Gettin’ Hot and Wet in Chiang Mai: The Temple Edition
Welcome to wet season. June is a shoulder month, typically marking the end of hot season and the beginning of wet season in Thailand, and for us, it was both hot and wet.
My friend, Allison, flew in for a whirlwind week from the U.S., and upon meeting up in the Bangkok airport, we took our flight up to Chiang Mai to go on a walking tour of the city and experience all the temples.
At least, that was the plan. Upon landing in Chiang Mai, we took a cab to our hostel, and then argued whether or not we should keep the A/C running while we were out.
Being in Southeast Asia for the past two months has indoctrinated me in ways I didn’t realize. No A/C? No problem! Let me carry around this handkerchief so I don’t waste paper wiping all the sweat off my face before taking a cold shower next to the toilet. Hot water? Is that necessary?
Back in the states, no one would think twice about keeping the A/C running in their hotel room. However, all I could think of was how much energy we’d be wasting and all of the people who lived their lives without A/C. However, after I realized the hostel was much more expensive than what I’ve normally been paying (over 1000 baht vs 100 baht), we let that baby run 24/7. #Americans
Wat Doi Suthep
After hiding from the heat for a few hours, we grabbed lunch at nearby diner before heading up to Wat Doi Suthep, located on the mountain Doi Suthep. The temple overlooks the city of Chiang Mai, and no one is sure when it was actually built (though legend says it was founded in 1383).
After our afternoon at Doi Sutrep, we returned to our hostel, got some Thai massages, and then walked over to a nearby night market for some dinner. Allison tried the infamous Thailand fish massage, and she pretty much melted into a fit of giggles. I had already tried the fish massage back in Bangkok, and it’s one experience in my life that I know I’ll never really need to try again. As Allison said, the feeling you get from the fish massage is a lot freakier than getting a tattoo.
The next day, we actually did get tattoos in the morning, and then spent the afternoon wandering around the Old City in search of some more temples.
Walking for hours under the Chiang Mai sun is pretty brutal, so we retired to our room pretty early afterwards. Honestly, my ideal Thailand schedule has been wake up early if you want to go anywhere in the daytime, return back to the hostel by noon, take a siesta, then reemerge after 5pm in time for the weather to cool off and the sun to set. It’s not surprising that most people opt to drive motorbikes or cars rather than walk anywhere.
Next up… tattoos and the elephant sanctuary!