The Area: Chiang Mai
- According to many foreigners, Chiang Mai is one of the best places to stay and to live in Thailand – I wouldn’t disagree
- From the cool climate to the attractions in the city and countryside, Chiang Mai is exciting and relaxing
- The nature in this area is so wonderful and the city is full of temples… and of tourists!
THE ORCHID FARM
The Orchid Farm is a nice place full of colourful orchids. You can also visit the small butterfly farm and enjoy a lovely walk across the small bridge that crosses a river full of lotus. This attraction may not need to last long but it is very enjoyable, relaxing and beautiful.
LONG NECK VILLAGE
Not really a village where the Long Neck people live but more like a shopping street where you can buy pretty scarves and handmade souvenirs from sellers who are indeed Long Neck girls. There is some heritage though in the typical houses of the people and this was a good excursion; still would have liked a bit more focus on tradition though.
Just amazing! You definitely have to do this and sleep up in the mountains. Be aware though that this is a bit physically demanding but the stunning waterfalls, elephants and above all, once on the top, a typical small village with a wonderful view – make it worth it. You will find yourself sleeping in a house made with bamboo, enjoying a sumptuous Thai meal with lovely Thai people and drinking beer around a campfire. A very good atmosphere with very nice guides!
RAFTING AND BAMBOO RAFTING
In order to enjoy it and to spend a really amazing time like I did, I think that you have to be with people you can have fun with. Indeed, the rafting is exciting and it is amazing when you ask if you too can take over the driving!
One of the most exciting things to do in Chiang Mai and a big reason why many visit. Whoever you are, professional or beginner, you can climb here as there are many different levels catering to most abilities. Great for those wanting to enjoy the views and have a physical challenge that suits their skills.
Attractions in the city:
As is clear by the number of attractions, there are so many things to do here in this city including finding time to visit some of the more than 300 temples. The park is also very nice, despite the very impressive number of pigeons! You can relax there and if you are up quite early in the morning, observe people doing a kind of yoga and even participate if you want to.
Like in most cities in Thailand, you can see many markets but the Saturday and Sunday markets are quite special and very famous; super busy, you can eat in the enclosure of the temples and enjoy the company of other tourists as well as the many local people who also shop here.
The Area: Vientiane
- A brief but memorable journey to the very French Vientiane!
- The main city in Laos, Vientiane is like ‘coming home’ for French visitors; in the architecture, the food and the feel of the place.
- Time your journey just right like I did so you can be part of colourful celebrations and carnivals.
This important Laos city is one of the most unexpected things to see in Thailans; the first thing I noticed is the similarity between this city and a French city. We can easily feel the French influence; through the food, the buildings and even the streets. You will even see one of the most famous monuments is the ‘Victory Gate’ or Patuxai which is the Lao’s ‘Arc de Triomphe’.
I was lucky to have arrived in Vientiane during the main festival of the year was for boat racing. The city was very busy, from the morning until the night during this festival. Lots to see and enjoy including nice fireworks on the Mekong, concerts at every corner, a big fair with haunted houses, bumper cars and games and a huge busy market.
My visit here helped me to better understand just howmuch impact the second world war had in this amazing country and recommend you visit the COPE museum which will tell you all you need to know about that and more, particularly about bombs.
Because of the festival, I didn’t really get to go elsewhere, it was such fun. But I heard about some interesting places that I will visit nect time: Buddha parks, Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre for Women and all the unique temples in or outside the city.
The Area: Bangkok
This place is just wonderful and a definite ‘must see’ for any visitor to Thailand. You enter into a religious place and it is important to maintain respect in both manner and dress: do not forget your trousers and something to hide your shoulders!
On the walls, you can observe many paintings. If you want, you can pay a guide to explain the stories behind the art in order to discover more about the fascinating history.
Do try to time your visit to be in the morning as this is a really popular destination and busy with visitors.
400 Baht for foreigners, free if not.
This place was my favourite. It is less of a tourist destination and very much more quiet as a result. There are many things to see here, from the huge golden Buddha and interesting King’s graves to the beautiful garden and setting. The U-Boso is the centre of the temples and it is very rare to be allowed to enter into one of them: indeed, this is the place where Monks have some secret ceremonies. If you are looking for peace, you have to go there.
Leave a little message on the black board at the end of your visit!
100 Baht for foreigners, free if not.
A little trickier to reach but worth it. You have to take a boat to get to Wat Arun but it is only 3 Baht and you get to discover this very old temple with its time-ravaged, colourless stone and impressive building. You can enjoy a nice walk in the gardens and even if you there are perhaps less things to see, it is the only place you have staircase that leads to a truly beautiful view that makes the climp worth every step – but do be careful on this old stairway.
Free for everybody.