We are finally back from Thailand and we are so excited to share with you all the highlights of our trip. Today, we are launching a more elaborated travel column called ‘Take Me 2’, in which we will post our travel stories and offer you easy guidelines for your next holidays. Our first episode brings you to the Thai city Chiang Mai, where we spent 5 unforgettable days.
Only an hour flight from Bangkok with any low-cost companies such as Nok Air or AirAsia, Chiang Mai is definitely a destination that should not be missed. The city is a treasure of Thai culture and history, and a paradise for food-lovers, backpackers, hipsters and everyone else. Check out here below our top 6 highlights & tips for an extraordinary time in Chiang Mai.
1. VISIT ITS INCREDIBLE TEMPLES
The top reason to visit Chiang Mai is with no doubts its beautiful temples. There are over 300 breathtaking Wats in and around the city, but it’s important to just pick a few which are really worth a visit, or you will end up completely overwhelmed. The best is to wake up early and explore their structures before it gets too hot and crowded, which is great not only for Instagram-addicts like us, but also for anyone in search of early-morning inspirations.
To be honest, they are all very similar, but we recommend to visit at least a bunch of them, like the Wat Phra Singh or the Wat Suan Dok. It will take you a few hours, but those images will be definitely unforgettable!
2. STAY AT THE ARTEL NIMMAN HOTEL
There is really a ton of things you can do in Chiang Mai. We of course did explore most of the old town and found all those tourist’ favourite spots that are in all the guide-books. However, after your ‘temples-overdose’, you might just wanna get lost in the streets seeking for a change of scenery. On our third day, we decided to move in the newer part of town, the Nimman area, famous for its coolish boutiques, art galleries, and nightlife spots – in other words, hipster’s paradise!
If you are an artsy type of guy looking for a cool place to stay in Chiang Mai, the Artel Nimman Hotel is definitely the one togo for. With its raw and light colours, recycled materials, impressive interior design, and beautiful circular windows, the Artel gets a 10/10 from STARECASERS. And yes, there’s a real slide for your suitcases and for your own fun. Amazing, right?
3. EXPLORE THAI FOOD
Food alone could have been the highlight of our visit to Chiang Mai. You can find food literally everywhere, from fruit vendors, juice and coffe stands, to unknown good value restaurants. In the beginning, you might have no idea what any of the stuff is, but you will eventually end up trying everything – from sticky rice to noodle soups, from all the classic stir-fries and standard fried rice to papaya salads – and find it not only exotic, but incredibly delicious! Our Thai favourite was the most typical pad thai, but sai ua, kaeng hang lae, khao soi and myriad of other snacks-to-go have made our food marathon an exquisite experience.
Where to find the best ones? Definitely on the Nimmanhaemin Road, where you can enjoy not only Northern specialities, but also sandwiches, pies, and vegetarian buffets, while seated in one of the favourite hang-outs of the local hipsters! And not to forget: your meal is never gonna cost you more than 80 bath (around 2 €) if you are moderately hungry. What more could you ask from life?
4. TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
After exhausting temples tours, it’s definitely time to delight yourself, with no agenda whatsover. It can be a bit of a challenge to let yourself slow down on a holiday, where it seems that there is always something relevant that needs to be done. However, during our stay in Chiang Mai we have learnt simple ways to incorporate over-scheduled activities with empty hours to spend doing absolutely nothing.
The city is with no doubts the best place to call a timeout and take time for yourself, to give your mind and body a break & time to re-energize. You can either chill in the park, sit by the street with a drink in hand, or drag a friend for a swim in your hotel pool. Life can wait.
5. LOSE YOURSELF IN THE NIGHT BAZAAR
Chiang Mai is probably not the paradise for shoppers, but there are a good number of markets which can be made fun and enjoyable. They might not be our top advice, but we couldn’t just leave them out. The Saturday Night Market and the Night Bazaar are for example said to be among the city’s main nightlife attractions, and they are definitely worth a quick visit.
They pretty much look like any market you can find across Thailand with hundreds of stands selling the same knick-knack, but that’s what markets are supposed to be like, right? If it’s a completely no-go for you, do not worry, you can always grab a drink or buy a ticket for a Thai boxing show. Just one tip: make sure to have an anti-mosquito spray with you at night – those bitches are vicious.
6. PET TIGERS AT THE TIGER KINGDOM
If you have some time to kill and you want to invest your baths in an unforgettable experience, do like us: jump into a taxi and head to the Tiger Kingdom, one of the few places in the world where you can get up close and personal with real life tigers! Once there, you will have to choose your own package; we started with the ‘smallest’ tigers and finished with the big scary cats. It’s hard to describe how it feels to touch a tiger, but let us tell you that the moment we got to keep the insanely cute baby tigers in our arms, we literally melted, and couldn’t stop cuddling them.
To be honest, we just wanted to steal one and bring it back to Berlin with us – it would look so cute on our sofa – but we unfortunately left the cage with empty hands and a broken heart. It was not really the same story with the big ones; they are indeed beautiful but slightly more scary. The moment before entering the cage can be a quite tense one, but the experience turns out to be incredibly emotional and definitely an unforgettable one! Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Stay updated for more upcoming posts about our trip in Thailand and keep following us on Instagram and on Facebook. Wish you all an exciting start of the week!