Waking up on Saturday in Chiang Mai, my sister Nikki was really excited to take us to one of her favourite temples - Wat Palad. She told us it was a short hike to get there, so we put on our running shoes and headed out the door. The parking lot for Wat Palad is very tiny, and the sign simply looked like a trail head for a hike. I was pretty dehydrated already, and we meant to get water on the drive - but sadly we forgot. When we started what is probably only a 20-30 minute hike, it didn't take long for me to get pretty winded. The hike is uphill - and it was 40 degrees celsius outside. Already feeling dehydrated and doing this hike without water was not a wise move... it was soo difficult for me! If you are in Chiang Mai and intending to do the hike up to Wat Palad - make sure you do it in the morning (as to avoid extreme heat), have a good breakfast, are well hydrated, and have water on you.
After 20-30 minutes of hiking... getting to the temple was absolutely worth every step and heavy breath. This was easily the most beautiful and serene temple I had ever been to. Sitting beside the temple is a charming meditation retreat, there are rocks overflowing onto the hillside... and intricate carvings and staircases that all seem to meld together into one gorgeous piece of art. One of the most stunning places I have ever been to and definitely my favourite temple I have seen in Asia. Wat Palad is a very special place.
The monks at the temple also gave us some water as soon as we got there - which was very much appreciated. In the 30-45 minutes we were on the temple grounds I drank two bottles!
After we headed back down to the parking lot, we got on the bikes and headed for lunch at Din Dee, which is a restaurant in Chiang Mai that is super cool. The restaurant is actually inside a mud house. Its so cute and pretty inside...and it has delicious food and drinks! It was a little bit on the expensive side - to fill the bellies of four adults - including drinks - it cost about $700 Baht - which is about $28 Canadian.
The lunch we had was very sweaty! It was sooo bloody hot outside and we had just braved hiking in the heat. We were literally dripping during our meal haha (so appetizing eh!), so we collectively decided to head to one of the local fitness centres after lunch to enjoy the rest of the afternoon cooling off in an outdoor pool. The pool cost $100 Baht per person ($4-ish Canadian), and it was so damn refreshing to jump into that cold water after the day we had. Their was a few local children that didn't speak more than a few phrases in English - but we had so much fun playing with them. They were so cute and kind! Despite the language barrier they were so happy to play with the strange foreigners.
Nikki & Dave made us some delicious curry vegetable soup back at their house for dinner, and afterwards we decided to head to a local bar & restaurant called Sud Sanan. We ordered some beer, and a local came around selling fruit and bug trays. Yes - bugs like crickets and beetles - meant for eating.
bviously we had to get one... and Nikki, Dave and Kris had some fun popping them into their mouths while we listened to the live music.
Kris told me the bugs tasted exactly like Kale chips.... but somehow I find that hard to believe. I, obviously, did not partake in the feast of bugs. Even if I wasn't vegetarian I couldn't see myself eating crickets... although... are bugs considered meat? I don't even know.
It was such a fun and busy day - we were definitely happy to hit our pillows at the end of the night! Definitely a saturday filled with awesome memories :)