Monday, March 19, 2012

Chiang Mai - March 2012 : Day 04

This is the last day we will be spending our time in Chiang Mai. The next day we will be taking the morning flight return to Kuala Lumpur.

We woke up at 9++am , took our rented bike and heading somewhere nearby the Chiang Mai University for our brunch. I read in Nancy Chandler's map wrote that you can find nice and cheap food nearby the university. We went 2 round on the same street and finally choose one of the decent local restaurant for our meal.

If you want cheap food, try to hunt for food near Chiang Mai University.This is one of the shop we visited and the food is really good!! trust me is REALLY REALLY GOOD!!!

We tried their Fried Kuay Teow, simple and damn yummy food for our Brunch. It only cost us only 35THB. Their Tom Yum Noodle Soup, 35THB .... yummy too!

After filly up our tummy, we begin our journey to Wat Doi Suthep. This is one of the must visit temple in Chiang Mai, located at the Hill Top. You may need a little bit of workout here as you will need to walk quite a number of staircase to reach the temple. Check out my pictures here and you will know what i mean. Luckily along the way up you will get to to see some stalls selling clothes and souvenirs so somehow it helps to divert your attention towards the steps. :P 

Doi Suthep Temple

You need to pay the entrance fee of 30THB entering the temple. Make sure you wear proper attire to enter the temple else you will be ended up like me have to make some donation and get a rope to wrap around you. ( I was wearing my bermuda which is shorter than my knee length) 

In Wat Doi Suthep

In Wat Doi Suthep
Wat Doi Suthep - The suuroundings

 After visiting Doi Suthep, we remembered we passed by Chiang Mai Zoo. Since we did not know where else to go and Chiang Mai Zoo is just on our way back to the guest house. Well the zoo is al-right but i wont said anything fantastic. The only special animal you get to see i guess is the panda. I'd been to Taronga Zoo just 6 months ago, so i guess i tend to compare Chiang Mai Zoo with Taronga Zoo in Sydney. I would think if you only have little time to spend in Chiang Mai, i guess you can skip this.

Chiang Mai Zoo

Since this is our last night in Chiang Mai, we were thinking to have a more luxurious place for good Thai food. We went to this restaurant called The Riverside which is recommended by the our River Cruise tour guide. The Riverside it has 2 part. Along the Ping river it is a pub where you can enjoy live band there. Trust me if you love loud music and party. This is one of the recommended place. But for us we want food. so we went to the one across the street. Here the ambience is very different, it is more for dining. It has live band as well, but playing different type of songs. The food was great, we love it so much and the price is reasonable - highly recommended by me! :P

Dinner at The Riverside , Bar and Restaurant

Day 5 is our day returning to KL. I am not going to write much about day 5 as we took the early morning flight and there is no time for us to explore further. But overall i did enjoy the entire trip and do hope to come back again in the near future.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chiang Mai - March 2012 : Day 03

On the 3rd Day, we bought a 1 day tour to Chiang Rai from our guest house. The entire journey begin from morning 7:30am and will expected to end at 8pm. Quite a long hours trip but worth it.

We wait for the tour guide to pick us up from the guest house and our journey begin. It was about 3 hours journey from Chiang Mai City. Our first destination is the Chiang Rai Hot Spring. You will see the tourist and local will buy the quill eggs and boiled them at the hot spring. 

Chiang Rai Hot Spring

Tourist/ Locals boiling quill eggs at the hot spring
Our Next destination is to Wat Rong Khun a.k.a The White Temple. This temple is painted in white and with some mirror glass decorated against the wall and all the sculptures around the temple's surroundings. Very interesting temple, a must visit temple if you want to visit Chiang Rai. Their toilet also very impressive. The toilet building is painted entirely in Gold. It look so awesome and i never thought it is a toilet.

Wat Rong Khun - The White Temple

Wat Rong Khun , The White Temple's Surroudings. The Gold Building is what i am refering to - The toilet! :P
Next, We were heading to the Golden Triangle. This is the meeting point of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. This area is used to be the opium producing area. Thailand where we were stepping in, we can see Laos on the opposite side and Myanmar on the left side. We paid 20THB to take the boat crossing to Laos.

