Northern Thailand was among the less visited places when people would visit Thailand. Slowly people started exploring this part of the country also and this is where there are many national parks, elephant conservation centers are located. It’s not the hustle bustle of Bangkok, the quiet way of life people live here attracts me to this part of the land of smiles. Having visited a town here, I feel i am somehow connected to the town and fell in love from the time I landed at the airport in Lampang. It was like the town welcomed me with open arms and a cold wind (as it was winter when I visited). Among other cities to visit here are Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
Chiang Mai is known as the cultural capital of the north. It overtook Chiang Ria as the place where people come to make a life for themselves. It’s the place where the modern and traditional parts of the city merges. Chiang Mai means The New City. The thing that attracts travelers here are friendly locals, good food and affordable prices. Chiang Mai is home to more than 300 temples, but the very best include the 14th century Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, which is outside of the city center, the 14th century Wat Phra Singh, complete with incredible murals, and the Wat Chedi Luang, a 15th century architectural masterpiece. Northern Thailand are also famous for their night markets. So when you are in town, make sure to have a visit to one of the night markets in the town. I believe compared to the night markets in Bangkok, it is more value for the price that we pay for the things available in the markets.
Pai – It is popular among backpackers, a laid-back destination in Thailand that is bursting with outdoor recreation activities. There are many activities to do in this town such going on a white-water rafting trip, trekking through the mountains on a guided tour, watching elephants make a splash in the Pai River, tubing down the river or hike to the wonderful Tha Pai Hot Springs. During the evening, can go to the Raddamrong Road, which has a number of open-air bars, good drinks and live music.
Chiang Rai – Chiang Rai is the place where the Golden Triangle – Laos, Thailand and Myanmar intersect. The city typically serves as the gateway to that Golden Triangle. Most visitors are lured to Chiang Rai by the spectacular Wat Rong Khun, commonly known to foreigners as the White Temple, a famous Buddhist temple. This temple is unique even to Thailand as not always you see a temple in made in white color and in such spectacular details of artworks.
The White Temple @Chiang Rai
Lampang – The hub of ceramics, the place which I liked the most. The quaint town reminded me of my hometown. Where ever I went, people were always very friendly and helpful and so welcoming. The town starts to close down after 9.30 pm usually and there is nothing much of a night life here. And that’s one of the things I liked it here. It isn’t exactly a tourist place though people still make time for this town and explore. It’s one of the last places where there are still horse drawn carriages are driven. I myself had the chance to have ride in it and I enjoyed it. Sadly as there is not much income from it, it is in decline.
@Wat Phra That Lampang Luang
The best time to visit Lampang is on weekends when the night market is thriving. Ceramics from the region are a popular item to purchase. The paper made from elephant dung makes a very unique gift for squeamish friends at home. Many tourists are drawn to Lampang by the only government-owned elephant camp in Thailand. The Thai Elephant Conservation Center is home to 50 or so elephants along with an elephant nursery/hospital. It is situated little far from the town. Another place to visit here is a temple known by the name of Wat Phra That Lampang Luang. Unlike most of the temples in Chiang Mai, Wat Phra That Lampang Luang still retains the charm of the old time and is still how it was olden days. The courtyard is filled with sand, and the huge main wiharn (prayer hall) is still open on all sides. Having visited it, I found this temple to be different from other which I visited in Bangkok.
Food @Night Market in Lampang
I will be sharing with you all the food to savor when you are visiting Thailand and certain do’s and don’t in the upcoming blog. Happy Traveling !!