Thursday, February 14, 2013

SE Asia Day 5-Chiang Mai day 3: we found real bikes

On our last day in Chiang Mai, we decided to get some exercise. We have been sitting on busses and planes and trains so much, we felt like slugs. So after a fabulous but very garlicky breakfast at the Lonely Planet-recommended Blue Diamond restaurant,

We hoofed it over to a mountain bike rental place and rented some not great mtbs and headed out in the heavily trafficed main road to climb a mountain.


Just a short video of the ride.
Midway up the mountain, we were both drenched with sweat.

Oh my hell it was hot, and humid, and the cars and taxis were belching exhaust at us. But drivers were friendly, people were cheering us on, and as we climbed and climbed about 3000 feet, the temperature dropped to a slightly tolerable level.

Finally, we reached the destination, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. There were SO many tourists! After you waded through the stands and hawkers, you climbed 306 steps to the wat.

And then paid an entrance fee and renting skirts before being allowed entrance to the wat. But holy wow, what an impressive site!

We didn't have a guide, so we just wandered around and oggled at the many many Buddha figures, this one very beautiful.


Some people were worshipping, I think.


Drew rang the big bells.


An amazing wooden carving.

Here is where formed my opinion on Japanese and Chinese tourists. They are so rude! I never thought I would see anyone taking more pictures than me, but there are crazy about it and wanting to get "the best shot". And so pushy and really loud! Signs asked you to be quiet and respectful. These tourists were anything but.
We exited the temple, amongst the hords of stands


And got back on the bikes for another 4km to the Bhubing Palace. It was a major tourist attraction focused solely in the gardens.



Some water reservoir

And GIANT bamboo!!!

I think this was pointsettia?
And some crazy hanging flowers

We enjoyed the sites and headed down.


We chilled out for a little while and then headed out for some food. We were really hungry but finally found a cheap but nice place to grab some food.

A super special treat was to notice some Chinese lanterns floating to the sky. They had let them go as part of the Chinese New Year. Super cool!


1 comment:

  1. Looks like a fun day, and you can't possibly feel like slugs now!