We stayed at The Le – Meridian, which is one of the good hotels in Chiang Mai(highly recommended) and they were nice enough to upgrade us to the mountain view room(Even though there was so much haze the first day ,that there was practically no view )
Where: ThailandWhat to do: Get a glimpse into the city's soul by heading to Chiang Mai's oldest public market, Warorot. For an enriching shopping experience, visit the Walking Street markets that comes to life only during the weekends. Pay your tributes to some of Chiang Mai's most revered temples, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh and Wat Phan Tso. Taste all the layers of Thai cuisine in a single bowl of gap kow at Talat Thanin.
Slowly moving from Thailand’s present (Bangkok) to its past, Chiang Mai was the cultural and religious center of ancient Thailand. Its ornate, historical structures still boast of the opulence that the Thai land inhabited and still inhabits. Luxury in Chiang Mai radiates from its spirituality, from its splendid fit-for-the-kings Wats. Travelling to Chiang Mai is like exploring the true soul of Thailand. It's surreal experiences like painting elephants and ornate temples are some of the most interesting things to do in Thailand.
We booked an early morning elephant and rafting tour. It was nothing spectacular for us. We had pretty much done most of the stuff back home in India. The elephant ride part of the tour was fairly straightforward while the rafting part was horrendous. With the waters running so low, there was barely any rafting that we could do. The entire time we were stuck in between the exposed rocks trying to move ahead. Overall the tour was a bad experience.
I met up with a friend of mine for this second part of the trip. We took an early flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.Chiang Mai is a beautiful, quiet town in the northern part of Thailand. We went during the off season, so it was much quieter than we had expected. Places shut down by 12 pm. Chilling at the hostel and seeing temples spread out across town were our best bets.We had earlier planned on staying at chiang mai for a couple of nights and then go to Pai (which is another small hill station), but we decided against that. It was probably the wrong season for the Northern part of Thailand. The numerous rivers and waterfalls around Chiang Mai and Pai were running dry with very low water levels (dry season).We chilled at the hostel with a bunch of other travellers and enjoyed the food. I would advise everyone to try Northern Thai food. It is very different to the normal Thai that we are all used to (only for Non vegetarians though). BEWARE: Dont even mention spicy ;)
Culture: Chiang Mai (3 days…. or a month!)
Catch one of the many night trains that leave Bangkok’s train station and tuck yourself into a bottom bunk with some snacks for the night. When you step off the train in Chiang Mai, it’ll be like a breath of fresh air from Bangkok’s hectic humidity, and you’ll feel a zen calmness sink into your bones. The cultural activities are endless here, but have a gander around the epic Night Bazaar and eat some uber cheap noodle soup at a street stall before catching an authentic Muay Thai Boxing match.
Pop into the zoo to see some Pandas and just generally wander around the greenness, but do prioritise a trip up to the magnificent hilltop temple of Doi Suthep. If you’re feeling daring, drive a scooter up the winding hill or take a Songthaew (pick-up truck taxi) with a bicycle and endure a hair-raising ride back down to town. See more of our tips for seeing Chiang Mai.
TIGER KINGDOM: I have done both Tiger Kingdom and Tiger Temple and would defiantly recommend Tiger Kingdom as the one you should do. The tigers are so well looked after, they are more lively and you can get your pictures taken with them when they are alert and playing. Tiger Kingdom has 5 types of tigers…. smallest, small1, small2, medium and big. Each type is around 500b (10 pound) or you can do them all for 1900b (Just under 40 pound) and if you want you can hire a professional photographer for 300b (6 pound) extra and I would DEFIANTLY recommend this!
FLIGHT OF THE GIBBONS: An action packed day of flying though the tree tops of Chiang Mai’s forest on zip lines and abseils. There are a couple of companies which do this however the Flight of The Gibbons takes you to see the wild gibbons (that’s a type of monkey fyi) and gives you an amazing 3 course meal with live jungle music! It really is nonstop and is ‘Thailand’s number one tourist attraction’ the costs can vary depending on where you get the tickets from but it is roughly 2800b and is pretty much a full day adventure!
Chiang Mai is called ‘the rose of the north’ and is 700km from the capital city of Bangkok. Despite being the 2nd largest city in Thailand, its population comes in at about 200,000 while Bangkok is 9 million. This makes it a very lovely and comfortable city to go to.