Food, Flowers, and the endless Night Market at Chiang Mai || 10-day Vacation in Thailand (Day 2 - Continued)

Here are the previous posts in this series:
How we arrived on our itinerary
It was near the Three Kings Monument that we spotted a nice looking local Thai restaurant called Kiet Ocha Khao Man Kai. We saw one family seated here and enjoying what looked like rice and meat. The food looked tasty and hygienic and portions were sizeable. The menu card had some unbelievably reasonable prices. We sat down to a meal and within 200 bahts, we had two main course dishes, one Thai Iced Tea and one Iced Coffee. Food was simply out of this world. Totally worth the money. This also set the course for our eating choices for the rest of our stay in Thailand. 

We were now well fed and happy and ready to move on to our next adventure. The idea was to walk around the city and end up at the Night Market via the Flower Market near the moat. We first went around the Three Kings Monument, the grounds around which were being prepared for some function. The statue itself is quite pretty, but that's pretty much all there is to it. 

We then started walking towards the moat that surrounds Chiang Mai's Old City. We crossed several schools and colleges and nice-looking pastel colored buildings. 

And then, a few hundred meters short of the moat, we found ourselves on the doorsteps of a very beautiful Wat. Away from the main attractions of the city, this Wat stood out because apart from us, there was just one other person touring this place. The name of this Wat, as we later found out, was Wat Saen Muang Ma Luang (Wat Hua Khuang). We spent some time on the premises and then continued our walk towards the Wat Chiang Man.

This was another nice Wat that had Buddhist style buildings and some beautifully landscaped Gardens. The sprinkler was on in some of these gardens and we walked through the shower deliberately. It was really hot and the cool water felt nice. There was a small waterbody with a temple in the center at the back and we sat there for some time.   

Then we started our walk towards the Warorot Market. This was the longest stretch we covered in one go without taking a break. Though the distance wasn't much, but we had been walking around since morning. This is one of the oldest and the most well-known markets of Chiang Mai. It is famous for Thai Food and Food products. You will find green curry paste, various spices, teas in this market. Also several local snacks can be tried here. We did not try anything as we were focussed on keeping ourselves hydrated, and had had a lot of water. 

We then walked towards the Pung Tao Gong Ancestral Shrine, which is a Chinese temple complete with dragons. This shrine had fallen into ruin, but was reconstructed in 1995. The architecture itself is completely different from the Buddhist temples and the structure is much smaller. But it is a nice colorful building. It is very close to the Flower market we were headed to next. 

The flower market, also known as the Florist Market, sits right next to the banks of the River Ping. The flowers here were beautiful. I was especially fascinated by the colorful orchids that seem to grow effortlessly from pots made of coconut. Also, there were roses in so many colors that we were overwhelmed. This was such a refreshing place that we now felt up to our walk to the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. 

It was 24th December and Christmas Spirit was every where. bartenders and restaurant people were dressed in red santa costumes and caps. The Chiang Mai Night Market was an instant hit with us. Everyone looked so happy and full of life. At such a place, it is easy to forget that one day the vacation will end and you will have to go back to the same mundane schedule. It was so huge, with so many alleys that we are sure we were only able to cover a fraction of it. But whatever we saw, we can safely say that it was the best Night Market we were going to see during this trip in Thailand. With live music performances, mobile bars, streetfood and the million shops selling souvenirs, it was difficult to resist the temptation to splurge. But we are glad to say we succeeded. We had sausages and kebabs for dinner from a hawker. And chose to eat sticky rice with mango for desert. This entire dinner costed us 150 Bahts.

We did not feel like turning in for the night, but we had an early morning flight to catch next day. The taxi would be there to pick us up at 3:30 in the morning, so we reluctantly walked back to our hotel. By the time we got back, we were dead tired, but we had to pack. It took us half-an-hour to be all set, and then we crashed. The sleep that night was very deep, simply because we knew that we had made the best use of our time at Chiang Mai. We were now looking forward to our next destination, Ayuthhaya. 

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