Our Top 5 Sites in Chiang Mai

We travelled north from Bangkok to Chiang Mai which is much more mountainous and the people are very laid back. Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second largest city with less than 200,000 people. Many Thais and expats like the cooler temperatures which is a feature of the higher altitudes.

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Chiang Mai is also home to thousands of temples and pagodas. The north also has a rich tribal culture which gives it a colourful array of artwork, clothing and handicrafts. Food here is cheap, delicious and healthy. We also found our first examples of reasonably priced imported wines since arriving in South East Asia…happy days!

chiangmai-temple

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After the hustle and bustle of Bangkok it was a relief to arrive in the laid back atmosphere of this friendly city. The old city centre is contained within the city walls and moat,  and was around 20 minutes walk from our hotel. We stayed at the 3-star Pornping Tower Hotel and enjoyed relaxing swims at the pool and a delicious buffet breakfast every day. There is an open air rooftop bar from which we watched the evening sunsets.

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The hotel is located right at the night bazaar and we were spoiled for choice with an abundance of restaurants, traditional massage, market stalls and shops.

1 – VEGETARIAN

We particularly liked our vegetarian experience at Taste from Heaven and they also have a cookery school and offer home delivery.

2 – FAMOUS THAI

We loved the local food in Lemon Grass where hundreds of visitors have left their comments on the walls proclaiming it to be the best Thai food in the whole country.

3 – LIVE MUSIC

We enjoyed live music at the nearby Red Lion Pub which can be found on Loi Kroh Road just behind the bazaar. Another place for great live music is The Boy Blues Bar just around the corner.

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4 – SPA

On our second day we treated ourselves to a body scrub and oil massage at the local Spa de Siam. We got two-for-one for around $30 each and slept like babies after our 2 hours of pampering!

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5 – TEMPLES

For sightseeing, a trip to the Golden Temple at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is well worth the effort. The beautiful 14th century temple is overlooking the city but remember, as with all temples in Thailand, to wear long shorts and cover your shoulders out of respect. The final 300 step climb can be done by tram for a small fee or on foot. An additional temple is being constructed, and we delighted our families by writing a sweet blessing on a couple of roof tiles which will join thousands of others at a permanent home on the temple overlooking Chiang Mai.

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bio

LORNA AND SUE FIRST MET ON A VOLUNTEER PROGRAM IN MOMBASA, KENYA, SOME 8 YEARS AGO. THEY HIT IT OFF STRAIGHT AWAY AS BOTH WERE SINGLE WITH GROWN UP FAMILIES AND A SHARED SENSE OF ADVENTURE. THEY WERE FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF IRELAND, BUT AFTER KENYA THEY KEPT IN TOUCH AND REMAINED GOOD FRIENDS TRAVELLING ON SHORT TRIPS TOGETHER TO PRAGUE, MADRID, HEIDLEBERG, AND AMSTERDAM AS WELL AS ODD WEEKENDS IN IRELAND.
IN THEIR FIFTIES AND WITH ITCHY FEET, THEY HAD BOTH RECENTLY DOWNSIZED THEIR HOMES AND FREED UP A BIT OF MONEY TO TREAT THEMSELVES TO SOME OVERSEAS ADVENTURES WHILE THEY HAD THE OPPORTUNITY. HENCE THE IDEA OF 3 MONTHS IN ASIA. THEY DECIDED TO DO AS MUCH TRAVEL AS POSSIBLE OVERLAND TO REALLY EXPERIENCE THE CULTURES IN EACH REGION.
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