Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Thalia in Thailand #4: Villages & Temples

As good as the night markets were, we knew we couldn't limit ourselves to only going out at night. We being well and true travel fanatics couldn't stay in the inner city area of Chiang Mai all day, so escaped out to the village of Doi Pui, located in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Needless to say the journey there consists of an uphill drive, with a number of twists and turns and trees in all directions.
Our tour guide took us for a walk in the village, showing us where the locals live and work. As you can tell the infrastructure is on the basic side, but I can say with complete honesty that this did not bother a single person there. That's one thing I really notice when I go abroad - so many people are grateful with what they have, even if it isn't as much as others. They have such a positive attitude - they are happy for themselves, and that's all you need to be really.
I spotted the cutest young boy in traditional Thai dress and forced my parents to stand under a heart-shaped arrangement of flowers. They've been married for nearly nineteen years. They found my request a tad cheesy.
What's interesting about this Thai dress is that the locals rent them out to visitors for a fee of 50-100 Baht (£1-2ish) so they can get photographs of them in the Thai mountains wearing Thai dress. I personally think it's a great idea - not only does it earn money for the locals in a way that appreciates their culture, the tourists get to experience the culture without having to buy an absolute tonne of heavy things that will never fit in their suitcase or luggage weight quota.
The view from the mountains was outstanding. Nearby you're surrounded by plants of a number of vibrant colours, and in the distance you see the trees that essentially trap you in this beautiful bubble.
Driving down the mountain required a pit stop. We found a cafe along the road selling ice creams and cold drinks but more impressively had one mighty view.
After exploring around Doi Pui we made our way to Wat Phrathad Doi Suthep, quoted to be "the most sacred temple in Northern Thailand". Now I'm not religious in any way, but I still find temples beautiful. We were (somewhat incorrectly) told that the walk to the top was strenuous (borderline impossible) so we grabbed some tickets and took the cable car up to the top. 
And when you reach the top you're not only surrounded by gorgeous golden monuments, you get one hella good view of the city that goes on for miles.

So that's all from me from Chiang Mai - my next stop? Koh Samui. I'll report back soon.

Thalia
xxx
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