A Travellerspoint blog

Thailand - North - Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai - 2024

Fabulous northern food & colourful temples

large_cb4df800-d6ea-11ee-83c9-63bde46643c8.jpg

We catch a taxi to the airport and after a 2 hour Air Asia flight we arrive in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Another short tuk tuk ride and we arrive at the Mantra House Guesthouse. Of course we feel right back at home in Thailand as it is our 14th visit to this great country. We walk around quickly reacquainting ourselves with this beautiful, pleasant and very food-oriented city. We revisit the gorgeous Wats (Buddhist temples) to admire their unique and stylish architecture, go for a run along the ruins of the ancient city walls, visit the incredible markets and food markets and of course, sample the delicious cuisine and street food of Northern Thailand. From spicy pork sausages, to spring rolls, to rotisserie chicken, basil pork with rice, masasman curry, panang curry, jasmine rice, som tam (spicy green papaya salad), fried chicken, a wide variety of stir-fried rice and noodles, curries in many different colours (red, green, yellow...), spring rolls, and of course, Phad Thai, the Thai national dish (stir fried noodles with tofu, pork, chicken or prawns). Yes, you could think we are already obsessing about Thai food and you would be so right. Also, it’s been very hot, so we have to get up very early to go for a run and a long walk and retreat to our room straight after lunch as it hits 35 degrees early in the afternoon, but who cares when you get to enjoy this lovely city in the mornings and evenings? The traffic here is very gentle for a city in South East Asia, drivers and motorbikes slow down or even stop for pedestrians. People in general are very gentle and greet you with a big smile and a Sawasdee Ka (Kap for men) when walking on the street. We also have an amazing Thai massage, we try to have one once a week when we are here. Its the best massage technique ever in our humble opinion. They use their hands, knees, elbows and feet to hit you in places you didn’t even remember existed, they push, pull, stretch and punch you and sometimes, literally walk all over you... then you pay them, tip them and say Kap Kunh Kra (Krap for men, thank you), yes, it is that good. A few hours later you will feel sore but your Chi should definitely be realigned, whatever that means... This time we went to Rak Thai Massage and paid 250 bath plus 50 tip each (7.50 euros total) for one hour, highly recommended. We also have to highlight the food of Pakorn’s Kitchen, highly recommended authentic Thai food that won’t blow your budget. The little gentle lady who is the housekeeper at the guest-house takes a shine to us, she’s always smiling and saying Ka, she’s so lovely we give her a fridge magnet from Portugal and of course a nice tip when we leave. Anyway, time to say ciao to lovely Chiang Mai after 4 awesome days, see you again soon.

We wake up early as our taxi is booked for 6am to catch our 7am bus and just over 3 hours later we arrive in Chiang Rai. It’s our first time here and we’ve heard and read so many nice things about this place, time to check it out. We check in at the Baan Siri Guest House, nice, very clean, quiet and very well located. We then go out for a delicious lunch at the Pad Thai Clock Tower, highly recommended. We gave ourselves 2 days here so today we can chill and get to know the city on the first day and go for some serious sightseeing on the second day. We jump on the first local bus and head for the very famous and excessively Instagrammed White Temple. We get there early but its already busy and not with worshippers. Anyway, it’s big, it’s white and it’s blingy. It’s very picturesque if a bit too new and shiny for us but people seem to love it and flashes and selfies are going off left, right and centre. From there we catch the nearest public bus back to town and take a walk to the almost equally famous Blue Temple. It feels a lot more real, not as dazzling but definitely not as touristy. Having said that, of course both temples are amazing and worth a visit, it’s all a matter of taste. Templed out and after another lovely lunch at the Pad Thai Clock Tower, we rest for a bit before we head to the Night Market. The food side of the Night Market is incredible and highly recommended, all sorts of Thai delicious food and lots of deep-fried glistening seafood, not to be missed either. On the way home we try a Thai table BBQ place which is again disappointing, not to worry as I’m sure it’s the only bad meal we’re going to have in this country. The next morning we want to see whatever we missed before we check out and we get to see one of the highlights of our trip here, the incredible Wat Ming Muah (Wat means Temple btw). It’s located just after the Clock Tower and is definitely a sight to behold. We have an early lunch of yet another addictive Basil Pork on Jasmine Rice, pick up our bags and walk to the bus station. We catch the bus back to Chiang Rai as we have a sleeper train ticket. Yes, we know how hard it is to get this tickets and we booked them over a month ago and got the last two tickets available. We allowed plenty of time to get to the train station but of course the bus breaks down along the way (back on the backpacker trail...). They stop every other bus and put one or two people in them as a replacement bus will take another hour to get here. Anyway, in the end they put us on a bus and we make it in time, catching a tuk tuk to the train station. The train is very nice and new, there’s a restaurant car and there are only 4 people per compartment. They make your bed up at 8pm and wake you up to unmake them at around 6am as the train arrives in Bangkok at 6.50am.

Chiang Rai (89)

Chiang Rai (89)

Chiang Rai (92)

Chiang Rai (92)

Chiang Rai (65)

Chiang Rai (65)

Chiang Rai (22)

Chiang Rai (22)

Chiang Rai (64)

Chiang Rai (64)

Chiang Rai (69)

Chiang Rai (69)

Chiang Rai (20)

Chiang Rai (20)

Chiang Rai (23)

Chiang Rai (23)

Chiang Rai (10)

Chiang Rai (10)

Chiang Rai (36)

Chiang Rai (36)

Chiang Rai (73)

Chiang Rai (73)

Chiang Rai (80)

Chiang Rai (80)

Chiang Rai (68)

Chiang Rai (68)

Chiang Rai (35)

Chiang Rai (35)

Chiang Mai (22)

Chiang Mai (22)

Chiang Rai (28)

Chiang Rai (28)

Chiang Mai (34)

Chiang Mai (34)

Chiang Mai (14)

Chiang Mai (14)

Chiang Rai (58)

Chiang Rai (58)

Chiang Rai (26)

Chiang Rai (26)

Chiang Mai (17)

Chiang Mai (17)

Chiang Mai (33)

Chiang Mai (33)

Posted by Pauluiza 10:48 Archived in Thailand

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Login