This is our first trip together as a family and I am grateful for such an opportunity with my aging parents. This was a trip planned because my mom is turning 80 this year!
Despite growing up with very little, I am thankful we get to bless our parents and make the most of every moment together. Soaking in the sights, sounds, and culture of this beautiful place in Chiang Mai, the place that my mom has never been to. Actually neither have I and the rest of us
Arrived at Chiang Mai International Airport. Our driver Anan was there ready to pick us up to go to our AirBNB.
He told us there’s a very famous night market near our place of stay. So after we settled into our AirBNB, we headed out to explore the night market.
The Chiang Mai night market is an exciting hub of activity, bustling with locals and tourists alike. As you make your way through the maze of vendors, you’ll be met with a vibrant display of colors, sounds, and smells. With hundreds of stalls selling everything from handmade crafts to delicious street food, it’s hard not to get lost in the chaos.
But amidst the hustle and bustle, my sisters and I managed to navigate the market and score some amazing deals on souvenirs to bring home. From intricate wood carvings to delicate silk scarves, we found treasures that we’ll always cherish.
And the best part? The friendly vendors who were more than happy to haggle and negotiate prices with us. Their infectious smiles and genuine hospitality made our shopping experience all the more enjoyable. All in all, the Chiang Mai night market is an absolute must-visit for anyone looking for a taste of authentic Thai culture and a chance to snag some unique finds.
Day 2 was a free and easy day for us to explore the area around our AirBNB. While wandering around, we stumbled upon a hair shop that caught our attention. We decided to pop in and ended up purchasing some haircare products worth $45. The shop ladies were so friendly and helpful, and they even pointed us in the direction of a great place for lunch.
Following their recommendation, we made our way to Sompeth Kitchen for lunch. The food was amazing, and we couldn’t get enough of the local flavors and spices. It was truly a meal to remember.
After lunch, we headed to a nearby market to stock up on more snacks. We were spoilt for choice with the vast array of local delicacies and treats. It was hard to resist buying everything in sight!
But the highlight of our day was dining at Saiyut Kitchen, a Michelin-starred restaurant. We were blown away by the creativity and innovation of each dish, as well as the high quality of the ingredients used. The 9 dishes came up to only less than $120 and we agreed that it was worth every penny. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience.
Overall, Day 2 was a wonderful day filled with great food and unexpected discoveries. We couldn’t wait to see what the rest of our trip in Chiang Mai had in store for us.
On Day 3 of our Chiang Mai trip, we started the day with a visit to the Doi Inthanon National Park.
Our driver Anan took us to the first waterfall called The Wachirathan Waterfall which is one of the highlights of Doi Inthanon National Park. The mossy rocks, cloudy mist and emerald water give this place a magical atmosphere.
There’s a colorful rainbow appearing in front of the waterfall every time the sun is shining through the mist. This makes it a very photogenic spot and you will have to wait for your turn to take a good shot.
We took some time to admire the natural beauty of the area, and snapped some photos to capture the moment.
After that, we continued on to the second waterfall, which although not as impressive as the first, was still a sight to behold. We enjoyed the views and took more photos before heading off to our next destination.
Next Anan took us to the pair of striking pagodas built on top of a mountain. This place is called the King and Queen Pagodas, two stunning structures that honor the King and Queen of Thailand. The pagodas were built in 1987 and are surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens.
As we walked towards the pagodas, we were struck by the peacefulness of the area. The sound of birds chirping and leaves rustling in the gentle breeze made for a tranquil setting. The pagodas themselves were breathtaking. The white marble structures were adorned with intricate carvings and colorful mosaics, and the intricate details on the doors and windows were truly remarkable.
Surrounding the pagodas were stunning gardens, filled with a variety of colorful flowers and plants. The gardens were meticulously maintained, and the lush greenery made for a beautiful backdrop to the pagodas.
We were also struck by the panoramic views from the pagodas. From the top, we were able to see the rolling hills and mountains that make up Doi Inthanon National Park. It was a truly breathtaking sight, and we were grateful for the opportunity to experience it.
Overall, our visit to the King and Queen pagodas at Doi Inthanon was definitely a highlight of our trip to Chiang Mai. The intricate details of the pagodas and the stunning gardens that surrounded them made for a truly magical experience. The panoramic views from the top were the icing on the cake, and we were in awe of the natural beauty that surrounded us.
