Exploring the Beautiful Chiang Mai

Exploring the Beautiful Chiang Mai

    When we were planning for this Thailand trip, we knew we want to let the girls try traveling by train. Not wanting to spend too much time in one place, we tried to research other cities other than Phuket and Bangkok. Thinking that Phuket is in the south and Bangkok is in somewhat middle of Thailand, it came naturally for us to check out the northern parts of Thailand.

    Looking for unique activities for us during the trip, I saw numerous blogs about these Elephant Rescue Parks. Upon reading more about their advocacy, I knew this is the one I want the girls to grow up with. And so Chiang Mai became our northern part of Thailand to explore and we didn’t make a mistake about it!

    Upon arriving in Chiang Mai, our adventure started when Jeff unknowingly booked a songtaew (red truck) as our Grab! We’re all giggling at every bump during the ride. And though all of us are smothering with sweat by the time we arrived at our Airbnb, we all knew it was just the start of our 2-week adventure.

    We arrived around 4 pm, and after settling down for a while, we then headed out to find where to eat dinner. I knew there was a night market nearby so we decided to just walk, guided by Google Maps. Chiang Mai instantly felt at home, like the Philippines but safer. The weather was humid, with cracks on the sidewalk, but has a calmer and relaxed vibe to it.

    As we arrived at our destination, we were puzzled why a lot of shops aren’t open yet and there aren’t any people at all. It was so different from the ones we see in photos on blogs and vlogs on YouTube. What confused us more was we were at the night market yet a lot of tuk-tuk drivers are still asking us if we want to go to the Sunday night market.

    Thinking we were just early, it was around 5:30 pm by then and just looked around on what to see. After an hour of going around in circles, it dawned on us! Sunday night market is different from the night market we were at! The Sunday night market which happens only every Sunday (duh!) happens along the Ratchadamnoen Road from the Tha Phae Gate of the Old City!

    As the kiddos are beginning to run out of energy from walking around for an hour, we knew they won’t last long if we walked for another 20 minutes to the Sunday Night Market and so we gave in to riding our first and only tuk-tuk ride of this Thailand trip! haha… It cost us 100Baht for a 1km ride from Chiang Mai Night Bazaar to Tha Phae Gate.

    And this is where all the people of Chiang Mai must have been. It’s amazing to think that just a kilometer away, it felt like we were in a secluded village and then suddenly be in a crowded place, bustling and colorful, with even a boxing fight happening on one part and a long (literally long cause it’s about 1km) line of shops that participate for the Night Market.

    We walked at what seemed to be an unending stall of garments, food, handcrafts, paintings, massages, etc! The place was packed! What makes this place lovable though is its vibe. Despite people walking elbow to elbow, you can feel how relaxed everyone was, not there to haggle but to chill and enjoy. I guess it’s also because most of the people are tourists who have the same intention as what I mentioned.

    Anyways, the kiddos started to get grumpy, and excited to go back to our Airbnb after buying a bathbomb, and with Pad Thai and Mango sticky rice hand for dinner, we headed home. We took another songtaew on the back as we also bought some drinking water, food for brekky the next morning, and some toiletries.

    The Pad Thai was sumptuous and mango sticky rice started to become the girls’ new fave food (minus the coconut sauce and rice puffs on top of the sticky rice). They quickly finished their food and headed for their long-awaited bath in the bathtub, with their bath bomb of course!

    We slept early as we got an early call time the next day. We have planned to celebrate my birthday with the elephants at the Elephant Rescue Park.

    This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’
    hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla
    in collaboration with Monidipa Dutta.

    When we were planning for this Thailand trip, we knew we want to let the girls try traveling by train. Not wanting to spend too much time in one place, we tried to research other cities other than Phuket and Bangkok. Thinking that Phuket is in the south and Bangkok is in somewhat middle of…

    20 Comments

    1. I love Thailand for the variety and safety it offers. I have done multiple trips. Will plan Chian Mai on the next one. Usually we go for a week….lazy around one of the smaller beach resorts for 3-4 days and stay in Bangkok for 2 days to some shopping and explore business. So the next one will be this instead of a beach resort.

