To have a good time Chiang Mai reopening (lastly!), I not too long ago took a visit to expertise the province with recent eyes – in a approach that wasn’t centered on the Previous Metropolis. As a substitute, it was put along with outdoorsy, nature-loving vacationers in thoughts. To my shock, a lot of this itinerary was new to me, even after dwelling in Chiang Mai for practically seven years. With that in thoughts and with Chiang Mai reopening for tourism once more, I made a decision to share this three-day Chiang Mai itinerary with you. It consists of what to do, locations to remain, and the place to eat. Plus, I’ve offered a map and all the main points so you understand precisely the place every part is and make all of it occur.
Day 1 | Welcome to Mueang Khong, Chiang Mai’s Hidden Gem
After rendezvousing with a couple of new pals who joined me on this Northern Thailand journey, my first vacation spot was a small agricultural group I embarrassingly by no means visited previous to this journey. After a twisty three-hour journey that took me previous the acquainted websites of Chiang Dao, my first day had me kicking again on a guided bamboo raft tour, eating on Northern Thai delicacies whereas witnessing every day farm life, and staring in awe on the unimaginable views from my quaint however comfy Bannok Hok Khwai bungalow constructed above the rice fields.
Bamboo Rafting in Mueang Khong
I’ve had my justifiable share of bamboo rafting adventures in Thailand, however the expertise in Mueang Khong was a lot totally different than any I had earlier than and really surpassed my expectations. Situated off the primary street as you come into city, this river exercise was relaxed, a lot simpler, and dare I say safer than my experiences guiding myself and pals by way of the hairpin turns of the Mae Wang River within the foothills south of Chiang Mai. The native guides had been enthusiastic and made positive to make the journey enjoyable and memorable for everybody. To make a good time even higher, our guides made positive to cease at a small store to load up on beers for the trip. It appears we weren’t the one ones pumped for Chiang Mai reopening.
One factor that jumped out at me whereas we floated down the Mae Taeng River was the quantity of water buffalo flanking the shores as we drifted alongside. I’d later come to seek out out that these majestic animals had been synonymous with the Mae Khong Sub-District and its rice farming tradition.
Web site: fb.com/ล่องแพอ้ายฮอเมืองคอง
Cellphone: (093) 146-2254 / (085) 625-2191
Hours: Name for hours
Worth: 700 THB for 3-4 folks and 1,000 THB for 4-6. Drinks aren’t included within the value.
|NOTE: The bamboo rafting tour lasts about an hour and the guides can choose you up and drop you off at your native lodging. Make sure you put on garments and sneakers that may get moist.
Lunch at Ban Phu Tawan
Perched on a hill overlooking Mueang Khong, Ban Phu Tawan Restaurant is rather more than simply one other Thai restaurant. From the eating space, there’s a gorgeous sweeping look into the every day lifetime of the farmers, fishermen, and wildlife on this small piece of Northern Thailand. Whereas we crammed up on chilly beer and spicy som tum after a morning of exploring the city, we watched a father test his fishing traps whereas his younger son led the household’s small herd of water buffalo down the river financial institution to feed on bundles of rice straw. The meals might not be the primary attraction, but it surely positive does pair properly with the views and picture alternatives you get from the Ban Phu Tawan’s open-air eating space.
Web site: fb.com/munlika2525/
Cellphone: (089) 95313199
Worth: Dishes within the 100 THB – 250 THB vary
Bannok Hok Khwai in Mueang Khong
I stayed at Bannok Hok Khwai, a set of distinctive rustic picket bungalows interconnected by bamboo walkways above picturesque rice fields. A number of of the bungalows are geared up with soaking tubs that look out over the brilliant inexperienced surroundings, whereas others provide decks with built-in hammocks for unwinding after a day of journey and exploring. The open-air onsite restaurant affords native Northern Thai delicacies and scrumptious caffeinated drinks in a family-style setting of rustic tables with bench seating. From the eclectic cylinder-shaped huts on stilts to extra conventional bungalows adorned with vintage Lanna-style fishing traps and instruments, this resort affords rather more of a memorable expertise than your run-of-the-mill guesthouse. Though the rooms are pretty primary, they embody sizzling water, a mosquito internet, a wall fan, and naturally… views for days.
Considered one of this resort’s distinguishing traits is the vintage hand-carved picket water buffalo bells which might be craftily built-in into the design. As soon as utilized by farmers to find their wandering livestock, these ornamental items now line the bamboo walkways that bridge the property collectively.
