Our first stop in Chiang Mai was the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a Buddhist temple located 15 km from the city of Chiang Mai. It is a sacred site to many Thai people. The temple is said to have been founded in 1383 when the first chedi was built.
Donation boxes for specific causes – there is even one for feeding the temple dogs.
Built more than 600 years ago, Wat Chedi Luang used to be 90 meters high before it was partly destroyed in an earthquake in 1545. The present restored chedi is about 60 meters high.
Away from the structure, there is a temple that is shaded by a huge rubber tree, which legend says the guardian of Chiang Mai resides. According to legend, if the tree should fall, a great disaster would bear down on Chiang Mai.
There was an old lady selling birds at the temple compound. For 100 baht (USD3), you can buy a cage of birds. It felt really good setting them free.
We stayed in Centara Duangtawan, a 4-star hotel just few minutes’ walk from the night bazaar. Located opposite is the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel. I was told this is where Teresa Teng last stayed in. In memory of her, the room she resided in has been kept just the way it was since her passing.
On the way to Chiang Rai the next day, we had to stop halfway as our bus broke down. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I was rewarded with some pretty interesting sights.
While waiting for transport, we crossed the highway to a row of stalls. There were beetles on sale. These insects look like dung beetles and are used for beetle fights.
Two men were betting on which beetle would win the fight.
Nearby, there were bamboo worms for sale. The thought of eating worms and insects might make one squirm but in Thailand, these are considered a tasty and nutritious snack.