Inmates, falafels, monks and burritos in Chiang Mai

Monks off to prayerThe three hour bus journey from Chaing Rai to Chiang Mai was pretty horrendous, lots of windy roads and an unpleasant smell coming from the air con… but worth it!

We arrived at about lunchtime on Monday and headed into town to find somewhere to stay. After trying a couple of places we ended up at a lovely little place in the old town called Siri Guest House. Spent the rest of the day orientating ourselves and eating… had falafels for dinner at a fantastic place called Jerusalem Cafe.

We spent Tuesday exploring on foot, after coffee we headed to Wat Chedi Luang – a beautiful Wat with an ancient Chedi which makes a nice change from all the ornate gold that you usually see. The Wat runs something called ‘Monk Chat’ where you can sit and chat to a monk, the idea is that it helps him to improve his English and helps tourists to have more of an understanding about what monks do. We spent about an hour and a half chatting to a very well spoken monk called Nan. We spent the afternoon at Wat Phra Singh, also beautiful! For dinner we succumbed to a Mexican place called El Diablo… it was fantastic!!!

We hired a motorbike on Wednesday to go to the flower and food markets in the morning and then up to Wat Suthep which sits atop one of the mountains surrounding Chiang Mai (Doi Suthep). It took about 30 mins to get there, climbing steadily up (we were quite glad we’d decided NOT to get bicycles!). We were a little disappointed by the Wat itself, but the view over Chiang Mai was pretty spectacular. Next we headed for the reservoir as we’d read that it is a favourite place for local Thais to hang out. Unfortunately it was pretty much deserted and was sort of eerie, this massive reservoir with playgrounds and bamboo huts on the banks all completely empty! We left pretty quickly and headed towards our massage at the Chiang Mai Womens’ Prison. Can’t say much more than it was a great massage and the inmates were lovely! Had a fairly average and annoyingly overpriced meal at one of the night markets, did some shopping and went back to pack for Sukhothai the next day.

Alexandra Written by:


  1. Zoe
    November 27

    what an adventure! reading this makes me want to drive to the airport…

    • November 27

      Excellent… just do it, just go!
      That’s what we did (sort of).

  2. November 27

    hello alans!
    great pix — glad you’re having fun.

    walking home late after work along railton rd the other night i was slightly sad at the thought i had absoltuely zero chance of bumping into either of you, also on your way/s home…. although, i doubt you would feel the same way about it. 😉

    shine on you harvey moons!
    (i mean, a.x)

  3. D Morldren
    November 27

    Hey guys!
    I’m really enjoying reading your blog, and the photos are great. “Monk chat” sounds a little like a late night ‘channel 4 in the early nineties’ programme!
    It’s really good to see that you’re both having a great time, though I notice that Alex has lamed herself.

    Keep the blogs coming.
    Miss you both very much – well Alex more than Ant, but I think that’s okay, right?
    Love to you both

    • Alexandra
      November 28

      Morldren! Of course it’s ok that you miss me more than Ant 😀
      Monk Chat was brilliant, we nearly didn’t do it because we weren’t sure what we’d talk about, but we had such a good time, and our monk was so lovely. He’s studying English at university and his English was amazing!
      Hope you’re surviving back in the sunny UK.

  4. Your Boss
    November 27

    So alex… What sort of conversation do you have with a monk?

    • Alexandra
      November 28

      We talked about lots of things! Mainly about what the monks do each day.. get up at 4am, go out to collect food. We talked about all their rules, did you know they can’t eat after midday?!! The reason they always walk slowly is because they’re trying not to tread on insects because they’re not allowed to kill anything. They can eat meat, but only if they don’t kill it themselves, but they can’t eat things like snakes or humans!

  5. D Morldren
    November 28

    I’m really glad that the monks can’t eat things like snakes or humans. Those are similar rules I also try to follow daily.

    Just looked through all your photos on fb. They are beautiful and I never thought I would say it (because let’s be honest, I’m not the backpacking type of gal) but I’m very jealous. You guys really are experiencing the trip of a lifetime.

    Keep the updates coming! They really are brill.
    Enjoy yourselves, but hurry back please. I expect to see you both in your finest attire on the 5th November 2010.


    November 30

    Tis’ the first opportunity to catch up your blog!…as usual the photos are great and your journey sounds spectacular!!! The meeting of the monk must have been fascination, are you converted yet? 🙂 If so you can borrow my costume for a buddhist wedding ceremony one day!!! hehe..
    missing you both and lets skype again soon. Alohi sends lots of cuddles! xxxx

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