The Chiang Mai Flower Festival is a 3-day event the first weekend in February featuring a parade, flower exhibitions and beauty pageants. We stumbled upon the street where the beautiful parade floats were on display. They are entirely decorated with colorful flowers and seeds similar to the Rose Parades of both the Pasadena (California) and Portland (Oregon).
Welcome to Chiang Mai, Thailand, Thailand’s northern capital at 1000′ elevation and second most-visited city. The population inside the historic Old City is about 160,000, whereas nearly 1 million live in the sprawling metropolitan area.
“Chiang Mai means “New City” and was so named because it became the new capital of the Lan Na kingdom when it was founded in 1296, succeeding Chiang Rai, the former capital founded in 1262.
The city was surrounded by a moat and a defensive wall since nearby Burma (today’s Myanmar) was a constant threat.
The city lost importance and was occupied by the Burmese in 1556…until it formally became part of Siam in 1775.” Wikipedia
Exploring Chiang Mai by Scooter
Street Scenes of Chiang Mai
Shopping: You can literally shop until you drop every night of the week in Chiang Mai. The Night Market is a large and famous night bazaar for local arts and handicrafts with food court that extends across several city blocks along footpaths, inside buildings and temple grounds, and in open squares. Weekends from 4:00pm to midnight a handicraft and food market opens along a road which is closed to motorised traffic for the Saturday Walking Street Market and the Sunday Walking Street Market.
Thai Massage: The back streets and main thoroughfares – sidewalks – of Chiang Mai have an abundance and variety of massage “parlours” which offer 30 minute and one hour massages. (Some offer 2-hour massages and oil massages.) Massages cost between $3 – $5 and are so wonderful!
Choose between a soothing foot massage, or an intense whole body Thai massage – or a wonderful hour-long combination of both foot and head, neck and shoulder massage. In some locations baggy shorts and shirt are provided. The massages are given in a room full of fully dressed people reclining on a raised wooden bed or a mat on the floor.
Chiang Mai is a clean city.
Honking is rare even though traffic is horrendous and bicycles, scooters, Tuk-Tuks, buses and cars all share the road.
The lame, blind and disabled perform for alms in the center of the Night Walking Streets, but we haven’t seen anyone with their hands out begging.
We appreciate that smoking is rare and not permitted in public places.
24 days and we’re still exploring…
Meet You in the Morning next time from the buddhist temples of Chiang Mai, Thailand.