Post by : VeveRara
Post Date : January 1970
Travel Date : September 2010
Destinations : Chiang Mai
Activities : Elephant riding ,Hilltribe ,Historical ,Local lifestyle ,Mountain biking ,White water rafting ,Others
I was back from Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai by the end of Sep 2010. Chiang Mai is de facto capital of Northern Thailand and the heart of Lanna culture while Chiang Rai is a gateway to the Golden Triangle, ethnic minorities and mountain trekking. Both places are different from Pattaya, Phuket, Ko Samui, they do not have coastline but surrounded by mountains and lush countryside, it is much greener and quieter than the capital.
1. Upon arriving Chiang Mai Airport, don’t forget to take a tour map at customer services centre, you would find it very useful and easy to locate yourself, sightseeing spots, temples, night bazaar, restaurants along the riverside and etc.
2. No worries regarding transportation in Chiang Mai/ Chiang Rai, just you need is to have the address of those places that you want to go, preferred in Thai language, and simply take a tuk tuk or taxi. You may rent a car with or without driver.
1. Temple Visit
As traditional centers of merit making, temples are the best places to see Buddhist ceremonies. Chiang Mai has a picturesque historical aura with over 300 temples. The group of temples is a big sightseeing to take. If you just have half day visit to temples, you may visit those with different architectural design, i.e. Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Chiang Mun, Wat Phra Singh and etc.
The one that I highly recommend is Wat Rong Khun, the white temple. It is located in Chiang Rai province about 170km from Chiang Mai on highway No.1, it takes around 3 hours drive from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, you could rent a car or join day tour to visit Wat Rong Khun, and also the Golden Triangle and the Padong (long-necked Karen hill tribe).
Wat Rong Khun is totally different from any other temples in Thailand, as it is designed in white color with some use of white glass while other temples are mostly in gold color. It is really worth to visit though taking long travelling hours.
2. Chiang Mai Night Safari
If you like to have chance to interact with giraffe, zebra, deer and other animals closely, Chiang Mai Night Safari is the place that you probably should visit. It takes around 30-40mins from the heart of Chiang Mai to the Night Safari. The 2 exciting tram tours walking through natural trail starts at 7pm. It is suggested to arrive there at 4:30pm or 5pm, walk along the park for 1.5 hour and followed by dinner before the tram riding. So you won’t get back to hotel too late after the tram riding and the shows.
3. Night Bazaar and Night life at Restaurant along Riverside at Chiang Mai
Apart of the above, we wandered round the night bazaar. The night bazaar is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Chiang Mai and located in the heart of the city, on the Chan Klan road. Some nice restaurants could be found inside the market, cheap price with good food.
Or you may have dinner at restaurants along riverside; we really had a good time there, it was so relaxing having dinner with the live band music. Better to make reservation and request for table that can enjoy the river view.
4. Adventure Tour
If you like enjoying exciting experience and love discovering extreme sports, adventure tour in Chiang Mai must be included in your travel itinerary.
Firstly, we had fun-filled activity of elephant riding through the jungle along the riverside forest and then continued by mountain biking from the local village through dirt road and beautiful forest. Weather on that day was not good and it rained suddenly, however, it gave us the experiences of riding under the heavy rain; enjoy the feeling of the freedom. And then followed by 4+level base water rafting trip in Mea Teang River…should be 5+level base after the heavy rain. It was so exciting and unforgettable.
5. Spa and Massage
Don’t forget having massage in a luxurious spas or a famous traditional Thai massage during your trip as a rejuvenating spa treatment in Thailand offers the perfect antidote after a long day of shopping and sightseeing.
With wonderful tasty food, tropical climate, fascinating culture, interesting activities, night life, wonderful tourist attractions both inland and coastline such as islands, crystal beaches, under the sea, mountains, waterfall, natural forests, sightseeing, and historical places, Thailand is definitely a magnet and easiest exotic country for all travellers over the world. No matter, how many times you have been there, you will never feel bored.
Last but not least, you never know what will happen next, i.e. weather may change suddenly, rain like cats and dogs and that may affect your travel plan, so you always need to be flexible. This really did happened in our trip, however, we enjoy it as a most important, whether the trip is enjoyable and unforgettable or not, it all depends on whom you go with and share the happy moments and experiences together. Wish you all enjoy your trip in the near future with your sweet buddies.