Amazing food, super friendly people, sacred elephants and a strong sense of culture are all things that define Chiang Mai. We spent our weeklong visit trying new things, meeting new people and enjoying everything that makes Northern Thailand so special.
We stayed at BED Phrasingh which we thoroughly enjoyed. It’s just a block away from shops and restaurants but far enough away that we were treated to peace and quiet. What made it even better was the complimentary traditional Thai breakfast and bottle water. The staff was great too! They helped with laundry services, taxis, and even recommended places to visit during our stay.
We arrived early in the morning and decided not to waste any time. We dropped our stuff off at the hotel and headed out for some sight-seeing. We visited Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Sri Suphan and the Tha Phae Gate before heading to lunch at Ugo Restaurant & Thai Craft Beer Bar. Next, we had a hot oil massage at Khunka Massage.
After a quick shower and change of clothes, we headed to the Ploen Ruedee Night Market and the Night Bazaar.
Next, we headed to Dash! Restaurant and Bar for dinner and Zoe in Yellow for a few after dinner drinks.
We spent the entire next day at the Elephant Nature Park. We were picked up from our hotel around 8:00 a.m. and were joined by five others for the Pamper a Pachyderm package. This tour was amazing – quite literally the highlight of our trip. We started off by feeding the elephants before taking them on a walk through the jungle. Next, we had a fantastic lunch in tree house overlooking the Nature Park. After lunch, we bathed the elephants in the river before heading into the park itself where we were introduced to two baby elephants, each about a year old.
After a quite full day, we rounded out the evening with some khoa soi at Roof 69 and a traditional Thai massage at Chinola Massage.
We had dinner at The Service 1921 Restaurant which is located in the Anantara Hotel. This place was super cool! The menu and theme of the restaurant was ‘spy’ inspired. Not to mention, the food and signature cocktails were outstanding. We ended the night by enjoying some live music at Boy Blues Bar.
Our last full day in Chiang Mai was spent at the Thai Farm Cooking School. The schools is located on a farm about an hour from the city center. Our first stop was at a traditional Thai market where we learned about the key ingredients needed to cook traditional Thai food. Once we arrived at the school, we treated to a walk around the property so that we could learn more about the organic ingredients we’d been using grown directly on the farm. The menu consisted of curry, two different kinds of soup, green papaya salad, chicken and hot basil stir-fry, pad Thai and a traditional dessert with bananas.
After a full day of cooking, we headed to the Saturday Night Market which was hands down our favorite market. It was very crowded but full of interesting and practical finds. After strolling around for a few hours we headed to Sababa Israeli Restaurant for dinner and then North Gate Jazz Co-op for some live music and after dinner drinks.
We made a quick stop at Wat Umong before heading to the airport for our flight to Krabi. I really enjoyed this temple. It was more rustic than the others we visited.
A Thailand itinerary is not complete without a stop in Chiang Mai. It was our favorite place that we visited during our three week adventure. The mix of culture, nature and amazing food make Chiang Mai a bucket list destination.