Think of a vibrant arts scene, delicious eateries, luxurious spas, colourful night markets, and some of the best cooking courses to be found in Thailand – All set in a mountainous area surrounded by lush, green nature. This is northern Thailand! The area also caters well for nature junkies, offering jungle trekking, zip lining and the possibility to get close up with elephants.
Chiang Mai is the cultural hub of Northern Thailand, and despite being a lot less busy and chaotic than Bangkok, there is still lots on offer. One of the best ways to get around is to rent a scooter or bike, and ride around the city. It is easy to navigate in Chiang Mai since everything evolves around the beautiful old town. You can spend hours just looking at all the boutique shops and little hidden alleys that are hiding in the town. Once you have exhausted yourself, book into one of the many luxurious spas for some relaxation.
At night time the old town comes to live with a colourful night market. Luckily, you will only find very little of the usual tourist souvenirs at these night markets but lots of beautiful art work and unique handmade crafts.
Si Kao as a destination in itself is not often popular with tourists, as the typically shopping and dining experiences are few and far between. However, the district is home to no less than four stunning, secluded beaches, and is best known for the Anantara resort, which offers the chance to escape entirely and just relax among the spectacular scenery for which Thailand is famous.
The sprawling Had Chao Mai National Park offers a breathtaking natural canvas, thriving with a a plethora of native wildlife and flourishing local flora. White sandy beaches and crystal clear turquoise water fringe the tropical jungle, with natural limestone formations rising majestically from the Andaman Sea. Explore a little further and you’ll stumble across Koh Mook’s Emerald Cave – a pristine lagoon swimming hole surrounded by towering rainforest at the end of an underwater tunnel.
Pai is one of these places where people intend to stay a few days and end up staying a few weeks. Albeit being small, it simply provides everything that's necessary for a perfect holiday. There are amazing, healthy and tasty cafés, lots of live music at night, great cooking courses and yoga places. During the day you can explore caves, soak in hot springs or relax in one of the many cafés. The sunset is best watched from the canyon and at night, you can eat your way through the night market and then listen to live music in one of the many bars.
I organise adventures every weekend around Townsville. If you are fit and capable, join us on these free expeditions by visiting Townsville Advenutres.
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