A barefoot monk walking around the monastery grounds in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai wasn’t the small town picture that I drew in my head aboard the night train from Bangkok. It wasn’t. But the smaller city was still a welcome change in ambience and pace. After a few days in dense and ultra modern metropolis, Chiang Mai proved to have a rawer and slower cadence which I offered was the truer Thailand I came to see.
No proof was perhaps more convincing than seeing monks everywhere I go, from temple after temple, from inside the walled city all the way to the foot of mountains. It was a strange scene, coming from a completely Catholic society, but strangely evocative, like speaking a silent language only something inside you understands.
Temple scenes in various wat in Chiang Mai
Heaven on earth
A seated Buddha image at Chiang Mai National Museum
All the temple vibes we need: the sound of bells and the smell of sandalwood