    2. Such a beautiful place. Loved the pics too. Haven’t been to Thailand yet, but have heard lots of tales from friends.

    3. I have been to Thailand but missed Chiang Mai. Your trip sounds like you had so much fun. Lovely photographs!

    4. Sometimes I feel that Thailand is just like India. So vast with a myriad of different experiences and landforms! Chiang Mai is a gem! As much as I love the kohs, this lush green region is also a favourite of mine!

    5. Quite an interesting start to the vacation. Always love reading your travelogues and this one is no different. Looking forward to reading about your trip to the Elephant Rescue Park.

    6. I loved reading about your trip. We have been to Thailand but not to Chiang Mai yet. I am not surprised by the quiet in one place and the busy market one km away. Thailand is like that.

    7. Chiang Mai seems to be an interesting place to visit. I loved how you described the travel in a fun way. Now, I’m dreaming of visiting Thailand, thanks to your vibrant pictures 🙂

    8. The Night market err no, the Sunday Night market would be on my list when visiting Chiang Mai. That songtaew ride and enjoying the smells and taste of an exotic place all add to the fun of exploring. I know it’s not easy with kids but that’s how you make memories. Awesome post Jeannine !

    9. Chang Mai is one of the destination I sold when I worked as a travel agent. It was a fast sell destination and definitely I see tru ur post why.

    10. Surely is a great country to visit and I must agree, mango sticky rice is so damn good! We had them almost everyday of our 2 week trip! haha

    11. Know that I’m happy too reading your comment!I’d be writing blogs about the rest of the trip too! Travelling from 3 parts of the city (north to south) can’t surely fit in one blog.haha..
      Hope all of them would help you plan your next trip!

    12. I have been to Thailand long back when I was unmarried and got the trip to Thailand as a reward for my exemplary performance from my office. I found Thailand a colorful destination with lot of positive vibes but as you know it was a gifted trip so Chiang Mai, was not in the itinerary. Few days back I dont know why I was feeling like revisiting Thailand and Malaysia again and was poking my husband to plan a trip. If it happens Jeanine then I am sure I will add this location in my itinerary for sure. Keep me updated about what else you explored in Thailand. The happy smiling face of you four lovely people already gave me the positive vibe for the day.

    13. Loved your Chiang Mai holiday, the four adventurers! I have heard a lot about the elephant rescue centre and would love to see it one day. The night market looked fun. That coconut would certainly be on my list along with mango sticky rice.

    14. It must have been a lovely holiday… and the train journey… well, once in a while it’s nice to do something different and I’m sore it wasn’t bad at all.
      Since u mentioned mango sticky rice which has become your girls’ fav, I feel like trying it now… but I don’t know if it will be available here.
      The YouTube video is very sweet and I couldn’t help noticing… you have a beautiful complexion Jeannine… u r blessed!

    15. This blog post beautifully captures the excitement and adventure of a family trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand. From the decision to explore the northern parts of the country to the amusing mishap with transportation.Thank you for taking me on a virtual journey filled with laughter, discovery, and cultural immersion.

    16. Wow, Jeninine! Your Thailand trip sounds absolutely amazing and adventurous! I can’t help but feel the excitement and anticipation you had while planning and exploring Chiang Mai. The decision to let your girls experience train travel and to venture beyond the popular tourist destinations shows your adventurous spirit. And stumbling upon the Elephant Rescue Parks was such a remarkable find! It’s heartwarming to see how you connected with their advocacy and wanted to instill those values in your daughters. I can only imagine the joy and laughter during your unexpected Grab ride in a songtaew. Those bumps must have added a touch of thrill to your journey! Keep those wonderful stories coming!

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