This is a great place to get to know about the history of Chiang Mai as well as get to know the way of Thai Life. This is the first time that I have visited the museum since it opened and I’m really impressed. I could have spent the whole day here, looking at the building and feeling its spirit, wandering around the exhibition not only once, but a couple of times, looking at the shop with its interesting water colours in a Vietnamese/Chinese style and sitting under the sunshades in the main courtyard enjoying a soft drink or a luxuriating cup of coffee. I know the building looks old fashioned, but it suits Chiang Mai and you can wander around out of the glare of the sun or dry from the rain, peeking in on students working on handicrafts, enjoying the cooling breezes helped along by the different courtyards, admiring the plants and just sinking into the Lanna rhythm of life.
The Chiang Mai Museum 1 – Exhibition I was captivated by this exhibition. I finally had the answers to questions that I had been asking for years with a well-thought out presentation of the history and culture of Chiang Mai that follows an easy route and provides different ways to understand this wonderful city.
The Chiang Mai Museum 2 – Building This 1920’s building, which has been built in a neo-renaissance style, sits on the site of a former royal hall. This was also the former site of the “navel of the city”. The building has 3 courtyards within, one of which is large enough to put on small cultural shows, while one can have a coffee or other drink.
This is an intriguing building designed to hold the Buddhist scriptures. It is the only square building of its type in Northern Thailand and has beautiful stucco designs around the doors and windows with a roof tiered in the Burmese-style. This is the first time I have seen this building and it is now become one of my favourites. The Buddhist scriptures themselves are probably written on Burmese mulberry paper, which has always been considered to be of better quality than the Thai equivalent.
This is an interesting relatively new building housing a reclining Buddha and three other Buddhist statues to the west of the main Chedi. Two of the seated Buddha images appear to show the life of the Man before and after His enlightenment, the third statue is of a very fat man that seems to be a part of both Chinese and Thai Buddhism. Fat people suggest wealth, so if you pray to it people believe it will give you wealth in return.
Normally, temple buildings in Thailand are over decorated to Western eyes, but this small Viharn is a delight with subdued colours on the outside and ox-blood red on the inside. It is dedicated to a pious monk, who became a meditation master. To reach the main raised platform of the Viharn one must walk up a short flight of steps flanked on either side by Naga (water serpents). Please remember that you must take off your shoes or sandals before you reach the top step.
This is a well-known dish amongst the locals and consists of rice with chicken. With this you also get liver, heart, kidneys, a soup and the chicken is skinless. It has a great taste, especially if you have been out walking around the city. If you want to taste “Kao Mun Kai” (the chicken and rice with fermented soybean sauce) , it’s near the Chiang Mai museum in the old city.
Jonathan Harmon the co-founder of Chiang Mai Solo Travel.com shares his nearly 20 years travel experience about how to have a safely travel in Chiang Mai especially if you travel alone.
“Asians in general and Thais in particular believe that the head is the most revered part of the body and the feet the least. Therefore, one should never point with a foot nor sit with the sole of the foot pointing at someone and definitely not step across someone lying on the floor. Touching the head of strangers or touching women is considered rude. If you do something by accident, then always apologise clearly and if possible wai the person you have embarrassed.”
Jonathan Harmon, the host of Chiang Mai Solo Travel.com brings you to one of the best tourist attraction in Chiang Mai old city : Wat Chedi Luang (Chedi Luang temple), the 2nd main old royal temple in Chiang Mai.
A huge broken brick chedi dominates all surrounding buildings. You need to take a hat, sunglasses, plenty of drinking water and if you really want to act as a Thai, then carry an umbrella with you. Here, in the tropics, the umbrella is used normally as a sunshade and so it is not unusual to see people walking around with their very own shaded privacy zone.
If you are thinking about travel to Chiang Mai. The rainy season is one of the interesting choice. Because in the rainy season, you can have the very cheap price for accommodation (since it is the low season for tourist and hotel) and also the great temperature around 20 – 25 C which is very perfect for natural exploring or the old Chiang Mai city tour. This is the video that I took when I had my beautiful Sunday afternoon at the local restaurant called “Wua – Han – San – Kam – Pang” (Sam – kam – pang is the name of a famous district and Wua – Han means grilled beef in Chiang Mai style) – a very good grilled shrimp & Chiang Mai local styled grilled beef. Due to the heavy raining and water splashing everywhere, the wood floor was wet and there was also many leaks from the concrete tile roof. But still, it was one of my pleasant afternoon at Chiang Mai.