Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Chester of Thailand

The comparisons between Chiang Mai (North West Thailand) and Chester (North West England) are manifold. Both are historic walled cities, with only tantalising fragments of these walls and gates remaining in the present day. Okay, that's about it. So they have about as much in common as Edinburgh and Athens then.

I like Chiang Mai. Its one square mile (literally square) historic centre is a lot easier to get my head around than historic Bangkok, and at 300 metres above sea level in the fresh Himalayan air, the heat is a lot more bearable too. IT EVEN HAS A MOAT. But if you're allergic to temples, you probably shouldn't click here

Chiang Mai:
The Walled City

Stone elephants guard Wat Chiang Mun, the city's oldest temple (1296)

Wat Chiang Mun interior

Wat Phra Singh

Phra Singh Buddha in Lai Kam Chapel
(with 1922 replacement head)

Buak Haad Park

Crumbly Jenga fun, Wat Jedlin

Creaky bamboo bridge fun, Wat Jedlin

Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Dave, Wat Jedlin

Yeah, I know it isn't aligned correctly, but I didn't get a second chance. A friendly monk came over asking if I wanted him to take my photo, and I would have felt too stupid explaining what I was doing. So I ran away

Three Kings Monument

Wat Chedi Luang. This impressive bastard's seen its share of earthquakes
(1401, reconstructed 1992)

Another lazy Buddha, Wat Chedi Luang

Talk about an offer you can't refuse!

Next episode: 'That's Brother Dave To You!'


  1. What did you guys chat about?

  2. I did chat to one monk for a while (the one who wanted to take my picture) and he was cool and normal. Not like he wouldn't be or anything.

    I saw more monks just walking around here than my previous month in Thailand put together. They were building stuff, fixing roads, using laptops. Not that I wouldn't expect them to have laptops.

    Okay, maybe I have some unwarranted preconceptions about people who walk around in togas. Turns out they are people too!