My First Time in Chiang Mai in Pictures

Like most Thailand bloggers I have a large database of photographs from different regions of the Kingdom most of which will never see the light of day. For every one hundred pictures I take I would doubt if even five of them make it to a post on Beyond The Mango Juice.

On my last holiday to Thailand in May this year Wonderful Wi and I visited Chiang Mai for the first time and whilst in Northern Thailand’s cultural city and encompassing province I captured over four hundred images for memories sake. For this post I thought I’d share some of those unpublished photographs with readers alongside one I’ve posted before. Not all of the pictures show the glamour of Chiang Mai but more a city waking up, going about its everyday life and also a few photos which captured my inquisitive mind and imagination.

Chiang Mai City

The moat which surrounds Chiang Mai’s old city. I think it sums up the serenity of a city which appeared to calmly amble through its day.

A Chiang Mai lady stokes the first fires of her business day as the city starts to wake up at six in the morning. Onlooking monks return to Wat Bupparam from their alms rounds.

After their morning alms round some monks have more strenuous work to do in the numerous temples of Chiang Mai.

Locally made umbrellas on sale at Chiang Mai’s fabulous Walking Street Night Market.

One of the many musicians performing at Walking Street Night Market. A girl’s nails must match the colour of her top.

Artists put their skills to work at Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar. They were amazing to watch.

Wat Doi Suthep

Chiang Mai’s most famous temple Wat Doi Suthep sits atop a mountain 15 kilometres outside the city. In this photo a procession of Buddhists circle the temple’s chedi three times in a clockwise direction carrying flowers, joss sticks and prayer sheets.

Buddha statues at Wat Doi Suthep. Every which way you turned on the temple grounds the view warranted a click or two from your camera.

A one-legged monk idles the afternoon away against a backdrop of every colour of the rainbow and a few more.

Aside from the magnificent temple and chedi there were performing dancers and musicians in traditional costume.

Hmong Villages and Markets

I took this picture at Ban Mong Doi Pui where we visited a Hmong market and I took a walk down one of its side streets into the village itself.

An old lady, perhaps the two children’s grandmother, appears to be giving the two kids a bit of advice about life. Maybe she was telling them that if they went to school every day and listened and learned, then one day they would be able to buy a shiny camera like the westerner had. She might also have added that if they ever bleached their hair blonde like the farang, they’d be in big trouble with grandma.

I couldn’t resist posting this picture I captured at Doi Pui market. Take a closer look at the photograph. Myanmar sapphires were on sale here but thankfully I resisted the temptation to buy some of the brightly coloured gemstones because behind them was a dumping point for hazardous waste. Click to enlarge.

Call me cynical but if I am going to buy precious stones in Thailand then I’ll buy them from a reputable Bangkok dealer and not from a motorbike basket halfway up a mountain in Chiang Mai. Even Wilai failed to give these a second glance. I think it’s a gem of a picture.

Wachirathan Waterfall

Wachirathan Waterfall. Green grass and thunderous free-flowing water nestled together in the cupped hand of a vibrant sprawling forest.

I took this photograph at Wachirathan Waterfall. I like the dripping blood on the gun sign.

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I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

14 Responses

  1. malcolm says:

    Martyn, thanks for the great photos , like you I have hundreds of photo’s just sitting idle away on my computer , , Maybe I’ll take a hint from you and start to show some of them. I have to say that I really enjoyed “our time in Chiang Mai “we stayed in the heart of the old town and loved it . I loved all the shops for making things , and good food too. Did you eat at Mikes burgers??? best burger I have found. Thanks again for post . Glad to see you have finally set a date for living in the LOS full time. Malcolm

  2. Martyn says:

    Malcolm I didn’t eat at Mike’s Burgers in Chiang Mai although I did find there was plenty of reasonably priced places to eat at.

    The inspiration for this post came from reading Snap’s pictorial post about Vietnam. It was then I realized I had plenty of half decent photos from Chiang Mai which I’d probably never use.

    Retiring in the Land of Smiles….unfortunately that’s put on the backburner for now. England’s getting way too expensive and saving money is becoming more and more difficult.

  3. Lawrence says:

    A great collection of photos, Martyn. The variety of interest and colour that can be found in Thailand is well illustrated. I hope you put up more of them sometime. Don’t know who said it first, but it’s still true that a picture is worth a thousand words. Though you always have a way with words, too. Now with ‘the cupped hand of a vibrant sprawling forest’ you’re getting quite poetic.

  4. Martyn says:

    Lawrence thanks for your positive views on the post. My cheap Samsung camera does me proud at times, some of the photos it takes aren’t too bad quality at all. I just have to remember to keep my hand steady, especially on zoom.

    Hopefully I’ll put a few more of this type of post together in the future.

  5. Catherine says:

    Martyn, do I get to vote? Yes? Then hands down, the idle one-legged monk gets mine. Great stuff 🙂

  6. Martyn says:

    Catherine your vote is for the one photo I’ve published before, I really do like that one. I had to include it in this post because I somehow think it sums up the easy going nature that best describes the pace of life in Thailand.

  7. Talen says:

    Martyn, lessen your expenses in England by moving to Thailand…it works wonders 🙂

    Beautiful pictures and my vote goes to the young lass playing guitar at the night market …Who doesn’t love blue nails and I like her smile.

  8. Martyn says:

    Talen I’d love to cut my expenses by moving to Thailand but I’d be buggered without my wages.

    The lass has a smile which poses a thousand questions.

  9. Snap says:

    Nice photos of CM Martyn, I think they give a very well rounded impression of the place. You know, I’m a little disturbed by the ‘Hazardous Waste’ sign above that very reputable gem stone ad. I also amused myself for a few minutes by misreading the ‘prohibited’ sign at the waterfall…took me a while to figure out they weren’t refering to water guns… darn those Thai script squiggly thingys!

  10. Martyn says:

    Snap it was your Vietnam pictorial post which inspired this one. Thanks for that and I do plan to do a few more as and when.

    I’m always on the look out for signs and countless other things, I think I’m lucky because my mind and eye are pretty sharp that way.

    Squiggly bits…if only I could read them…I’m sure they’d bring on a whole new category of posts.

  11. Brian Andrew says:

    At least i have some ideas on where i would go if i go to Thailand. Wachirathan Waterfall is a wonderful attraction.

  12. Martyn says:

    Brian thanks for your comment and I hope you make it to Thailand and Wachirathan Waterfall one day.

  13. Bob says:

    Wonderful photos Martyn. I also have a desire to some day retire in Thailand and Chiang Mai is on the short list. If only it could be closer to the coast.

  14. Martyn says:

    Bob sometimes you can’t have the best of both worlds. it has to be one or the other.

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