My Inner Peace

Visiting Chiang Mai in one day

When you have only one day to visit an entire city, where would you choose to go? And this is not a rethoric question, it’s reality. I was born a traveler and I will die like a traveler, that’s why, whenever I am in a new place, I am always open to add to my journey things I am attracted too. Chiang Mai had initialy two days on my itinerary, but something inside was telling me to go to the Blue Temple in Chiang Rai. I’ve seen some pictures of the surreal blue color this temple has and I suddenly decided to go there. And once you go in Chiang Rai to see the Blue Temple, you have to see The White Temple As well. But the story of this magic place can be found in the previous article “White Temple and Blue Temple, Two Wonders of the Modern World”.

So, that’s how I ended up in Chiang Rai traveling for 7 hours by bus and jumping from a temple to another to enrich my soul experience. And to be honest, that was the best choice of my trip to Chiang Mai.

Chiang Rai, Bus station Terminal 1, Thailand, 2019

Coming back to my question above. Usually, what I do when I have only one day to visit a new city, is to go in the city center, have a quick look, spot the most important places other people have apreciated and walking there using a map. On my way there, I always choose to take local rutes to see how the local people are living and what are their preocupations during the day. And before reaching the famous place apreciated by the tourists, I always enter two or three “normal” temples or curches, where the locals are going to pray, and have lunch where local people are eating. This is the fastest way for me to undestand the local culture, and this time I followed my routine and this is how the day looked like.

Chiang Mai City Pillar, Thailand, 2019

Once out from the hotel, I jumped into a local bus to reach the city center where I had breakfast in the Sailomjoy local restaurant. The people were smily and kind, and while I was eating, behind me was this altar where they lighted incenses and put some offrands. So, I felt somehow blessed as my day started a bit rough that morning.

Chiang Mai local bus, Thailand, 2019
Sailomjoy Restaurant, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Sailomjoy Restaurant, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019

With a smile on my face, I started my journey towards the temples. Chiang Mai is full of temples, so it is impossible to have a hard time finding things to see there. The first one, was poping up after less than 200 meters, Phan-Ohn Temple, a Buddhist temple full of messages written on small pieces of wood, hanged on the trees.

Wat Phan-Ohn, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Phan-Ohn, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Phan-Ohn, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Phan-Ohn, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019

The next one found on the way to the highest temple of the city was Wat Phan Tao, made of wood.

Wat Phan Tao, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Phan Tao, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Phan Tao, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Phan Tao, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Phan Tao, Pagoda schelethon, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019

After having a look inside, and seeing how a pagoda is built, I went directly to Wat Chedi Luang, built between 14 and 15 century, being at that time the highest temple in the region: 82 m hight and 54 m diameter on its fundation.

Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019

My way led me to the next objective of the day Wat Phra Singh temple. The main structure started to be built in 1345, and the temple itself buries the ashes of the Mangrai dinasty.

Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2919
Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019

The last one was Wat Suan Dok meaning “flower garden temple”. The building of this temple started in 1370 and today is accomodating also the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University.

Wat Suan Dok, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Suan Dok, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Suan Dok, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Suan Dok, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019

This temple had a nice gift for me. While I was walking around taking pictures and analizing the architecture, I steped on a jad bracelet with an elephant in the middle. I took it from there and I was surprised to see the jad little stones and the elephant. The entire day I was “chasing” emerald Buddha statues and elephants as I am fascinated by this green color. And at the end of the day I found this bracelet. I cannot wear as my skin doesn’t tolerate any metal, but for 3 days I had it on my arm, till my skin started to scream.

Wat Suan Dok, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Wat Suan Dok, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019

I ended the day having dinner in a local restaurant with a great Phad Thai, a pancake directly on the street while I was waiting to jump into the bus heading to the airport.

Local restaurant in Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019
Delicios pancake on the streets of Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019

Morale of the day: there is no “short time” or “too late” if you really want to enrich your life experience. You just have to take the first step and the others will follow naturally.

Wat Phan-Ohn, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019

To be continued…

Only one temple in Patong

Second day in Patong was meant for body resting and city exploration. After a long travel without sleep, jet lag and a full day on the beach swimming and disconnecting from reality, my body was craving for a good sleep. Waking up at 10 am, was a good just for an hour, when a crazy tiredness kicked me right in the head. Fighting against it was not a good idea, so I abandoned myself to a peaceful sleep till 1:30 pm. The first thought after so much sleep, was to go and see a temple. I never thought it would be so hard to find a temple in Patong. But the reception guy explained us that temples and the crazy life that Patong is offering to the tourists, are not going hand in hand.

Nevertheless, I was not ready to abandon the idea, so I kept pushing them to show me the closest temple on the map. That’s how I found out there was only one temple for monks, that could be closed. No door can stop me when I really want something, so I went directly there keeping the faith that I will be able to see something beautiful. And I did. I found this Buddhist temple. The main building was closed, but there were these small buildings outside, places for praying and worshiping Buddha.

The place had a very good energy, and at a certain point I was taken by surprise by a cat, asking for cuddles. It is amazing to see that in the Buddhist temples and praying places animals are allowed to stay and enjoy the energy created there, combining their presence with yours, celebrating together the power of creation.

After burning some incense to honor the Buddha’s statues, my steps led me to the next holy place, a Muslim Mosque. I had a great feeling being allowed to enter the Mosque, as in other places like Bangalore, India, they were not accepting women at all. So, I really enjoyed the place, I took some pics and let my feet guide me to the next place.

This time, my body choose to eat. I only had some fruits in the morning, and at 6 pm, my physical body said “stop and eat, now!”. And I followed the request exactly as it came. The food was exquisite! I had grilled squid with garlic, french fries and some toasted bread with garlic. Yep, I love garlic, what can I do?! 😜

Next stop was at the Banzaan Market where I had this huge ice cream in a coconut with a lot of toppings like fresh fruits, nuts, jelly, chia, corn and other things I can’t even remember. This is one of the things one should try when in Thailand.

The morale of the day: when you feed your Soul with good energies, the body is charging as well. However, never forget the importance of a good meal feeding your physical body and keeping it in a good shape.

To be continued…