There is a temple on a hill in Chiang Mai. It is called Wat Phra That. Some people call it Wat Doi Suthep. Doi means mountain in the local Lana language. That is not the Thai language from the central part of Thailand. There are actually tons of languages spoken in Thailand. And you can hear them all at the temple on the hill.
The reason you can hear all these languages is that people from all over the region go there. It does have a nice view but it is also a religious destination. I’m not religious in the least. But I go there sometimes. There is a nice view of the city, as long as you can overlook all the trash people throw over the wall on the high side.
I wouldn’t even call Doi Suthep much of a mountain. I mean if you have seen something like Mount Fuji or Mount Rainier then this thing just looks like a hill in comparison. But it is one of the highest points in Thailand. So it gives a good perspective on all the land below. It’s also a good place for people watching. People of all kind go there. That includes tons of women.
Many women from the various ethnic groups wear their traditional clothes. Others wear regular street gear. Sometimes a group will wear matching gear. One time I saw a bunch of lovely Shan chicks with matching T-shirts that all said something about being Shan. They were actually all very pretty too.
Thankfully I never see many western people up there. I do know they visit though. Especially the fruit and fiber organic gluten-free white yoga chicks with dreadlocks who eat vegan granola three times a day. Maybe they go there at the ass crack of dawn. By the time I show up they have already moved on to their digital workstations or wherever the fuck they go for the rest of the day.
I guess it wouldn’t matter. Since this is a religious site I don’t hang around trying to pick up chicks. I usually just drive up, park down in the market-like area below, walk around, then head up the long stairs to the temple that overlooks the surroundings. I have talked to lots of people there though they usually initiate. I have even met a couple of women there that I went on to date or be friends with. That’s just a normal part of spending time in this part of the world.
I can say that my one tip helped me quite a bit in those situations. Being able to speak decent Thai and knowing even a couple of words in other regional languages got me much further than I would have gotten speaking nothing but American English. That is definite.
Then again just knowing that all the various people exist and aren’t all simply “Thai” seems to mean quite a lot to some of the people I have met. No one wants to be invisible. Well except maybe the hermits that go hide in the woods. But even they are probably just reacting to a world that seems cold and indifferent. Sometimes I feel that way too. Then I go to the temple on the hill and enjoy being surrounded by all sorts of different people. The lovely smiles sure help.