Chiang Mai, The Rose of the North

6:50 PM

A capital city in Northern Thailand but has that provincial vibe making the City very attractive and cozy.
Thai culture is very evident in this beautiful City! There are even tours available for you to visit ancient tribes that inhibit the lands until today. What amazes me the most here is the bond that people share with the elephants which distinctively imaged Thailand from other Asian countries.
Coming from Bangkok you could easily take a plane straight to Chiang Mai, however if you like adventure, don't miss this chance to ride a sleeper train at Hua Lampong train station (Bangkok to Chiang Mai).

Traveling period will take you approximately 13 hours to Chiang Mai.
If one likes sight seeing, you may have the option taking a train in the morning around 8am but will arrived at late night. 
Otherwise, for you to utilize the sleeping cabin and sleep on the sleeper train literally, I suggest you travel at night around 8-10pm and arrive at Chiang Mai by lunch!
I also suggest to provide allowances in the time when you get to the train station. Don't be too comfortable that you'll easily get a ticket cause you could never truly measure the crowd traffic on that specific day.
Sleeper Train fare was 771 Baht from Bangkok to Chiang Mai but do provide allowance for price hikes without prior notices.

The city is very rich in history, not alone temples but also with beautiful ruins of its past. These ancient walls surrounding the plaza/lagoon is a spectacular sight!

Street Cuisines

"The Best Food when you travel are found on the streets!" Every traveler agrees on this notion! if you would like to taste authentic Thai cuisines or any cuisines for that matter, never fail to experience their very own street food!

Temple Run in Chiang Mai

Of course what use could be your travel without visiting the most visited site and temples in the area!
The most famous in Chiang Mai is the temple Wat Phra Thad Doi Suthep, located on the top most mountain in the area, it gives you a spectacular overview of the city! I must say I am fascinated with the winding road and spectacular sights along the way!
To get to this Temple you may hire a tuktuk or a jeepney from the city and deal for a good bargain! In our case we contracted a Jeepney for 400 baht (100 each of us). 
Upon Arrival, you'll have to climb the stairs (stairway to heaven as we refer to it) about 300 steps as we estimated because we got different counts individually! haha
And here are some beautiful sights you'll find on the top! Elegant Designs, Very cool weather, and Scenic overview of the city that is simply relaxing and will take your breath away!

Beautiful Overview of Chiang Mai...

Wat Bup Pha Ram 

Located along the main roads of Chiang Mai and quite very near to our hostel is this lovely temple one shouldn't miss!

Tribes and Elephants

On our third day in Chiang Mai we booked ourselves to visit the tribes in the north and spend a day with the elephants! A package tour for this specific activity is 1,300 Baht per person which already includes your buffet lunch, Van transportation back and forth to your hotel/hostel, and a tour guide.

The Big Earring (Akha) Tribe

Distinctive by their earrings, this girl approached me selling a woven bracelet which I couldn't really say no, so I bought one as a souvenir and my remembrance from their tribe that I still wear until now.

The Long Neck (Karen) Tribe

Probably the most unique attractions in Chiang Mai and very interesting to visit is the Long Neck Tribe. The long necks are actually refugees that Thailand government has welcome and taken care of. In exchange, they're isolated on this area making handicrafts for living and preserving their tribe's tradition for tourist attraction.

Quick trivia on their tribe: (1) The rings and braces on their necks, arms, and legs are actually a form of self-defense, to protect their ladies from Tiger attacks and Bad Spirits. (2) They start putting rings on their necks as little girls and keep adding as they grow older. Science explains that it is not the neck that grows longer but rather it is the shoulders that submerged and made it look like the neck is becoming longer.
After our tour with the tribes, we watched a show, showcasing the talents of the elephants! They play football, Draw a painting, shake your hands, do hand stand, dances and sings as their trainer commands them! A Very entertaining experience that I will truly treasure for the rest of my life! 

And to top our Chiang Mai adventure is the Elephant Ride Experience!!!

Conversion rates:
1 Baht = 1.33 Php
1 USD = 45 Php

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