Chiang Mai, Thailand: First Impressions

It’s been a while since I updated the blog; I guess the laid back attitude here got the best of me. Arriving in Chiang Mai was a welcome relief after the stifling heat, pollution, extreme traffic congestion, and general manic intensity of Bangkok. Chiang Mai does have quite a bit of traffic (and in Thailand, apparently the pedestrian is always wrong), but the climate is a bit cooler here, the mountain air a bit cleaner, and things are way more relaxed.

The first two things I noticed about Chiang Mai: Buddhism and tourism. The presence of Buddhism here is striking, and very appealing to me. There are over 300 wats (Buddhist temples) here—each one exquisite—and you will often see orange-robed monks around the city. The tourism is not so appealing; around the old city there are zillions of banners advertising all kinds of tours and “adventures” involving zip lines and Segways and monkeys and elephants. And a steady stream of tourists (I’m counting myself of course) and tourist traps. Luckily, it’s easy to escape to neighborhoods where the tourist scene is scarce.

Many more Chiang Mai photos on the way.

3 thoughts on “Chiang Mai, Thailand: First Impressions

  1. Hi JIm,

    Your dad, my Columbia College professor and dear friend, emailed a link to your blog today. Many stunning images from a world I have yet to visit (makes them all the more exciting, all the more exotic).

    Please add me to you list as well as taking a minuet to let me know your travel plans.

    Thank you and all the best,


  2. Hi Jim,

    Great photos — black&white is still a unique medium, I’m sure that you’re getting lots of advice about where to travel, but you may want to check out The Mekong River at Chang Rai — it’s really special. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive NW of Chang Mai and the river is gorgeous. Lots of Burmese culture as well,

    Guy Lanza

  3. The UJ,

    We miss you back in the U.S. but love seeing your photos and hearing about your travels on your blog. Trying to pic my favorite pic but keep changing my mind. Favorite eatin’s so far?

    Your seester Vicky

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