“Where do you stay?,” the Destination Chiang Mai agent asked us. “Behind Wat Mo Kham Tuang,” along Sri Poom Road.” He scratched his head. “Is that the wat with many horses?” I said, “No. It’s the wat with glitters on its front wall.” He got more confused. Everybody in the office now joined us as we plotted where Wat Mo Kham Tuang is. “Ah, there are just too many wats here in Chiang Mai.”
Eating out in Chiang Mai was easier compared to Bangkok because Chiang Mai was a smaller city. In fact, we just have to walk 10 meters and we could get papaya salad made fresh by our neighbor in his home-turned-restaurant-at-night. Beside his house, another neighbor sells banana and vegetable fritters. In Chiang Mai, you walk just a distance of five meters and another restaurant, diner, or stall selling food will greet you. Here are my top recommendations.
I woke up at half past 3 in the afternoon in Manila. I was refreshed and the pain in my eye that has been bugging me the past four days is now gone. We arrived in the capital 12 hours before, hit the welcoming pillows of the quaint Casa Bocobo Hotel at 4AM, visited a government agency for a scheduled appointment, had lunch at a Chinese restaurant, and went home to get some much-needed shut eye. I was glad it was still half past 3. That means we still have enough day light to cover at least one museum, the whole length of Rizal Park, and still be on time for an afternoon tea.
Phitsanulok is somewhere between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. It is a small city, but I have heard of it already because Joel’s aunt lived and worked there and their family has stories and memories of the city. We never got to explore much of the city but we did have some “stopover” hours on our way to Chiang Mai, and there are two things we would go back for — friend chicken and Pista Cafe!
Joel and I have been wanting to visit Chiang Mai for the longest time. We have been hearing of the beauty of the place from Joel’s family. His aunt and her family have lived there for about a decade and has been constantly inviting us to visit. Finally, last year, we decided to give it a go. Our journey to Chiang Mai took years to plan and took 12 hours to complete.
During our trip to Thailand, I was determined to visit the two most popular UNESCO World Heritage sites because they were accessible by different modes of transportation. Having already explored Ayutthaya with my siblings and husband, only Sukhothai remains on my to-check out list. After a week exploring Bangkok, on a Saturday morning, my husband and I ate our last breakfast at the Station Cafe, checked out, and took the earliest special express train to Phitsanulok.
Lovely guesthouse with swimming pool in Sukhothai.
Bangkok’s Chinatown is the largest Chinatown in the world. Bangkok’s Chinatown is like a city within a city. We attempted to cover all of Chinatown, but three days is just not enough. I realized that when you come to Bangkok’s Chinatown, you must have a purpose and must know the exact location of that purpose. Otherwise, you’ll end up lost, although we didn’t mind for there are sights to see, treasures to discover, including gold, and lots of gold, and delicious food to eat in every corner.
Strategically located near Bangkok railway and Hua Lamphong MRT.
Planning and budgeting for a seven-day family holiday in Siem Reap and Bangkok.
We capped our day at Ayutthaya at its floating market. It was not the “floating market” that we saw in National Geographic images. It was very far from it. I read (after we visited the market) that this was meant for the locals, which explained why there were only a handful of foreign tourists, and I would not be surprised to learn that the river was a manmade river. Despite this, and the steep 200baht for a few minutes of river cruise, I think I enjoyed looking at how Thai people spend their holidays. Read on if you want to know more about this floating market.