To have fun Chiang Mai reopening (lastly!), I just lately took a visit to expertise the province with contemporary eyes – in a approach that wasn’t centered on the Outdated Metropolis.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 contains what to do, locations to remain, and the place to eat. Plus, I’ve offered a map and all the main points so you already know precisely the place all the things is and the best way to make all of it occur.
Day 1 | Welcome to Mueang Khong, Chiang Mai’s Hidden Gem
After rendezvousing with just a few new mates who joined me on this Northern Thailand journey, my first vacation spot was a small agricultural neighborhood 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 unbelievable views from my quaint however snug Bannok Hok Khwai bungalow constructed above the rice fields.
Bamboo Rafting in Mueang Khong
I’ve had my fair proportion of bamboo rafting adventures in Thailand, however the expertise in Mueang Khong was a lot completely different than any I had earlier than and really surpassed my expectations. Positioned off the principle highway as you come into city, this river exercise was relaxed, a lot simpler, and dare I say safer than my experiences guiding myself and mates by way of the hairpin turns of the Mae Wang River within the foothills south of Chiang Mai. The native guides have 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 experience. 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 search out out that these majestic animals have been synonymous with the Mae Khong Sub-District and its rice farming tradition.
Web site: fb.com/ล่องแพอ้ายฮอเมืองคอง
Telephone: (093) 146-2254 / (085) 625-2191
Hours: Name for hours
Value: 700 THB for 3-4 folks and 1,000 THB for 4-6. Drinks usually are not 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. Be 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 far more than simply one other Thai restaurant. From the eating space, there’s an attractive 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 examine 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 principle attraction, however it 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/
Telephone: (089) 95313199
Value: 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 intense inexperienced surroundings, whereas others supply decks with built-in hammocks for unwinding after a day of journey and exploring. The open-air onsite restaurant gives 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 gives far 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.
One in every 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
Telephone: (080) 083-5096
Value: 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 every of 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 largest fan of waking up earlier than the solar comes up. However, I’ve seen the solar rise throughout Thailand, properly, as a result of I simply don’t wish to miss out on the unbelievable pictures. I’m not often disillusioned and this time was no completely 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 return all the best way up right here to get the information or watch the large sport… no thanks!
Because the solar began to rise from behind the horizon, a stunning fog emerged and appeared like waves rolling throughout the hilltops under. 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 couple of minutes. 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 particular person and every truck mattress can carry about six folks throughout the bench seats with an extra 4 standing behind the cab. Arrive early to beat the group as this viewpoint could be very in style with home vacationers.
Web site: fb.com/เด่นทีวี
Season: November – January
Value: 150 THB per particular person
Chiang Dao Cave
After testing of our bungalows in Mueang Khong, we have 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 up to now, I used to be curious concerning 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 acceptable for all exercise ranges. The noticeably wider path was well-lit with lighting that attracts your consideration to the spectacular stalactite formations alongside the best way, ultimately ending at a reclining Buddha shrine.
Historical past: tourismthailand.org/Attraction/tham-chiang-dao
Hours: 7:00 AM to five:00 PM Day by day
Price: 40 THB per overseas grownup or 20 baht (written in Thai as ๒๑) per Thai grownup. 100 THB is the steered tip for a information.
The Chiang Dao Nest
Web site: chiangdaonest.com
Telephone: (053) 456-612
Costs: From 595 THB to 1345 THB (18 USD to 42 USD) per night time relying on the season. Breakfast will not be included.
|TIP: Company 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 highway and made our approach again in the direction of Chiang Mai to take a look at an attractive riverside resort, hike a portion of Thailand’s tallest mountain, and deal with ourselves to an upscale Lanna-style dinner.
Mountaineering 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 probability 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 contains transportation, a guided tour of Nu’s household farm, a lunch made contemporary from substances 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 time for supper at 6:00 PM.
Web site: rayaheritage.com/en/excursions.php
Telephone: (023) 011 8613
Value: 1 visitor 6,650 THB, 2 company 3,900 THB/visitor, 3 company 3,000 THB/visitor, 4 company 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 possibly can 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 Lodge 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 device 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.
Apart from the much-needed downtime after a protracted (however unbelievable) day of mountain climbing 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 completely definitely worth the brief drive from the Outdated Metropolis.
Web site: rayaheritage.com/en/eating.php
Telephone: (053) 111 6703
Hours: Open Day by 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 a fantastic base for vacationers seeking to discover the province or as a retreat for expats and locals looking for a break from a busy work week. I’ve heard quite a bit about this resort from just a few mates, 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 non-public plunge swimming pools.
I seen straight away that although the Chiang Mai reopening course of is in its early levels, a shocking quantity of rooms have been booked by home vacationers, almost certainly visiting from Bangkok seeking 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: Guide Raya Heritage
Telephone: (023) 011 8613
Costs: Beginning at 7,500 THB per night time
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 likely one of the nation’s high locations, so there are lots of methods to get there. It’s normally straightforward to ebook airline, bus, and prepare tickets on-line, however with Covid, issues have turn into a bit extra difficult. Be certain to look into any journey guidelines or necessities earlier than getting in that airplane, prepare, bus, or automotive.
Essentially the most handy solution to get to Chiang Mai is to fly into Chiang Mai Worldwide Airport (CNX). There are various flights per day serviced by quite a lot of boutique and funds airways. There are additionally some surprisingly snug VIP buses from most provinces in addition to some in a single day prepare routes obtainable in the event you can spare the additional hours.
When you’ve arrived in Chiang Mai, it’s best to ebook a Seize, Thailand’s model of Uber. Moreover, you possibly can hire a automotive from the airport or ebook a metered taxi from contained in the arrivals space.
If you happen to’re searching for extra issues to do and locations to go in Chiang Mai, we’ve written a roundup that has somewhat bit for everybody. Nevertheless, if it’s off the overwhelmed path you’re after, the actions above will definitely offer you what you’re searching for.
Disclosure: This journey was sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. This publish comprises some affiliate hyperlinks. There’s no additional price in the event you click on one, however in doing so that you assist us cowl the price of working our weblog. Thanks!