Friday, June 19, 2009

Chiang Mai- The Real Deal

We flew from Phuket to Bangkok and then hopped on another flight to Chiang Mai. We are staying at the Le Meridien Chiang Mai located in the center of town and in the middle of the night market.

What a lovely, welcomed change. Although the beaches will surely be missed, Chiang Mai is truly Thai. As soon as we got into town we could feel the difference- Wat's on every corner, people selling their wares on the street, and the sound of monks chanting in the distance.

We arrived on a Sunday so we could attend the festive Sunday Night Market. This special market is more like an elaborate street fair filled with food vendors, musicians (most of whom were blind), and vendors selling shoes, tshirts, and handmade items. It was so nice to be able to immerse ourselves into this weekly Thai tradition. After walking several blocks we took a much needed snack break near one of the local Wats. We spotted a noodle soup boot and ordered a bowl. Similar to Vietnamese Pho, the soup was out of this world delicious. After filling up on soup and dessert we stopped by a Wat and sat outside while listening to the monks and local people chant and pray. It's such a calming experience to listen to the repitition of prayer and the sort of humming sound that goes along with it.

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