Chiang Mai, New Years Eve 2012. The whole city lets off floating lanterns starting just after it gets dark, and building until well after midnight. Instead of joining the tourist horde, we slipped into a temple that was in the middle of its own celebration. Quiet meditation music and all the lanterns we could light, was the highlight of the evening. In Chiang Mai, we stayed at the Yindee Stylish Guesthouse. It was great. Nice location, friendly owners, clean flashpacker-friendly rooms.
Chiang Mai isn’t really a location that I would heavily recommend. It feels like it’s been overrun by tourists and kind of lost most of its character. Better to just keep going to Chiang Rai. The only reason I’d want to visit either one, would be to rent a motorcycle and do more touring of the surrounding hills. TOTAL.VACATION.WIN.