Web site: reservation.roomscope.com/1765/en
Cellphone: (080) 083-5096
Worth: 1,500 THB to three,500 THB. Breakfast is included within the value.
Day 2 | Sea of Mist, Chiang Dao Cave, & The Nest
My second day started at 4:30 am with a ten km off-road climb to the highest of Doi Pa Kia within the mattress of a pickup truck to catch the dawn. Then I traveled an hour east to go caving in Chiang Dao earlier than wrapping up the day with, sure, extra beer and a pleasing keep at one in all my favourite resorts within the space – the Chiang Dao Nest!
Dawn View of Doi Luang Over a Sea of Mist
I’ll admit, I’m not the most important fan of waking up earlier than the solar comes up. Nonetheless, I’ve seen the solar rise throughout Thailand, properly, as a result of I simply don’t wish to miss out on the unimaginable photographs. I’m not often upset and this time was no totally different. After about 20 minutes of ascending to the highest of Doi Pa Kia, we made it to the viewpoint often called “Den T.V.” (เด่นทีวี). The native information defined that years in the past this was the one spot in Mueang Khong that acquired TV reception. Now simply think about having to come back all the best way up right here to get the information or watch the massive recreation… no thanks!
Because the solar began to rise from behind the horizon, a beautiful fog emerged and appeared like waves rolling throughout the hilltops beneath. This sea of mist stretched out till it touched the bottom of Doi Luang, Thailand’s third tallest mountain. We took within the view and photographed the colours as they modified each jiffy. Simply earlier than packing up and heading again down the mountain, our guides offered us with sizzling espresso and snacks to carry us over till we may have breakfast on the resort.
For the tour, you will have to prepare the expertise by way of your resort. The employees at Bannok Hok Kwai made the method quite simple. It’s 150 THB per individual and every truck mattress can carry about six folks throughout the bench seats with a further 4 standing behind the cab. Arrive early to beat the gang as this viewpoint may be very fashionable with home vacationers.
Web site: fb.com/เด่นทีวี
Season: November – January
Worth: 150 THB per individual
Chiang Dao Cave
After testing of our bungalows in Mueang Khong, we had been off to a spot I’ve truly explored as soon as earlier than, the Chiang Dao Cave at Wat Tham (ถ้ำเชียงดาว). Having already gone the extra adventurous 725 m route prior to now, I used to be curious in regards to the alternate 200 m route. Whereas the longer 45 minutes route had me climbing over rocks and squeezing by way of darkish tunnels, the shorter route solely took about 20 minutes and I discovered it to be applicable for all exercise ranges. The noticeably wider path was well-lit with lighting that pulls your consideration to the spectacular stalactite formations alongside the best way, finally ending at a reclining Buddha shrine.
Historical past: tourismthailand.org/Attraction/tham-chiang-dao
Hours: 7:00 AM to five:00 PM Every day
Value: 40 THB per overseas grownup or 20 baht (written in Thai as ๒๑) per Thai grownup. 100 THB is the advised tip for a information.
The Chiang Dao Nest
Web site: chiangdaonest.com
Cellphone: (053) 456-612
Costs: From 595 THB to 1345 THB (18 USD to 42 USD) per evening relying on the season. Breakfast just isn’t included.
|TIP: Friends staying at Nest 2 are in a position to get pleasure from all of the amenities at Nest 1 (lower than 1 km away), together with a Western restaurant, swimming pool, and Thai-style lounging salas!
Day 3 | Eco Valley Trekking and Dinner within the Lanna Kingdom
On Day 3 we hit the street and made our approach again in the direction of Chiang Mai to take a look at a gorgeous riverside resort, hike a portion of Thailand’s tallest mountain, and deal with ourselves to an upscale Lanna-style dinner.
Climbing the Eco Valley of Doi Inthanon
With Chiang Mai reopening additionally comes the thrilling information that the general public can lastly get pleasure from its nationwide parks as soon as once more. (Ought to they’ve ever been closed?) To mark the event, I jumped on the likelihood to be part of Raya Heritage’s Signature Eco Valley Hike. Led by Nu, an area Pakeryaw Hill Tribe farmer, I used to be proven a aspect of Doi Inthanon that I had by no means skilled on earlier journeys, full of gorgeous waterfalls, terraced rice fields, and sustainable farmland handed right down to Nu from his father. The tour consists of transportation, a guided tour of Nu’s household farm, a lunch made recent from components sourced from the world, and a guided hike of the Pha Dok Siew Waterfall Nature Path (เส้นทางเดินป่า น้ำตกผาดอกเสี้ยว). This tour departs Raya Heritage at 8:00 AM and arrives again in dinner time at 6:00 PM.
