Although it is late, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. We are currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand and had a unconventional Christmas.
If doesn’t exactly feel like Christmas either. Unlike Singapore where Christianity is the main religion and it’s decked out for the holiday, there is not much Christmas spirit here in Northern Thailand. We saw the occasional Santa Hat or some Christmas lights but nothing compared to what it was like in Singapore. There were a few of the restaurants around town with Christmas Dinner specials, but they were all completely full when we started thinking about what we would be doing for our Christmas dinner. Oh, and it was also 87 Degrees here and obviously no snow.
In the morning, after a banana pancake/crepe we watched a short Christmas movie, The Year Without a Santa. I got to talk with some friends, my family and meet my brother’s new kitten, Felicia. Then we walked around Old City Chiang Mai where we are currently staying. We stopped at a cafe for a Thai Iced Tea (Ceylon tea mixed with sugar and condensed milk over ice with evaporated milk on top) to escape the heat for a couple minutes.
Leaving the cafe, we stopped at one of the many many many wats (Buddhist Temple) we had walked by, Wat Chedi Luang. There are three main buildings along with numerous other pavilions and chapels. One of the chapels holds the city pillar. Only men are allowed inside this chapel to view the city pillar so I did not go in but it looked beautiful.
The actual Wat Chedi Luang is a massive structure, probably the biggest in ancient Chiang Mai, that was partially destructed by an either cannon fire or an earthquake a long time ago. Later on it was partially restored to prevent any further degradation. It is stunning from each of it’s four sides.
We wandered around the streets and allies of Old City before heading back to the hotel for some Aircon, more Christmas specials, and get ready for dinner.
As I mentioned above, we tried about 4-5 restaurants that were completely booked before we decided on Dash. When we set out to dinner we found the Sunday Night Market had started. It is the largest market in Chiang Mai. It was awesome, very busy, but very cool. There was everything; street food, grocery food, handmade crafts, jewelry, street performers, massage beds set up, clothes, shoes, accessories, pretty much anything you could imagine and it goes on for km and km.
We got to dinner and stated with pina coladas, shrimp spring rolls and Northern Thai sausage. For our main course we had tamarind chicken with brown rice and a whole steamed sea bass with a delicious lime chili sauce. The sauce was the best part of the whole meal.
We had planned to try and see some live music after dinner but with the night market going on, it made it hard to get around and it was getting late. We took a tuk-tuk back toward our hotel and then walked part of the market again to purchase some goods.
Although it was not a traditional Christmas, we enjoyed our day. We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. We’re thinking about you!
❤️ 🌲 Kathryn