Travelers we have met, coming from the opposite direction were telling us, one by another: "You have to visit Thai north. South is touristic, north is much more pristine!" And the main jewel of the north - Chiang Mai.
We felt a great atmosphere in the city and we stayed a couple more days than planned. Old city centre is surrounded by the canal and at some points well preserved colonial city walls. It produces different felling than what we felt in other places on the journey.
After more than two months in southeast Asia we saw a lot of budhist temples. And I have to admit, that we just pass without noticing them already. However, there are especialy many in Chiang Mai. Almost on every street you can find one.
There are also those which are forbidden for Živa :)
Next typical thing in Chiang Mai is Songtaew. Those are taxis - terrain vehicles, modified the way they can fit as many passangers as possible. In Thai Songtaew means: two line car. Seats in the back side are placed in two paralel lines.
Songtaew is not the only transportation in the town of course :)
A couple of times we also visited a night market, which is very common here around.
But even more attractive than the city itself are it's surroundings. No matter in which dirrection you head, sooner or later you'll end up in the midle of beautiful nature. Either you hit on some waterfall or just a nice hike in the jungle.
The most interesting waterfall is Buatong a.k.a. Sticky waterfall. Sticky because you can walk and climb on it all the way from bottom to the top. Yes, I know, it's hard to believe and my reaction was the same. But because of the nature of here's limestone, the rocks are not slippery but kind a rough. It takes some time to get used to the fact that you can step on a dangerous looking stones. But the grip is strong and there is no worries to slip. You have to be a bit careful only about the parts covered with algae.
Short walk from the waterfall leads to the spring of supernaturally blue water. It has a religious value for the local people.
When we were exploring the area like this, we more or less randomly found a cock fighting arena. It's difficult to make any oppinion about the seen. The entry was for free and the stadium sold out :)
And because we're on Thailand we have to mention, we're not just a couple of hours before the central european time now, but no less than 543 years. Thai addopted solar calendar many years ago but they kept their year counting. That way I can say this article was written in the year 2559. In everyday life both calendars are in use...