After a three hour drive from Chiang Rai we arrived at our next destination Chiang Mai. We stayed in Chiang Mai for three nights at the Pingnakorn hotel. It was tucked away off a main street down a couple alleys. It was a beautiful hotel and we really enjoyed our stay there. We arrived in the afternoon and all needed a rest after the long day. That evening we went out for dinner near the night market and did a little look around after dinner. It was an early night though because we were going to see the elephants the next day! Check out my next travel post to read all about our experience at the Elephant Sanctuary, truly a dream come true.
After our long day with the elephants, we relaxed in the hotel before heading out for dinner and drinks to celebrate New Years Eve! It was so fun to be in a new city to celebrate the New Year, something completely different to what I've done in the past. We went for dinner at The Swan, which was a Burmese restaurant. The food and service was absolutely amazing and I would definitely recommend it if anyone is heading to Chiang Mai. As we left the restaurant all along the river people were sending off lanterns, a tradition they do every year to bring them good wishes in the New Year. My mum decided we had to do it and so each couple got a lantern and we set them off. Out of the three, two made it into the air, which isn't so bad for our first attempt, right? We all made our wishes and then headed out to meet Phil and Teresa's friends for drinks and to watch the countdown.
On New Years Day we were all feeling quite tired after a night out but my parents and I had a walking tour planned so we went for it. My sister, her husband and Dave decided to kick their hangovers with ziplining (definitely not my cup of tea.) We visited three beautiful temples, which were all unique. The first was extremely busy and we wandered around the aisles while people prayed in the centre. It is awe-inspiring the workmanship that has gone into these temples. Next stop was a much smaller but equally beautiful temple made of teak. This was something I had never seen before and it was really lovely to walk around the gardens surrounding it. The final temple we visited was where the oldest temple in Chiang Rai once stood and is now in ruins. This one we did have to pay for and they were quite strict on what you were wearing to enter the grounds, so be prepared. We decided it was starting to get a little too hot for us and we were tired so we headed to the mall for some lunch. I had been looking for smoothie bowls for some time and I found a really good place that did them there. Afterwards we relaxed, went out for dinner and got our shopping in one last time! The next day we had a long drive ahead of us to Sukothai, which I will be posting about soon!