My Thailand Series: Chiang Mai

The last place we visited on the mainland was Chiang Mai.  Chiang Mai is the largest and most culturally significant city in Northern Thailand.  It was also my favourite city to visit on the trip.

On our first morning, we got up really early to present food and other offerings to the monks.  Afterwards, we were giving a blessing.

Offerings for the monks, Chiang Mai


Monks, Chiang Mai

Then we went around the old part of Chiang Mai via trishaw.

Trishaw, Chiang Mia

We stopped in a market and at a couple of different temples, including this beautiful one: Wat Ket.

Wat Ket, Chiang Mai

In the evening, we visited a nightclub called Warm Up Cafe.  We ended up going here a few times during our stay.  This was an awesome local band that were playing the first night we went there.

Warm up Cafe

And some local beer, Chang!


The next day, we visited the Mae Sa Elephant Camp, where we rode an elephant through the jungle, watched the elephants bathing in the river, and watched a show they put on (playing soccer etc.).  Some of the elephants there are trained to do paintings, and those are available for purchase.  While riding through the jungle, we were able to feed the elephants sugarcane and bananas.

Elephant Bath, Mae Sa Elephant Camp

After the elephant camp, we stopped at an orchid farm.  I purchased a necklace made from a dried orchid.

Orchid farm

And now onto one of the best parts of the trip: the cooking school!  The school is called Baan Hongnual Cookery School which is just outside Chiang Mai.  First, we stopped at a local market to learn about the different produce and spices, plus we picked up all the ingredients needed to make our 4 dishes: tom yum soup, papaya salad, chicken green curry and pad thai.

Baan Hongnual Cookery School

Baan Hongnual Cookery School


And the finished products!

Baan Hongnual Cookery School

Baan Hongnual Cookery School

The last Thailand post will be about Phuket!

*All photos are the property of Charlotte Moore, unless stated otherwise, and may not be used without written consent.



My Thailand Series: Chiang Rai & The Golden Triangle

After leaving Sukhothai, we continued north – all the way to the Golden Triangle, the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar (Burma).

On the way we stopped at Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple.  This temple is stunning, completely white and silver, and it is an ongoing project by artist Chalermchai Kositpipat.  Unfortunately, we were unable to go inside the temple, as an earthquake had just hit the area and damaged the temple.  You’ll see the broken steeple in the photos below.  Luckily the damage was minor.  Admission to the temple is free, or by donation – and there is also a museum/art gallery where the artist is frequently working.  This was one of my favourite places to visit in Thailand.

White Temple

White Temple

White Temple

We continued to the Doi Tung region (6500 ft above sea level).  Here the local hill tribes grow tea, coffee and macadamia nuts.  We toured the Doi Tung Royal Villa, which was built for the King’s Mother, also known as the Princess Mother.  She helped transform the area from growing opium to the focusing on growing tea, coffee and macadamia nuts, as it is today.  Near the villa are the Mae Fha Luang gardens, which are quite spectacular to visit as well.  The temperature in this area is much cooler, especially compared to Bangkok!

Doi Tung Royal Villa

Doi Tung Royal Villa

Mae Fah Luang

Mae Fha Luang

Nearby is Wat Phra That Doi Tung, a sacred hilltop shrine, regarded as the holiest sanctuary in the Chiang Rai area.  Here I was able to receive a blessing from a monk.

Wat Phra That Doi Tung

The town of Chiang Saen is right on the bank of the Mekong River, which is the border with Laos.  We traveled to the city to take a river cruise and make a quick stop at Don Sao, a small island which is a part of Laos.  Don Sao is a bit of a tourist trap, with lots of souvenirs for sale – plus icecream, drinks etc.  If it interests you, there are bottles of alcohol for sale, complete with scorpions or snakes inside!

Chiang Saen, MekongMekongDon Sao, Laos

Don Sao

The last thing we did in this area was take a trip to Mae Sai, which is the border crossing with Myanmar (Burma).  There isn’t too much to see there, aside from lots of traffic!  However, there are quite a few markets and some Burmese jewelry and handicrafts to look at.  It was interesting to see the Burmese monks, as they wear maroon robes vs. the bright orange that the Thai monks wear.

Mae Sai, Burma Border

Mae Sai, Burma Border

The next post will be about Chiang Mai, called “Rose of the North”.

*All photos are the property of Charlotte Moore, unless stated otherwise, and may not be used without written consent.