Chiang Mai is a perfect mix of traditional thai culture, modern amenities, mouth watering food and drink, inspiring creative scene, great nightlife and beautiful nature in the surrounding area. Spend your days working away in cafes sipping on delicious cappuccinos. Spend your weekends scootering up through the mountains to Pai, walking with elephants, white water rafting, temple hopping or any of the other many activities in the area. Spend the evenings wandering through night markets that sell what is indisputably the best street food on the planet. And spend your nights dancing the night away in one of the bars hosting live music, which seems to be all of them!
Perhaps there’s no place in the country that travellers can appreciate Thai culture more than in this city.
It’s home to almost 300 temples (or Wats in Thai). Has a Monastery perched on Doi Suthep overlooking the city, which you can live at for free. It’s surrounded by hill tribes that live a life far removed from our own.
It is teeming with THE tastiest and cheapest Thai food, which you can learn to prepare yourself at an infinite amount of cooking schools.
And it must be the cheapest place in the world to get a Thai massage. Our favourite spot costs $12 for 2 hours!
Ride up through the winding roads through the mountains to Sleepy Pai. Explore the rolling countryside, hot springs, waterfalls, and caves. Most travellers that pass through this haven find it hard to leave, and some never do! Pai has a magic that cannot be put into words. Those who know, know.
Nowhere is more synonymous with Elephants than Thailand. The region surrounding Chiang Mai is full of opportunities to get up close and personal with these friendly giants.
There are a few elephant sanctuaries and camps that are committed to treating their residents with the utmost respect, whilst still allowing visitors to learn about them in a candid and genuine way. This means no riding, and no performances.
We think it’s important to have a positive impact on the environments we explore, and that extends to the animals found in them, especially when they’re as intelligent and majestic as the Asian Elephant!
Backpackers through South East Asia typically follow what is called the "Banana Pancake" circuit around the region. If you're circling clockwise, the next stop along the route from Northern Thailand is Luang Prabang in Laos.
Laos has been a little left behind by the tourism boom of its neighbours Thailand and Vietnam, but it has plenty to offer. Firstly, the journey into Laos can be an experience in itself. Many travellers choose to take the slow boat down the Mekong river, meandering through the back country over two days on a converted fishing boat.
Upon reaching Luang Prabang you should jump in a tuk tuk to the Kuang Si waterfalls, which will likely be the most enchanting waterfalls you'll ever see.
Thailand is home to Muay Thai, a globally renowned martial art. There are hundreds of Muay Thai gyms in the city where you'll have the opportunity to train, no matter what your level. Classes can be extremely cheap if you choose the right gym. Fitness fanatics often come to Thailand purely for the opportunity to train side by side with the locals. Living here gives us a great opportunity to do the same.
Late Summer: July 7th - August 18th
Early Fall: September 7th - October 19th
Late Fall: October 22nd - December 3rd