to check in directly so I dumped my bag in the hostel then took a stroll downtown to kill some time.

If you look at a map of Chiang Mai you can see the layout of the old city, like a large square in the middle of the town. They’ve turned the old moat into a canal adorned with fountains and there are even a few pieces of the crumbling old wall here and there. 

Chiang Mai map

That early in the morning there wasn’t much open except the temples (and a few breakfast shops) so I checked out the most famous one, Wat Phra Singh. After the splendor of the temples in Bangkok I though the ones here would not be much, but the golden stupa glimmering in the morning sun was an impressive sight. 

A bunch of the other travelers I’ve talked to had mentioned riding motorbikes to Pai and after several days without touching a two wheeler, my hands have started to ich again. I found a reputable rental shop, bought a map and brought it back to the hostel to plan the next few days. 

After lunch I headed out again for a bit more sightseeing. I found an interesting art gallery called Art in Paradise that specializes on realistic 3D paintings. It’s set up so you can take some very creative photos and I believe you can have very fun. On my own however, there was no one to take photos of, I wish had brought a friend with me. 

For dinner I went to the Chiang Mai night bazaar. I found some passable Thai food but most of the other stuff for sale was touristy knick knacks of various types, so not worth wasting space on the camera for.