And the Final Stop: Chiang Mai

13 Mar 2015
And the Final Stop: Chiang Mai

There is a Buddhist temple in the mountains with an enthralling legend

Home means different things to different people. In the most literal sense of the word, it's defined as the place where you were born or the place where you grew up. Home is also defined as a roof over one's head, or that it's family.

No matter what it means, they all have one thing in common—a feeling of warmth. That sense of belonging, of knowing, and remembering.

That's how I felt when I woke up that morning on the train to Chiang Mai. I spent the night reading a book before bed and committed to finishing at least one chapter. But the sound of the train and the gentle rocking was enough to send me to sleep.

my bed inside the train trees outside the train
plains and sunrise people having breakfast inside the train my sunburnt feet
logo of the train
old lady sitting across me old lady looking outside the window

This misty landscape dominated my window all morning, and it bore a resemblance to the mountains back home.

Misty landscape outside my window
Beatles-inspired hostel

I stayed in a Beatles-inspired hostel ran by a young artist couple. They worked together as an independent photographer-stylist team outside the business.

Small coffee shops and street food scattered the neighborhood. I saw a couple of food trucks parked on the streets but didn't have the chance to taste them. I was too full stuffing my face with small bites I came across.

Streets of Chiang Mai
Coffee shops Friendly barista coffee shop signs
Temple and sun rays
Kids on their tablet black and white bird Woman in mirror Two dogs roaming the streets of Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is also known for its night markets.

Night markets - a seller with his wooden craft
night market artwork elephant crafts
weird artsy bags grafitti on the wall

Wat Doi Suthep

There is a Buddhist temple in the mountains with an enthralling legend. Even though it's a popular tourist spot, I still wanted to see it for myself. Plus, it was in the mountains, and I love mountains.

Wat Doi Suthep buddhist temple
temple art temple art temple art temple bells
buddhist monk blessing the visitors

In one of the rooms, we knelt in front of a monk so he could give us his blessings. I had no idea what he was chanting. Everyone in the room was clueless and had to be instructed by the temple staff of what to do next.

I remember a time when my family and I visited one of the Buddhist temples in Cebu. We sat in a room while a monk shared a story, sort of like when a priest preaching a sermon. My siblings and I would pretend we understood what the monk was saying. And once it was over, we'd ask our dad to translate the whole thing for us. After the mass, there was a free vegetarian lunch, which I wasn't so happy about. Especially the ones that were made to look and taste like meat.

blessing visitors
statues in the temple
steps back to parking lot temple statue

Stumbled upon

The day before I left Chiang Mai, I wandered upon a haven of hipster shops and small cafes. Think Park was obscurely hiding behind a mall. I was bummed that I found it on my last day, but was also happy that I now had a reason to come back to this city.

little cozy shops
man cave rules poster shop with cute bags
more shops
cozy shop
hipster bike
postcards
crafty things
cool pottery dessert time
little truck converted into a shop