Chiangmai

Thursday morning, 22th November 2007

After hearing so much about this famed northern city of Thailand, at last it’s our turn to see it for ourselves. So one fine morning, we board the red Manchester United plane, operating as AK896 KUL-CNX.

At KLIA-LCCT

Hardcore ManUtd fan Nukman couldn’t believe his luck!

ManUtd fan Nukman finally gets to ride his plane

Three hours later, we swoop low over the southern suburbs of Chiangmai …

Landing at Chiangmai Airport, on the dot

… and land right on the dot.

Chiangmai (CNX) Airport

On the ramp, next to us ‘The Angkor’ Boeing-717 of Bangkok Air.

Bangkok Air, Boeing 717

We duly take a cab to find our lodging, the delightful Lanna House, …

Back at hotel

… along famous Tha Phae Rd …

Tha Pae Rd, clean and orderly

… just next to 700-year-old Tha Phae Gate of the old city.

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Lanna House has very comfy room indeed …

Nice room at Lanna House

… where we won’t go hungry – can even have breakfast here at … ummm … 3pm?

View of Tha Pae Rd, from hotel room

After a short breather, we take to the street, where a funeral is in progress.

A hearse passes by

This place is excellent for street photography. Here a rare Sikh rides along Chang Klan Rd, site of the famous Night Bazaar. Out of 1.6mil people in Chiangmai, Sikhs make up less than 0.02%.

A Sikh in the Night Bazaar area (Chang Klan Rd)

… while Muslims make up 1.2%. There are Malays here whose ancestors were banished centuries ago from the state of Pahang by the then Siamese authorities.

Muslim ladies

Near Chang Klan Rd, a grand mosque stands tall.

At-Taqwa mosque

At the entrance, the prayer times.

Prayer times

Spartan interior of mosque.

Interior of At-Taqwa mosque

Built by the Yunanese Chinese.

Islamic centre, founded by Yunnan-origin Muslim Chinese

The official name – Hedayatul Islam Mosque in Hau.

Hau is the name of this place
Nearby, Muslim eateries and shops.

Halal eateries near mosque

Halal ‘sausages’ called ‘kebabs’.

Halal beef 'sausages', called 'kebabs' here

Buddhists make up 92% of Chiangmai’s population. Along Tha Phae Rd, there are a couple of photogenic wats, such as Wat Bupharam, …

Wat Bupharam, Tha Phae Rd

… which seems to have a Disney-esque theme (Donald having noodles?) …

Donald having noodles at Wat Bupharam

… plus a manegerie.

Menagerie at Wat Bupharam

While further up the road, white Wat Mahawan is radiant …

Photogenic Wat Mahawan, Tha Phae Rd

… whose walled interior is an island of serenity amidst the city’s hustle and bustle.

Serene compound of Wat Mahawan behind the walls

 

Please continue to the next chapter …