MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Latest Chiangmai posts currently added further down...

Wualai Road Night Market
We went to the Chang Klan Road Night Bazaar yesterday evening and whereas that's a nightly, fixed location shopping area, the Wualai Road Night Market is temporary, with stalls pitching up every Saturday.

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It takes place on the lengthy Wualai Road, especially long when faced with all the ambling visitors, both local and tourists browsing at leisure. The area is actually an old city silver-making district which apparently still has silversmiths banging out their creations during the day on various metal household wares and surfaces.

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Chiangmai Chinatown
With all the Chinatowns that we've been to around East Asia, we still found ourselves heading to the one in Chiangmai. Well, that's another one to tick off the list. Chiangmai Chinatown had Chinatown-style gates but to be honest, I'm not sure how Chinese it really was. But at the same time, sometimes in a foreign country, nothing beats walking around a place like your own hood.

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Alot of the stuff we saw for sale at the Chiangmai Chinatown seemed generic to any culture or just seemed Thai. Having said that, I don't believe I could tell much difference anyway. I need a big red sign board over every pile of stock to understand whether it was Chinese stuff or not.

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Wat Phra Singh Buddhist Temple, Chiangmai’s Most Impressive
Wat Phra Singh is an impressive Buddhist temple within Chiangmai's old city centre walls and located at the far western end of Ratchadamnoen Road.

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It contains one of Thailand's three important Phra Singh Buddha images, with the other two at Wat Phra Mahathat in the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat and in the Bangkok National Museum.

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The All Wooden Wat Pan Tao Sermon Hall
The Wat Pan Tao is an all-teak sermon hall, constructed of unpolished panels and held up with enormous pillars. We stumbled across it when walking up Ratchadamnoen Road through the centre of the old city.

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The sermon hall, or the viharn caught our eye with its striking, layered, triple roof design together with all the orange flags right next to it. Teams of young monks in their trademark orange cloths were also cleaning the grounds.

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Chiangmai Hill Tribes Shop
One of the tourist attractions of Chiangmai is to visit a hill tribe outside of the town, either on a day tour or a home stay. There, you can apparently see the long-necked women, the ones who have metal rings around their necks. We didn't go, but we did come across this shop on (I think) Tha Phae Road.

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I didn't know what it was called, thanks to all the greenery outside, but we did know that it was a shop selling handicrafts by people from hill tribe villages. From what we understand, these handicrafts are sold in places throughout Chiangmai anyway, but with its rabbit warren-like layout and walls and ceilings stuffed with thousands of items, I found this place intriguing.

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Thaphae Muay Thai Stadium by Day
The Thaphae Muay Thai Stadium, so called because it was right next to the Thaphae Gate, was also practically across the road from our hotel (Portico 21) in Chiangmai. It was where we eventually went to watch some Muay Thai, having failed to do so in Bangkok two weeks previously.

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We dropped by during the day and whilst a few guys there at the entrance tried to get us to buy advance tickets, they did let us wander around inside and take photos.

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Flight of the Gibbon Waterfall Trek
The second part of the Flight of the Gibbon experience was the opportunity to climb up to a waterfall. In comparison to zooming through the forest air by zipline, its pretty tame, but the effort required at least built our appetites up for the forthcoming lunch.

Gibbon-Waterfall

We were transported the short distance to the bottom of the waterfall and then were given some initial directions by some waiting staff. Our group was pretty much left to our own devices, although the route was straightforward.

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Flight of the Gibbon Rainforest Zipline Adventure in Chiangmai
Voted Best Attraction in Thailand, the Flight of the Gibbon Rainforest Adventure billboards got our attention as we began planning our activities, soon after we arrived in Chiangmai.

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We initially decided not to do it, since it didn't seem like an activity inherent to Thai culture and wasn't cheap either at 1700 THB (£33) each (normal full price was over 2000 THB). But then we changed our minds, since we didn't think we'd get many opportunities to do something like this often.

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Chang Klan Road Night Shopping in Chiangmai
On our first night in Chiangmai, we were able to walk a short distance from our hotel Portico 21, to the daily night market area located along Chang Klan Road. It was convenient to have such a variety of shopping and eating close by.

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Chang Klan Road itself is lined with stalls on each side that stretch as far as commercially viable. That is, within short proximity to either one of the market areas that take up parts of the street. On one end, there is the Chiangmai Night Bazaar (which has several floors) and across the road, the Kalare Night Bazaar, both of which are indoor and therefore covered.

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Recommended Portico 21 Hotel in Chiangmai
In Chiangmai, we stayed at the Portico 21 hotel. I don't post about every hotel we stay in, only the exceptional ones that we'd be happy to revisit and Portico 21 is one.

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We usually book our hotels based on a combination of price and reasonable level of amenities and location, so that we find something affordable, but don't scrimp so much as to leave us with a bad experience. We certainly don't need five star luxury. But with a touch of design, Portico 21 feels like a sophisticated but inexpensive place to reside whilst being close to a few attractions.

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