Many of us would have already been to Thailand, to the ever crowded city of Bangkok or one of the beach areas of Krabi and Phuket. This time we would like to recommend the northern region of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. It is not an unfamiliar destination for tourist, the historic cities need not much introduction. Famed for its preservation of ancient architecture and the large night markets filled with local food and handicrafts, it is a great place for a getaway if you would like an escape from the cities.
Many of you would have heard of Chiang Mai’s most famous temple – Wat Doi Suthep. Located up Doi Suthep hill, the temple is considered by the locals as one of the most sacred temples in the country and its stupa enshrines a piece of the Buddha’s shoulder bone relic. Pilgrims can choose to walk up the steps to the temple as a means to cleanse their thoughts before reaching the temple or to take a funicular to its entrance.
If you would be interested in joining us in our upcoming tour, one of the highlight is a night stay in Wat Thaton. Located near Thaton village, this temple is located up the mountains about 3 hours drive away from the city of Chiang Mai. The compounds of the temple stretches over a large mountainous area with a total of 9 levels. Located on one of the levels is a newly built crystal pagoda which houses many Buddha statues. On the top floor contains the Buddha relics where you can offer your prayers.
What we felt most special about the place is its tranquility. Waking up to a mountain top view away from all the noise and disturbances. It is also there where we will engage ourselves in some basic meditation, the perfect activity to make the trip to Wat Thaton complete.
Another temple which I would like to bring your attention to is the White Temple in Chiang Rai. Just further north of Thailand lies the beautiful Wat Rong Khun. Covered in white the unique temple has unconventional ways to symbolize the teachings of Buddha. For example the bridge of the cycle of rebirth which represents transcending rebirth into a place free of suffering. Other temples which might interest you include the blue temple and Chiang Mai’s Silver temple and Wat Chedi Luang.
Besides temples, also be sure to visit the ruins of the ancient kingdom of Sukhothai in the Sukhothai Historical Park. One of the 3 sites of ruins from the kingdom which makes up the UNESCO Heritage City. Left with mostly stone foundations and pillars, it is left to your imagination what beauty it had been in the past. Nevertheless, it is still a great photo worthy location.
2 hours away from Chiang Mai is another city of interest – Lampang City. Also known as the horse carriage city, you can find horse carriages being used frequently as a means of transport. You should get the experience touring the city by riding on a horse carriage bringing you to see the older buildings of the city.
There are many more activities to consider such as trekking, hot springs and gardens. With so much to see and do, you can easily spend more than a week traveling around the Northern Thailand region. Get your friends and family and start planning today!