Entries in chiang mai attractions (3)

Wednesday
Jun062012

Insider tips: Guide to Chiang Mai’s Buses

Chiang Mai may not have the transport infrastructure of Bangkok, but there’s still a well-oiled system in place for getting around town. The colored pick-up trucks called song thaews make up the backbone of Chiang Mai’s transportation system, but they’re backed by tuk-tuks, proper taxi cabs and a few brand new city buses.

The terminus of Thailand’s railway system is also in Chiang Mai, so long-haul buses are important for onward travel into northern areas. Whether you’re paying 20 baht for a short-haul journey down the street or 1,800 baht for the day-long haul to Phuket, you’ll need to use the public transport system at some point during your stay in Chiang Mai. The following is a quick guide to get you started. 

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Wednesday
Mar212012

The Chiang Mai Nine

In Thailand, the number nine is auspicious, and it permeates religious culture. Thai households often have a collection of nine pedestals on which they display their Buddha images and family heirlooms. Enormous alms-giving ceremonies may have thousands of monks, but you can be sure the advertised figure is going to be a multiple of nine. Thinking of hosting a housewarming or graduation party? Consider inviting nine monks to chant at the ceremony. The number nine is everywhere.

When Thai people want to make a day of temple-going, they visit nine temples. Every major city has its own official list of nine temples that must be included on any Thai itinerary. But you don’t have to be Thai or even Buddhist to join in. Locals are happy to see foreigners taking a respectful interest in Thailand’s temples and sacred sites.

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Wednesday
Feb292012

Thailand’s Zodiac Temples

Thai people still observe the lunar calendar, with its Western counterpart grafted on top of it, and they’ve also adapted the Chinese Zodiac symbols to their own purposes. With the Year of the Dragon freshly upon us, it’s a great time to ponder the Thai Zodiac.

What most tourists don’t realize is that every zodiac symbol has an official temple in Northern Thailand. People all over the kingdom aspire to make a pilgrimage once in their life to the temple that represents their birth year. That’s a long-haul journey for Thai people from Central or Southern Thailand, but that doesn’t stop most. Blessings of long life and prosperity are at stake.

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