Chiang Mai, affectionately dubbed ‘The Rose of the North’ is a place to experience both the beauty of Thailand’s natural environment and its deep cultural traditions. The majestic mountains and sprawling rice fields that give this area its distinct image are what make northern Thailand such a beautiful and rewarding place to visit. Nestled in the hillsides are gorgeous trails, century-old temples, ancient cultures and incredible wildlife. Chiang Mai holidays & honeymoons packages from Dublin offer a taste of traditional Thailand, in the unspoiled northern regions of the country.
As the unofficial ‘second city’ of Thailand, Chiang Mai stands in a beautifully stark contrast to the country’s actual capital, Bangkok. With a more relaxed atmosphere, picturesque landscapes, a strong culture with its own language, cuisine, customs and architecture, and relatively little western influence, the region is truly a hidden gem. Chiang Mia is a remarkably beautiful location to explore, with its charming historic center, vibrant street markets and stunning national parks.
Once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom, the city streets of Chiang Mai contain remnants of a rich cultural history. Explore the city’s past through the ancient architecture of temples, statues and monasteries in the Old City and visit the Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Centre to learn more of its 700-year-old heritage. Visit the city’s most famous temple, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a gold-encrusted Buddhist monastery that boasts breathtaking views of Chiang Mai. Among the other temples are Wat Chiang Man, the oldest Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, and Wat Phra Singh, one of the city’s most visited temples.
The street fairs of Chiang Mai offer the opportunity to explore regional treasures. Indulge in traditional Thai cuisine and local specialties, such as khao soi, a famous spicy curry of the area. Chiang Mai is a foodies dream with the terrific array of Thai dishes cooked fresh by expert chefs. For a truly unique culinary experience, head to the nearby Sri Lanna National Park and dine at one of the floating restaurants in Mae Ngat Reservoir. For many visitors, a visit here would not be complete without visiting a Thai cookery school where you can learn all the skills you need to make delicious Thai food and sample your dishes at the end. After your busy day wandering around Chiang Mai, head to one of the many restaurants and bars in the city center and sit back and relax, or head out to one of the many clubs to dance the night away. Visit the Night Bazaar, sprawled along the city streets, typically offers a much more authentic array of regional crafts as well as clothing, jewelry, traditional foods and some excellent work by local artists.
As Chiang Mai is surrounded by majestic mountain ranges, your holiday would not be complete without visiting them on a day trip. A very popular choice is the adventure day tours which incorporate a visit to the long-neck hill tribes, trekking through the rainforest, rock climbing, elephant rides and white water rafting. Another popular day tour is the golden triangle which takes you to the border where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. With so much choice, holidays in Chiang Mai really do offer something for everyone.
Elephants have long held a sacred place in Thai culture. A ride or even a brief encounter makes an unforgettable experience. There are several camps throughout the region, so it’s important to research them diligently and find one that is humane. Visit the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre which is one of the most highly recommended.
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