THAILAND. Chiang Mai: My last visit to mystical Thailand was a few months before the dreaded COVID hit the world and now as Thailand reopens after the second wave I am dying to visit again. During my last trip’s stay, I explored the incredibly ultramodern cityscape of the capital city, Bangkok. But, after three days I started feeling fatigued and started looking to go out and enjoy nature. I found solace at Chiang Mai, the old capital of the Lanna Thai Kingdom and the most culturally significant parts of Thailand.
About Thailand – in brief
Thailand officially called Siam until 1939 is a country in Southeast Asia bordering Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and bound with rugged coasts on the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Located within the tropics, Thailand attracts tourists like a magnet because of its diverse ecosystems, including the treasures of majestic mountains and great beaches. Astonishingly great food, a tropical climate, delightfully friendly people, and the fascinating culture are added attractions.
As mentioned earlier, my quest to enjoy the natural and other man-made wonders brought me to the breathtaking mountainous area in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai with its cooler temperatures than the rest of the Thai tropical climate and its stunning mountain roads instantly made me feel relaxed. I saw a lot of cycles around and planned to rent out a cycle to explore the city during my stay and take spins around the city while I visit some of its impressive, ancient temples.
Chiang Mai has almost everything I was looking for, waterfalls and hot springs, botanical gardens, ancient temples, world-class handicrafts, and many other attractions – both natural and man-made attractions nestled in picturesque settings amid the lush tropical countryside.
- Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, and Royal Park Rajapruek – famous for unique flora and fauna,
- Bua Thong ‘Sticky’ Waterfall, a multi-tiered cascade with limestone walls,
- Montha Than Waterfall, on the way up Doi Suthep mountain,
- Pongkwao Hotspring offering Japanese-style onsen pools,
- San Kamphaeng Hot Springs,
- Wat Phra that Doi Suthep, a Buddhist temple situated on Doi Suthep mountain,
- Peaceful temple of Wat Pha Lat, a meditation site for monks, and literally means ‘Monastery at the Sloping Rock’,
- Wat Prathat Doi Kham, i.e. the ‘Golden temple’ with its 17-metre tall gold decorated Buddha image,
- Viewpoint at Doi Pui Viewpoint,
- Muang Kung Pottery Village and Ban Tawai Village – Handicraft centers to buy top quality handmade items,
- Route 106 or the old Highway 106 that links Chiang Mai to neighbouring Lamphun through exotic countryside, and many others.
Chiang Mai has recently been named ‘World’s Best City for a Beautiful Bike Ride’ in new research by MoneyBeach, a bicycle insurance search engine.
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