Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand after Bangkok. It's located in the north part of Thailand, near mountain, no wonder there is so many breathtaking scenery here. Thanks to Air Asia promo ticket, I got promo ticket from CGK -Kuala Lumpur (LCCT) - Chiang Mai (CNX), with Farida, my travelmate from Surabaya.
I stay a night at Reggae guest house 2 in Kuala Lumpur (30 Ringgit Malaysia (RM)/night mix dorm), before catch up the morning flight from LCCT to CNX at 7 AM. Reggae 2 located at Petaling, China Town KL. From LCCT to KL Sentral terminal, we took sky bus AA, for 9RM. From KL Sentral took LRT to Petaling Street for 1RM. The hostel located nearby the LRT station in Petaling street. Because I have to wake up early in the morning at 3AM, take a cab to LCCT airport, I didn't sleep at all night long ! The flight from LCCT to CNX airport took about 2h45mnts, quite long, and I can't sleep in airplane -__-".
I arrived at Chiang Mai airport at 9.30 AM. My friend Farida who has arrived a day before, she said that I have to rent a car for 120 baht, from airport to our hostel at Deejai Backpacker hostel ( 120 baht/night for 2 person, include fan, shower) that only 2 KM from airport. Well a very nice car indeed. At Deejai , the front office woman is very beautiful Thai lady with amazing tattoes at her foot, she told me that our room at 3rd floor. "Go upstair and surprised your friend, Farida", she said. So I went to my room and knock the door. Farida very surprised, and think that I was a food seller woman or something. After discuss, we decided to rent motorbike 150 baht /day, to go round the old city Chiang Mai, from Wat to Wat, from temple to temple. "Are you Vietnamese or Thai ? Are you moslem ? Are you working ? What will you see at Chiang Mai ? " A Malaysian makcik who sitting beside me in airplane asked that silly question. "I'll go from Wat to Wat makcik !" Just like Ayutthaya, the old and ancient city, Chiang Mai is fullfilled by many Wats. We went to gas station. The gasoline at Thai around 30 baht/litre (Rp 9,000 up/litre). So we only bought 1 litre, because Farida said is enough for 1 day. The 1st place we visited is the gate of ancient city. Chiang Mai such a small city, unlike Bangkok whichs traffic like hell just like Jakarta, capital city trademark, the CNX traffic very quiet. There is no taxi and bus at all. The public transport only tuk tuk. Too bad that there's many people there who ride motorbike don't wearing helmet, and there is no police in road.
The first Wat we visited is Wat Pra Singh Voramahavihara, with free entry. The next place we visited is Tha Phae Gate, the Chiang Mai old city landmark that the wall is rounded all the old city part. There's a large field there where people use it for gathering. There's a bicycle club who gathered there. There's also a huge stage where charity show for flooding in Bangkok is held. We also saw the reservoir of the Chiang Mail old city. Next Wat that we visited is Wat Lok Molee. After that we are looking the route to Night Market , but accidentally we found a mosque in Chiang Mai. It's huge and very modern mosque. There's a lift inside ! A lot of moslem people who sell halal food there, Alhamdulillah. On the way to next destination, suddenly rain fall and we stopped by at a in Wawee coffee, such a lovely cafe. After take a rest for a while, we went to Wat Jedyod, it's located outside the old city complex. Quite far from town. Next we went to Chiang Mai public park, such a nice big park with big lake, a lot of pigeon, we can bird feeding there. The last Wat we visited is Wat Chedi Luang Wora Wiharn, which is the biggest temple in old city complex.
The next day we want to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, is the most important and visible landmark, and overlooks the city from its forested mountain backdrop. This temple is 15 kilometres from town , 3,520 feet above sea . We've seen a lot of breathtaking scenery on the way to the mountain wuth motorcycle. We can see the whole city , include Chiang Mai International airport runway from above. We'll pass Chiang Mai zoo, where's there's Panda inside. We'll pass some of waterfall with entrance fee 100 baht for foreigner and 30 baht for native (phew!). We passed a beautiful temple with a Budha statue that covered with white paint from head to toe, very nice. There's alot people who bicycle-ing climb up the mountain. Well the route quite hard, because it's getting higher and higher. But the weather very friendly, not too hot, and the wind is freezing. The way to the Wat Suthep no too far, but because we have to stop many times to capture many beautiful scenery , of course we won't miss it ! it took 2 hours to reach it, but I enjoyed every minutes of it.
Finally we reach Wat Suthep, there is two way to reach the temple in the top of the mounitain. We can use cable car by buy ticket for 50 baht (include entrance fee), or you can use stairs , very high stairs. We decided to use cable car. This is the 1st time we have to paid to enter a Wat in Chiang Mai. We have to queuing to wait the cable car that can be fill in with 10 people, just like an elevator. It took about 5 minutes to reach the station above, what an experience inside the climb up cable car. Finally we reach the famous Wat Suthep, above in the top of mountain, with beautiful scenery, where there'sa lot visitor who praying there or tourist like us, who took photo in front of the gold coloured Wat. It's getting noon, and we were went back to town. We stopby at Chiang Mai university had lunch in the biggest mall in Chiang Mai. Too bad even in the biggest mall there, it's very hard to find halal food, because mostly are pork included. Finally we found Chicken only resto there.
Looks like Chiang Mai people are party goers, they go party everynight. Me and all my travel mate in hostel went party from cafe to cafe, bar to bar, till drop, seriously, I fall asleep in bar ( so sleepy, can't stand of it). FYI, the most cheapest place to buy souvenir and the most famous market in Chiang Mai is the sunday night market, it's the biggest night market I ever saw in my whole life. It's located around old city street. All road is fullfilled by everykind of shop stall, from souvenir, food, even massage chair service until street musician that perform in traditional until classic musical performance there, very interesting.
There's a lot reason to visit Chiang Mai again someday, especially most of the people are friendly. Nice to know y' all.