Golden Triangle

Taking the boat ride along Mekong River and crossing to Don Sao , Laos

The small little island there is called "The No Name Land" right in the centre of Mekong River. This is the place where opium business was operated long time ago

Don Sao, Laos - The other side of Golden Triangle

You just need to pay 20THB to get a visiting pass to Don Sao, Laos.

Our lunch is a thai cuisine buffet style. The food was alright not so fantastic, but i am more eager to look forward our next destination - Mae Sai City - the border between Thailand and Myanmar. This is also the most northern tip of Thailand. Here you get to visit a market where a lot of Myanmar jade selling here. I didnt really buy anything. Basically just walk around and check out this place. Anyway we were only have 30 mins in Mae Sai.

Mae Sai City - The Border between Thailand and Myanmar. It is also the Northern Most of Thailand

Before heading back to Chiang Mai, Our last destination for this tour is to Karen tribe village. This is where you will get to visit the long neck tribe who are came from Myanmar. They have been staying here in Northern Thailand for decades, however they have yet to get the Thai citizenship. Apart of Karen tribe you will get to see the "big ear" tribe where they wear big earring as their accessories. 

Karen Tribe Village

Karen Tribe

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chiang Mai - March 2012 : Day 02

Woke up late as we were so exhausted on the first day. Anyway that day we wanted to make it a more relaxing one.

It was a Saturday, we know at night we might be walking a lot as there will be a Saturday Night Market at Wui Lai Road, we planned to take the Mae Ping River Cruise and took our bike and tour around the city checking out the surroundings before heading to the night market.

As usual we need our breakfast so we took our bike and start hunting for breakfast.
The surroundings near All in 1 Guest House
Our rented bike
It was 10am and we found our breakfast in one of the stall, couldn't recall the street name.They only serve noodles and some drinks but the food is really great and cheap too!

The Noodle Stall we had our breakfast

Pork Ball + Pork ribs noddle soup. 35THB

Beef ball + stewed beef noodle soup. Yummy!! Only 35THB
When we were just about to finish our breakfast. we saw a lady pushing a cart across the street. We we curious what is she selling and checked it out. She is selling local home made coconut ice cream. It looks interesting and we decided to buy each person a cup. This ice cream slightly different with what the usualy ice cream we eat. It contains coconut ice cream, peanuts, glutinous rice and syrup as topping.

Yummy home made coconut ice cream for only 20THB per cup
Our first destination of the day is to Wat Mongkol by the Ping River. The main thing is not visiting the temple but Mae Ping River Cruise is actually located at the Jetty near Wat Mongkol. We signed up for the 2 hour river cruise cost 450THB per pax. The guide told us the journey will start 30 minutes later. So we spend our time walk around Wat Mongkol checking out the surroundings.
Entrace to Wat Mongkol
Mae Ping River Cruise

Mae Ping River Cruise office

There is this Chinese temple opposite Wat Mongkol, we saw the locals gave their donation and they get to write their blessing on the roof plank. These roof plank will be used to build the new temple. I am chinese but i never know there are such way of getting blessing. :P

The Locals donate and get to write their blessing on the roof plank which will be used to build the new temple

The Chinese Temple just opposite Wat Mongkol

When the time is up, we went back to the jetty and begin our river cruise along Ping River. This is more like a sight seeing cruise and you get to visit a farm garden and enjoy some tropical fruits and tea there.

Mae Ping River Cruise Begin

Mae Ping River Cruise and there guy with a victory sign is our tour guide for this river cruise.

What you will see along the Ping River

You will get to visit the Farm Garden where you will see different vegetables grown here and you will see 2 big fat wild boar there as well.
Some of the things you get to see and enjoy at the Farm Garden- Mae Ping River Cruise
We hang around the place for about an hour and back to the Wat Mongkol jetty. The entire Cruise took us about 3 to 4 hours time. It was quite a relax one but the river cruise can be a bit boring and in fact we felt asleep on the way return back to the jetty. After the cruise, we just took a bike ride and explore the area near by. 

There is a Saturday Night market at Wui Lai Road, there will be our dinner hunting place.:) 
It just took us about less than 10 mins bike ride from our guest house. Once we arrived , i have alreadt aiming some food stall as their food really look interesting and delicious. We bought some food and checking out the stuff at the night market. 

