Thailand - Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai
The northern area of Thailand can be neglected when tourists are yearning to visit the islands. However, the attractions in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai are bound to keep you quite busy during your holiday. The towns old as they are with Chiang Rai having been founded in 1262, offer a great experience in rich history in the form of art, music, architecture and cuisine.
The city is a great location surrounded by tiny quaint villages and offering a wide array of artwork and handicrafts. The old city is also surrounded by a moat. The city is more developed as a tourist center and hence offers quite a wide eclectic range of activities. It is a great place for art lovers due to the many art galleries, silver and wood shops as well as boutique clothiers. Besides you can get a foot massage in the nearby Women’s Correctional Institution and take a Thai cooking class to learn how to cook Pad Thai, Som Tum and Red Curry. Thai Orchid Cookery offers great cooking courses.
- Muay Thai Boxing
But perhaps one of the most interesting things you can do in Chiang Mai is see a Muay Thai boxing match. This is a national sport considered to be one of the hardest of martial arts and is a popular tourist attraction. In fact, as you walk along the streets, you are likely to be handed flyers advertising such matches whose entry will cost you at least 400 Baht. Boxing stadiums such as Kawila and Thapae are quite popular. Besides watching a match, you can train with Muay Thai boxing expert. Besides, you can gamble on the matches, take photos.
The smaller sister of Chiang Mai has quite a lot to offer to visitors. With hill tribes to satisfy a trekker’s exploratory dreams, jungle restaurants and interactions with elephants, the city is a great stop to make while in Thailand.
- Art Exhibition
In Chiang Rai, you can visit a contemporary art exhibit that looks like a temple. The exhibit, Wat Rong Khun was built by the creator as a tribute to Buddha and hence offers free entry.
- Hill Tribe Villages and Trekking
In Chiang Rai, the hill tribe ethnic villages of Akha and Lahu offer a great insight into the ethnic traditions and plus you can buy handicrafts such as jewelry and textiles while experience the culture. During this visits you can also make stops are Pong Phra Baht natural hot springs and the Khun Korn waterfall. Treks also involve elephant tours during which you can wash them and in some cases, get on them.