Blogs from Chiang Mai, North-West Thailand, Thailand, Asia - page 3


Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai November 23rd 2018

I headed back to Chiang Mai for the annual Loy Krathong & Yee Peng Lantern Festivals, which were definitely trip highlight. Loy Krathong is celebrated across Thailand and involves releasing krathong - decorated rafts with candles - into the river. In Chiang Mai, Yee Ping is at the same time and involves a variety of lanterns, including releasing paper lanterns into the sky...there are so many on the main nights that they look like stars (and Chiang Mai has to cancel flights on these nights to prevent issues with aircraft). It's one big celebration for several days, with fireworks, parades, etc. in addition to the lanterns and floating candles - it was beautiful, colorful, a bit chaotic and absolutely fantastic. I also did a day trip to Wat Phabatpuphadang (one of its several names) - a ... read more
Lanterns near the kick-off ceremony
Lanterns near the kick-off ceremony
Kick-off ceremony

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai November 9th 2018

Chiang Mai was a bit of a lazy stop for me this time around - long flights, a cold, and speeding through as many islands as possible in Polynesia (oh woe is me) left me a bit worn out. The Old City is surrounded by walls on each side, and was originally founded in 1296 as the new capital of the Lan Na kingdom. Today the old city is still packed with Buddhist temples, and otherwise mostly tourist infrastructure (e.g., if you're craving any western food, toiletries, etc. this is the place for you)...although its interesting to see how both fit together. The global variety of tourists and supporting businesses are interesting, but I doubt many locals still live within the area and almost exclusively saw tourists walking through the streets.... read more
Sunday market
Sunday market
Sunday market - you could find just about anything, including large giraffe statues

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai » San Kamphaeng July 17th 2018

Chiang Mai: A world in Thailand Going to Chiang Mai was a bless-worthy addition to my travel diary. Chiang Mai is a mesmerizing valley of Thailand which was once known as the Kingdom of a Million Rice Fields or simply as the Lanna Kingdom. This Rose of the North is everything that Bangkok isn’t for its spectacular mountains, vibrant valleys and the galore of temples. The historic city of Chiang Mai has many surprises hidden in its natural beauty for the tourists to unwind. Our staycation in Chiang Mai was a bombarding mix of everything we wanted to experience from a city. The city is home to 300 plus temples which promises breathtaking sightseeing’s. I picked the impressive Doi Suthep –an ornate Buddhist Temple overlooking the city from above as my first spot. The view of ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai July 15th 2018

For today’s adventure, we hired a driver to take us to a few locations around Chiang Mai off the beaten path. The itinerary included “sticky falls”, hiking to a waterfall, and visiting a temple on a hill overlooking the city. Our driver met us at 8:00 AM and we hopped in the back of his pickup. The drive to url= Thong (“sticky falls”) was a little over an hour. The falls are located in a small national park with some cabins, a small market, and a lot of cyclists. We took the path then the stairs that descended beside the falls all the way to the bottom. We changed into our bathing suits and investigated the falls. The falls have a unique property that the water has a lot of minerals in it that have been ... read more
Snake Warning
Huay Thung Tao
Wat Phra 2

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai July 14th 2018

We did not have any plans until 11:30 on Saturday, so we slept in a little and set the agenda for the remainder of our time in Chiang Mai. We had omelets at the Rustic and lounged about. At 11:30 our truck pulled up to transport us out to the Elephant Sanctuary! It was a long ride but we met some fun people in the back of our pickup. Once at the Sanctuary, we heard a little about the elephant’s history in Thailand. Originally, many elephants were used in the illegal timber industry. Once the government cracked down on this industry, elephants became a bit of a menace to local farmers. Elephants were then rented to riding camps and more recently have been rescued to these sanctuaries. After a bit of a history lesson, we got ... read more
Kristy and Brad at Elephant Sanctuary 3
Kristy and Brad at Elephant Sanctuary 2
Kristy and Brad at Elephant Sanctuary

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai July 13th 2018

We woke early to depart Bangkok and fly to Chiang Mai. The domestic flight is only an hour long. We stayed at the Rustic River Boutiquejust outside the old city walls of Chiang Mai. Upon checking in the lady at the front desk was very friendly and helpful. She gave us an overview of the area, food recommendations, and a few activity excursions that we could try. Kristy the planner already had researched a place for lunch. We got settled then headed out for lunch. We walked the narrow streets of the city out to url= Soi Lam Duan for some lunch. The restaurant is an unassuming roadside greasy spoon, just our kind of spot! The interior was quite modest and reminded us of a Thai Sunshine General Store. The proprietor of Lam ... read more
Khao Soi Lam Duan
Kristy at Khao Soi
Brad at Khao Soi

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai April 5th 2018

After the hustle and bustle of Hanoi when we woke up in Chiang Rai and went for a walk around town we were grateful to find roads where cars obeyed red lights and you could count the number of scooters in immediate view on two hands. It was also hot so I was able to retire my jeans and sweatshirt which I was absolutely disgusted about having to put on in Vietnam! I’ve been to Thailand twice now but never been more north than Bangkok so I was excited about seeing what it had to offer and how it differed from the islands in the south. We only ended up visiting Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai before returning to Bangkok but we managed to achieve a good mix of busy and quieter days. Chiang Rai was ... read more
Buddha in Chiang Rai
Cat Cafe
Learning to cook

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai April 3rd 2018

Like most travellers I’ve blown a third of my budget in the first 2 weeks. We now buy beer cans from the 7/11 and refuse to pay 5 THB to use the toilet. It’s our last day in northern Thailand so we wanted to do something great. We had the option of either hanging out at the Chiang Mai canyon or go to an insect museum. So what do we do? We go to the bloody insect museum. In our defence, there were thunderstorms forecast (which never happened) and it was ranked one of the top attractions in Chiang Mai. I have no idea why. There were at least a million different bugs in there and they were all huge and gross. We managed to enjoy ourselves with some immature humour though. We went to the ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai April 2nd 2018

We’re gutted to be leaving Pai. It’s likely to be the most traditionally Thai town we’ll visit. We spent our last night in our favourite bar in Pai; Sabai bar, which translates to ‘Happy bar’. We’ve had some unforgettable experiences and made crazy memories in this magical little place. I highly recommend visiting Pai. We took the uncomfortable 4 hour bus back to Chiang Mai as we fly to Hanoi on Wednesday and we have unfinished business with Chiang Mai; places to go and sights to see. We’re staying in the ZZ guesthouse which is about 15 minutes west outside of Old town, neighbouring the night bazaar. t seems to be a richer area of Chiang Mai; we got breakfast at the Thai equivalent of Waitrose. We looked lost. We got in after a wild night ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai March 26th 2018

Today began with a tiring hour-long road trip, taking us well outside of Chiang Mai to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. Upon arrival we got dressed in these itchy tribal looking garments making us more recognisable to the elephants, allowing them to feel comfortable around us. We were given sweet treats in the form of a pocket full of mini bananas for the elephants and were sent on our way down the jungle. Dean rightly said it’s the equivalent of a waiter bringing your food to the table. Ensuring we went to an elephant friendly sanctuary, the elephants weren’t ridden by visitors and were happy and free, flapping their ears and swinging their tails. I can’t describe how amazing it was to be with these giants up close. After a period of banana-feeding and selfie-taking, we trekked ... read more

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