Saturday Night Market, Chiang Mai

Food we bought at the Saturday Night Market
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Chiang Mai - March 2012 : Day 01

It's been a long time i so wanted to travel to Chiang Mai, Thailand. I bought a promo flight from Air Asia to Chiang Mai and finally i flew to Chiang Mai exactly on my Birthday in March 2012. ( It was my birthday gift for my own self :P )

My friend and I , just the two of us first time travelling to Chiang Mai, have no idea where exactly we want to go. I just did a simple research getting to know a little bit more about Chiang Mai and that's all. 
It was a 5 days 4 nights trip to Chiang Mai. We arrived at the Airport in the morning and the first thing we did was finding a taxi to the guest house we have booked before our trip. 

The Guest House we were staying for our entire trip is called All in 1 Guest House. Very interesting name and indeed a lovely and cosy guest house. This guest house is ideally located in the heart of the Chiang Mai old city. Very near to all the night bazaar and markets. It cost about 695THB for twin sharing room with AC. The room is clean and cosy and the staff are very friendly and helpful too. Highly recommended by me! ^_^

All in 1 Guest House , Chiang Mai

The Room
We rented a motorbike from the guest house which cost only 200THB per day and start touring around the town. We got a map from the guest house and the staff gave some recommendations where we should visit so there we go listen to the advise and our destination began.

Our first destination in fact was actually hunting for food. We had yet to have our very first meal of the day after landing Chiang Mai. I know there is a famous noodle called Khao Soi, which i wanted to give it a try. We saw a little eatery shop and they served Khao Soi,so we just stopped and took our meal there. I quite like this fried noodle and the gravy was yummy too.

Khao Soi

After filling up our tummy, we decided to visit all the temples in town. The first temple we visited was Wat Phan Tao. One of the old temple in town.

Next to Wat Phan Tao is Wat Chedi Luang. Wat Chedi Luang is one of the historical Buddhist temple. The front you will see a modern built temple facing the main road. when you walk to the back of the modern temple , there is where you will see the ancient structure building that is still maintained there. I couldn't really remember the history behind but i am sure you will be able to search from the internet knowing more about this temple. Here i am just sharing with you some of the pictures taken by myself showing the architecture of the ancient building.( but of course it is not as great or as big as Angkor Wat in Siem Reap or Borobudur in Yogyakarta)

Wat Chedi Luang - Front

Wat Chedi Luang - the surroundings

Wat Chedi Luang - Historical Site

You will see this Buddhist Manuscript Library & Museum while walking around Wat Chedi Luang

Something we need to take note when visiting a Buddhist Temple.
Another view of Wat Chedi Luang

The next temple we visited is about 5 mins bike ride away from Wat Chedi Luang - Wat Pra Singh.
Wat Pra Singh is about 700 years old and was constructed by King Phayoo of Mengrai Dynasty.

Wat Pra Singh

Wat Chiang Man was the last temple we visited. This is another temple at the other end of the Chiang Mai Old City but very near to the guest house we stayed. This made our last destination of temple visit and give ourselves a good rest before heading to the Night Market Bazaar for dinner.

Wat Chiang Man
Well since it was my birthday, my friend promised to treat me a good dinner, so we did some survey on all the brochures we got either from the airport or from the guest house. Finally we decided to try this western restaurant near the Night Market Bazaar called The Duke's Grill & Bar. Please take note, if you are a small eater, please share the food, the portion is really big. Both of us were having hard time to finish the food but overall the food is really yummy! worth to try! 

The Dukes Grill & Bar. It is just opposite Royal Princess Hotel

My Yummy Birthday Dinner Treat! Their Ribs and Lagsana are really good!
Since we were so full after a super heavy dinner, we decided to take a walk at the night market. There are all sorts of things selling in the market: Clothing, handicrafts, leather items, souvenirs etc..
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
After a long walk , we ended the day by sitting down a cosy place near Night Bazaar for a drink. I had a glass of orange juice and my friend had a Singha Beer. 

Our Drinks before ending our Day 1 in Chiang Mai