Chiang Mai is Thailand’s northern capital. It’s about a 1 hour 15 minute plane journey from Bangkok, or you can opt for the overnight sleeper train – which I wish I did for the experience!
Chiang Mai stole my heart. I loved this city. I stayed in a really lovely hotel, Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel, which is situated on the banks of the Mae Ping River. It was a little too far to walk from the local nightmarkets and restaurants, but the hotel offered a free shuttlebus service to drop you off. We got tuk tuks to take us back.
We spent the three evenings we had in Chiang Mai walking up and down the night markets; I absolutely love them. I know all the stalls sell similar typical tourist tack but I love looking at each stall and buying the typical tourist items! We stumbled across a really cute little square called Ploen Ruedee Night Market which had different food stands and live music. Seating was made up of haystacks and old oil barrels made into benches. The live music consisted of Thai bands; they were all really good! We really enjoyed spending our evenings here.
The night markets are also a good place to try out the local street foods; northern sausages and Khao Soi curry is a must in Chiang Mai! I picked up a Khao Soi curry from a stand for 40 baht!
We spent our first full day in Chiang Mai at Baan Chang Elephant Park. We had pre-booked the trip in the UK through the website. The day consisted of information about the elephants, feeding the elephants, an elephant trek (which I feel super guilty for participating in) and bathing the elephants. It was amazing to get up and close to these impressive animals but I wish I had done more research into the elephant camps. Now I would definitely recommend Elephant Nature Park as they are completely against elephant trekking.
For our second day in Chiang Mai we did a cookery class at Pantawan Cooking School. The school picked us up from our hotel and took us to a local food market. It was really interesting to see the different foods on offer and we even got to try some of the food! We then had our own workstations to cook ourselves. Afterwards, we ate our meals before being dropped back off at our hotel.
Chiang Mai is always going to have a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to go back and visit!
Next stop: Koh Samui
See what I got up to in Chiang Mai in 2016 here!
Did you enjoy Chiang Mai as much as I did? Feel free to leave some comments below!