Northern Thailand Nov 11-Dec 10, 2013

  • December

    I spent nearly a month traveling around Northern Thailand. Some places were I loved so much that I went and visited it twice! Here are my highlights:

    Chiang Mai

    • Daily night bazaar near Thapae Gate, Sunday walking street
    • Loy Krathong Lantern festival – mid-November during the full moon (make sure you go to the University the night before the full moon, that’s when everyone sets off their balloons at the same time!)
    • Don Suthep temple – scooter up if you dare!
    • Elephant Nature Park – a wonderful example of how to care for elephants consciencely. I was fortunate enough to spend a week volunteering in the Karen Village learning how working/ abused elephants are re-introduced back into nature with the Journey to Freedom project. See my trip here and watch my video.
    • Day trips (bamboo rafting, waterfalls, atv, white water rafting, visiting the long-neck Karen tribe, hiking, etc) – they are dirt cheap out of Chiang Mai but please avoid the elephant rides!
    • Cooking classes to learn how to cook Thai food – it has come in really handy, just ask my boyfriend!
    • Zoe’s Bar – if you want to have a drink, dance and party with a mixture of expats and locals, Zoe’s is a group of bars all huddled together and makes for a fun night of bar hopping!
    • The biggest Table BBQ buffet I’ve ever seen! – Suk Kon Thai is hidden along Huay Kaew Rd., so ask for the Condotel 4 outdoor parking and walk through the gates.  You will see a huge outdoor warehouse with a kid’s arcade, live music and charcoal table BBQs
    • C & C Teak House – A very charming guesthouse run by a French man, 220 Bhat for a room (small and shared bathroom), a little outside of the main city
    • Nimmanheamin Road – fun and busy street with lots of cafes, restaurants, hotels, walking streets and bars.
    Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Chiang Rai
    (3 hours North East of Chiang Mai- 280 Bhat A/C bus from Arcade Station)

    • Golden Triangle where Thailand, Loas and Cambodia boarders meet. It was a pivotal point for the opium trade. If you like history, the Opium Hall Museum was incredibly well done
    • The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) – absolutely breath-taking, even with all of the tourists, posing and cameras. A definite MUST!
    • The Black Houses (Thawan Duchanee) – the complete opposite of the white temple but just as spectacular, strange and a bit eerie. I loved it! It’s hard to find so ask around and check out this blog with directions
    Chiang Rai, Thailand

    Chiang Rai, Thailand

    (3.5 hours North West of Chiang Mai- 150 Bhat minibuses from Arcade Station)

    • One of my favorite places (not on the beach) in Thailand! A really relaxed hippie vibe
    • Nightly walking streets – tasty food, handmade goods, souvenirs and some hilarious street performances
    • Renting motorbikes/ scooters for 100 Bhat a day (=$3)!
    • Pai Canyon – walk the narrow, steep and slippery canyon if you dare!
    • Hot Springs (Pong Nam Ron Thapai) – several layers of natural hot mineral pools that vary in temperature. Soak your feet, boil an egg and enjoy Mother Nature at her finest
    • Waterfall – there are many, so get a map and a scooter and go exploring
    • Goodlife Cafe – healthy and tasty food, good coffee, wheat grass shots and a chill vibe to catch up with friends or read a book
    • Witching Well Cafe – no WIFI, but an awesome lime cheesecake!
    • Thai and oil massages – Thai massages can be a bit rough with all the stretching and sitting on you, while an oil massage is more relaxing. Pai has the cheapest massages I’ve found so far… 150-200 Bhat for 1 hour= $5-6!
    • Reggae and Jazz bars
    Pai, Thailand

    Pai, Thailand

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