I stayed in Chiang Mai for three nights in Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel. The hotel is situated on the banks of the Mae Ping River; it was lovely in the mornings sitting beside the river eating the delicious buffet breakfast they offered.
The hotel was a little too far to walk to the night markets and restaurants, but they laid on a free shuttle bus service to drop you off and we got tuk tuks to take us back after we’d finished.
Chiang Mai stole my heart; I loved this city.
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.
We spent all three evenings walking around the local night markets, filled with stalls selling souvenirs and food.
The night markets are a good place to try out local street food; northern sausages and Khao Soi curry is a must in Chiang Mai. I picked up a Khao Soi curry from a stand for 40 TB and it was delicious!
We stumbled across a really cute little square called Ploen Ruedee Night Market, which had different food stands and live music. The seating was made up of haystacks and oil barrels made into benches. The live music was made up of different local bands, and they were all so good!
We spent out first full day in Chiang Mai at Baan Chang Elephant Park. We’d pre-booked this trip back in the U.K. through their website. The day started off with information about the elephants, we then fed the elephants and did a bare-back elephant trek (which I feel super guilty about doing now; at the time I wasn’t aware of what elephants went through in order for humans to be able to ride them), and finished off the day bathing them. It was such an amazing experience to get up so close to these impressive animals, but I do wish I’d done more research into the elephant camps in Thailand. If you’re interested in spending a day with the elephants, I would definitely recommend Elephant Nature Park.
On our second day, 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 where we got to see lots of different fruits, vegetables and meats. We even got to try some of the food in the market. We then got taken to the cooking school where we each had our own workstations and began to cook different Thai dishes. After all of our hard work cooking, we were finally able to tuck in and enjoy the food we’d just prepared!
Chiang Mai is always going to have a special place in my heart, and I can’t wait to go back to visit again!
Up next: Koh Samui