So with a “see ya later Bangkok” followed by a short one hour flight, we arrived in Northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai. A good friend of mine comes from Chiang Mai and this meant that I had already painted a picture of what I imagined it to be like but I was soon to discover that it was all this and more!
Arriving at The Tamarind Village, I squealed as I spotted the huge pool and the gorgeous lanna style villas all within the grounds of an old tamarind orchard. This boutique hotel was on the top of my list for several reasons. Firstly, the two hour massage that awaited us and secondly for its central location! Although it is located on the main street of Ratchadamnoen, it feels like you are a million miles away. Just what I needed after a crazy busy few days in Bangkok.
It quickly became apparent that Chiang Mai was the absolute contrast of Bangkok providing a real alternate; rather than being stuck in the traffic jams, you can stroll around on foot and check out the picturesque old town or take a short bike ride out of town to the rainforest and explore one of the many beautiful treks. There is a very cool atmosphere and such a great variety of things to do in the ancient city. I loved visiting some of the local temples such as the Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chiang Mai and my absolute favourite, Wat Phra Thai Doi Suthep located in the Doi Suthep mountain. Being hindu myself, I was pleasantly surprised to find aspects of both Buddhism and Hinduism within.
If you’re a foodie like me, you will have the best time EVER in Thailand. I had an absolute ball hangin’ out with local lass Kim who taught both Sagar and I how to cook up a real spicy storm in true thai style! Walking through the various fruit and veg markets, Kim explained the history behind the Thai cuisine, the ingredients and what flavours they bring to the the infamous dishes. Next, we were invited into her kitchen for a private one on one tutorial and were given a menu to choose from.
With Kim supervising, the two of us had such a fun time discovering the spices, smells and tastes of each and every ingredient to be used in our dishes. And at the end of it, we sat down and enjoyed an incredibly tasty four course meal of pad thai, chicken in coconut milk soup, red curry and ending with the addictive sticky rice pudding with mango. This was a super way to spend some quality time together as well as rustling up some good grub. This is definitely one for the bucket list if you are visiting Thailand.
To end the day, a relaxed stroll around the Sunday night markets! Lucky for us, the market was located directly outside of our hotel and as we walked through the stores, I realised just how creative this place is! Handmade jewellery, handbags, pashminas and art work cover the streets. Pops of colour, magicians and lots and lots of yummy thai street food. So dreamy! If you are planning a holiday and time permits, be sure to add Chiang Mai to your list!
I hope you enjoyed exploring my little snapshot of Chiang Mai and please join me tomorrow for some sun, sand and sea in Krabi!