Chiang Mai by day is completely different from it is at night. I decided to check out the town and see what it’s all about. Many of the temples were open to visitors and worshipers, so I decided to go inside.
The statues and floral arrangements that decorated the temples were amazingly intricate and lovely. Everything was gold with red accents. Life-size statues of prestigious religious figures adorned one area inside a temple, and while I was there several people made offerings to them.
I enjoyed the solitude and peace around me, but I suppose most religious sites of worship have a similar ambiance. I admired the architectural design, inside and out, and wondered at the hard work and talent that it must have taken to design and build such a structure.
After spending many weeks lounging on sandy beaches, it’s nice to take in a bit of history and culture. I only wish there were more English-language signage and descriptions of important artifacts so I could learn even more about this intriguing culture.
My next stop in Thailand was Chiang Mai way up north, so I took a flight from Ko Samui and was there before I knew it. I took a taxi from the airport to my guesthouse and saw my first cat cafe. The guesthouse’s lobby doubled as a small cafe where four cats lived and played. I could already tell that I was gonna love this place.
Upon the suggestion of one of the receptionists, I decided to check out the famous Chiang Mai Night Market. I picked up a map and set off for a stroll through town. Despite staying outside the ring road, the walk was pleasant enough and I enjoyed seeing what daily life was like.
By the time I arrived, the night market was well on its way. Rows and rows of stalls lined the streets for blocks. It was insane how many people were there. Even though I can’t really buy any souvenirs to take home, I enjoyed the festive atmosphere and stopped to browse at many stalls. Vendors sold food, jewelry, art, clothing, handbags, handicrafts, electronics and more. Among the hundreds of vendors, majestic temples stood watch in the background.
My second attempt to see the Ark Bar in all its glory came a couple of days after Franzi left the island. I met Emily and Neko at my hostel, and after dinner we met up with Neko’s friends at the Ark Bar.
Now, this was more like what I expected of a Thai beach party. Live music mixed with the thumps of drum and base. Fire shows and flairing bartenders. Yeah, I suppose the Ark Bar lived up to my expectations.