The flight to Bangkok was not very exciting. I arrived there around noon. The night train I had booked prior to leaving for Myanmar was leaving at 6pm the same day. So I had to kill six hours and had no hostel or place to stay.
I actually just wanted to shoot the sign, but that guy just drove right into my shot and stayed there. Now I like it even better, because it represents Chiang Mai and Thailand even better
1/800 Sek. f/5,6 31 mm ISO 800
What I really love about the temples is the amount of bright colors. It brightened up my mood every time I saw it.
1/40 Sek. f/5,6 17 mm ISO 800
Knowing this I had downloaded a movie and several episodes of "That 70s show" however as I found out on the trainstation my powerbank was dead. I checked every single outlet there but they were all shut down. So I simply got to the next coffeshop and charged up my phone and powerbank there.
Contrary to my expectations the train was quite new, to my relief it even had USB outlets so I could charge all my devices and watch all the downloaded Netflix content. Most passengers in my carriage where tourists, just like me. The majority were families with more or less (actually more) loud and annoying kids. Opposite of me there was a german family. I was not really in a mood for a superficial conversation just based on the fact that we shared the same language, so I got my headphones and spent the evening just on my own. It was pretty funny to listen to them talking about me as they clearly thought I couldn't understand them. I know it may sound strange, but I usually don't like meeting Germans or Austrians while travelling. The reason is, because pretty often they behave not very good, like demanding lots of stuff or being ignorant to local customs. After a great, but cold (damn acs) night in the train I arrived pretty well rested in Chiang Mai at 7am.
Beautiful temples everywhere with some rainy sky in the background
1/1250 Sek. f/5,6 14 mm ISO 240
Some fancy hotel driveway, it looked even better at night when they light up lights inbetween the bamboo!
1/13 Sek. f/7,1 17 mm ISO 200
In case you wondered what Tuk-Tuks are: This is one. They are usually a little more expensive than the "red cars" which are the main public transport in Chiang Mai and many other Thai cities.
1/250 Sek. f/5,4 42 mm ISO 200
The plan was to meet up with my friend Moritz and his girlfriend Lena, who I knew from Austria. Unfortunatelly they were ziplining the whole day so I had the whole day on my own. At the guesthouse I got a big breakfast after settling down from the 24 hours of travel. During breakfast in the garden, I met a guy from belgium. He was in Thailand for a work trip and told me about digital nomads and that Chiang Mai is extremely popular among them. He sparked my curiousity, so I kept asking him and he seemed quite happy to answer all my questions. This is the result of his answers and some research afterwards:
Why Chiang Mai is the world capital of digital nomads
Since as a digital nomad all you need in order to be able to work is a proper internet connection digital nomads don't depend on job offers in certain places. They just wander around (there is a reason they are colled nomads) and stay at the places they like best. Chiang Mai has very low living costs, and at the same time offers tons of well equipped co-working spaces. Healthcare is easily among the best in Southeast Asia and the city has a really nice international vibe. The beautiful temples and and bustling markets are also very popular. The great food you can find in Thailand is only part of the topnotch cuisine to be found in the city. I ate some Pizza which was nearly on one level with Pizza in Italy!
So Chiang Mai is cheap, has great food, great healthcare and a wide variety of leisure activities waiting for you. Digital nomads, you know where to go ;)
I spent the rest of the day walking around in the inner city admiring the temples in the occasional showers of rain.
A rare glimpse of sun that day
1/2000 Sek. f/5,6 14 mm ISO 320
Most of the temples had beautiful gardens with hardly any people around
1/3200 Sek. f/5,6 90 mm ISO 1250
Loads of cats and dogs walking around and inside the temples
1/2500 Sek. f/5,6 80 mm ISO 1250
In the evening I finally met up with my friend and as a party of 3 we explored the night market of Chiang Mai. The food was great and the company better. It was refreshing to be able to talk to people in my first language who weren't my sister. At the night market there was a great food court and a band was playing. The vibes where great, but after about half an hour it suddenly started raining like nuts. Luckily the part of the market where we where was covered, however Lena didn't want to eat anything from there. She wanted Pizza so we had to run through the pouring rain to get the expensive and delicious peace of food. I did not take my camera with me that evening hence no pictures of the market..
The biggest temple of Chiang Mai (also the only one I found where one had to pay in order to get in)
1/1250 Sek. f/5,6 14 mm ISO 320
The jawdropping inside of the temple
1/8 Sek. f/5,6 14 mm ISO 200
Looking out of the museum of writings right onto a huge old buddhist building (I forgot what it was exactly)
1/2500 Sek. f/5,6 14 mm ISO 320
Since Moritz and Lena were on a thighter schedueal than me they already planned to take a minibus to Pai the next day. I checked my guide book about Pai and decided to join in. I hadn't explored Chiang Mai properly yet, but in order to get back from Pai the busses all go to Chiang Mai so my plan was to check out the rest as soon as I got back.
In the end I was 3 times in Chiang Mai but more on that later.
In the next chapter Moritz, Lena and I will be scooting through the beautiful nature surrounding Pai. Waterfalls and rice fields included ;)
All shots in this post were made with my Olympus OMD EM-10 Mark II with a 14-150mm lense in manual mode.
If you want to learn more about my travel through southeast Asia you can read the previous posts here:
- 1. Bangkok
- 2. Myanmar, Mandalay & Malaria?
- 3. The best trainride of my life
- 4. Hiking through rebel area (1/2)
- 5. Hiking through rebel area (2/2)
- 6. Bagan, plain of a thousand temples
- 7. Crossing Inle Lake
- 8. Yangon, former capital of Myanmar
There is a new chapter coming each Thursday
If you want to know more about me check this out:
Thank you for reading and feel free to upvote, resteem & follow me :)