After our sightseeing at the Royal Pagodas, we headed off to Chom for an early dinner thanks to our driver’s recommendation. The food was absolutely delicious, very much like home cooked food and we savored every bite of the duck, omelette and fresh vegetables. It was the perfect end to a long day of exploring.
As the sun began to set, we headed back to our AirBNB, where I went straight to bed after taking a long, hot shower. I had barely slept the night before, so the ten hours of rest were much needed.
Overall, Day 3 was another amazing day of our Chiang Mai trip. We were in awe of the natural beauty of the waterfalls and Royal Pagodas, and grateful for the delicious food we enjoyed at Chom. It was a day filled with adventure and beauty, and we couldn’t wait to see what the rest of our trip had in store for us.
On Day 4 of our Chiang Mai trip, we ventured outside of the city to explore some of the region’s most unique and interesting attractions.
Our first stop of the day was the Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary where visitors can interact with elephants in a responsible and sustainable way. We spent the morning feeding and bathing these majestic creatures, and it was a truly unforgettable experience. We were amazed by the intelligence and personality of the elephants, and it was clear that they were happy and well-cared for in this sanctuary.
Next, we visited the Long Neck Karen village, a controversial destination that has drawn criticism for the way it commodifies the traditional practices of the Karen people, who are known for their distinctive neck rings. While there, we purchased some souvenirs to support the local economy, but we left feeling conflicted about the ethics of the visit.
Our final destination of the day was Doi Suthep temple, the highest temple in Chiang Mai. The temple is perched on a hill overlooking the city, and the views from the top are absolutely stunning. We climbed the steep staircase to reach the temple, and were rewarded with a peaceful and awe-inspiring atmosphere. The intricate details of the temple’s architecture and the serene surroundings made it a truly spiritual experience.
Overall, Day 4 of our Chiang Mai trip was filled with both excitement and introspection. We were thrilled to interact with the elephants at the sanctuary, but also left with questions about ethical tourism practices.
Our visit to Doi Suthep temple was a nice way to end day 4 of our trip, and we were grateful for the opportunity to experience such a sacred and peaceful place and enjoying the view from the top of the mountain.
On Day 5 of our Chiang Mai trip, we decided to spend the day exploring the city’s bustling markets. We headed to Kad Luang, also known as the Warorot Market, a sprawling indoor market that is one of the oldest and largest in Chiang Mai. The market is a maze of stalls selling everything from fresh produce and spices to clothing and handicrafts.
We spent several hours wandering through the market, picking up snacks and souvenirs along the way. We even stopped for lunch at one of the food stalls, where we tried some delicious local dishes.
After the market, my parents went back to have a rest while my sisters and I decided to treat ourselves to some pampering. My sisters got pedicures at a nearby salon, while I found a cozy café to relax and enjoy a glass of refreshing passion fruit.
Later in the afternoon, my sister and I indulged in a traditional Thai massage at a nearby spa, which left us feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
To cap off our day of leisure, we had dinner at Baan Landai, a fine dining restaurant known for its authentic Northern Thai cuisine. The meal was a highlight of our trip, with each dish bursting with unique flavors and spices. We left feeling grateful for the opportunity to experience the local cuisine in such a beautiful setting.
Overall, Day 5 was a perfect mix of exploring the local markets, treating ourselves to some self-care, and indulging in some of the best food that Chiang Mai has to offer.
On the final day of our Chiang Mai trip, we decided to explore the old city and its famous wall. The wall is a historical landmark that dates back to the 13th century when Chiang Mai was founded as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. It is an impressive structure that surrounds the old city and is made of brick and stucco.
On our way to the airport, our driver kindly dropped us off at a nearby airport mall so we could have one final shopping spree. I didn’t get anything but when I saw the long line at a stall of patrons buying the Thai Basil minced pork rice, I got very excited and decided to try it for ourselves. The dish did not disappoint – the fragrant and spicy basil paired perfectly with the tender and flavorful pork.
As we enjoyed our meal, we reflected on our six days in Chiang Mai and all the wonderful experiences we had shared as a family. From the majestic elephants to the delicious food and stunning natural scenery, it was a trip that we would always cherish and remember.
In conclusion, our trip to Chiang Mai was an unforgettable experience that we will always treasure. We explored the city’s rich history, enjoyed its vibrant markets, and indulged in its delicious cuisine. Most importantly, we spent quality time together as a family, creating memories that will last a lifetime.