Web site: rayaheritage.com/en/excursions.php
Cellphone: (023) 011 8613
Worth: 1 visitor 6,650 THB, 2 friends 3,900 THB/visitor, 3 friends 3,000 THB/visitor, 4 friends 2,500 THB/visitor
|TIP: In my view, the Pha Dok Siew Waterfall Nature Path is the spotlight, so in the event you’re the do-it-yourself traveler and/or wish to lower your expenses then you’ll be able to simply organize your personal transport to the trailhead and pay an area Hill Tribe information 200 THB (required) to take you.
Dinner at Khu Khao Restaurant
Khu Khao Restaurant is a component of Raya Heritage Resort and located on the banks of the Ping River. This restaurant prides itself in offering a crossroads eating idea that goals to seize the flavors and historical past of the Lanna Kingdom. amed after the rice farming instrument used to separate the chaff from the grain, its menu combines the standard tastes of Northern Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and China’s southwestern Yunnan Province.
Other than the much-needed downtime after an extended (however unimaginable) day of mountaineering and the stress-free river views, the spotlight for me was the Jin- Loong. This Burmese-inspired, Shan-style dish is made of sunshine purple butterfly pea vermicelli rice noodles and pork meatballs, paired with pickled cabbage, ginger, pearl onion, and tossed in coconut and shrimp paste. If you end up in Chiang Mai, then this meal is totally definitely worth the brief drive from the Previous Metropolis.
Web site: rayaheritage.com/en/eating.php
Cellphone: (053) 111 6703
Hours: Open Every day. Breakfast 7:00 AM to 10:30 AM. Lunch 11:30 AM to five:00 PM. Dinner 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM.
This high-end riverside sanctuary is simply 20 minutes faraway from the hustle and bustle of downtown Chiang Mai and lends itself as an ideal base for vacationers trying to discover the province or as a retreat for expats and locals in search of a break from a busy work week. I’ve heard rather a lot about this resort from a couple of pals, however I’ve by no means had the chance to go to for myself. It’s simply recognizable by its clear white exterior and its regionally made Lanna-style furnishings and decorations. The property has 38 giant suites geared up with giant bathtubs, spacious balconies, tea units, and choose suites on the bottom degree have their very own personal plunge swimming pools.
I seen straight away that though the Chiang Mai reopening course of is in its early levels, a stunning quantity of rooms had been booked by home vacationers, most certainly visiting from Bangkok trying to get a style of Chiang Mai’s nice cool season. It was reassuring to see this and all the different locations I visited throughout my journey start to open again up and welcome most people. It’s about time!
Web site: E-book Raya Heritage
Cellphone: (023) 011 8613
Costs: Beginning at 7,500 THB per evening
Excellent Three Day Chiang Mai Reopening Itinerary Map
Chiang Mai Reopening For Tourism, Right here is The way to Get There
Assuming you’re already in Thailand, Chiang Mai is without doubt one of the nation’s high locations, so there are lots of methods to get there. It’s often simple to guide airline, bus, and prepare tickets on-line, however with Covid, issues have turn out to be a bit extra sophisticated. Be certain to look into any journey guidelines or necessities earlier than getting in that aircraft, prepare, bus, or automobile.
Essentially the most handy technique to get to Chiang Mai is to fly into Chiang Mai Worldwide Airport (CNX). There are lots of flights per day serviced by quite a lot of boutique and funds airways. There are additionally some surprisingly comfy VIP buses from most provinces in addition to some in a single day prepare routes accessible in the event you can spare the additional hours.
When you’ve arrived in Chiang Mai, it’s best to guide a Seize, Thailand’s model of Uber. Moreover, you’ll be able to hire a automobile from the airport or guide a metered taxi from contained in the arrivals space.
In case you’re on the lookout for extra issues to do and locations to go in Chiang Mai, we’ve written a roundup that has slightly bit for everybody. Nevertheless, if it’s off the crushed path you’re after, the actions above will definitely offer you what you’re on the lookout for.
Disclosure: This journey was sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. This put up comprises some affiliate hyperlinks. There’s no further price in the event you click on one, however in doing so that you assist us cowl the price of working our weblog. Thanks!