Thailand - Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai has got to be one of my favourite places in Thailand so far! I was so gutted when we had to finally leave to start making our way down south. There is just so much to see and do that you physically can't get bored. The city has a wonderful atmosphere that surrounds it and you can just get lost for days on end exploring around here. 

On our first day we took a taxi up to Doi Suthep, which is an incredible Buddhist temple up in the mountains. It took us about 45 minutes to get up there and cost 50THB each which is about £1. You know you've arrived because you'll see an incredibly huge Buddha sitting on the mountain side. Trust me, it's gigantic! You then have to take the climb of about 300 steps to get up to the entrance of the temple. From the top you can look out and see the whole of Chaing Mai which is just breathtaking. The whole place is surrounded by flowers and plants, making it even more stunning than it already is. I didn't want to leave, I just felt so peaceful up there looking out onto the horizon. The thing with temples is that they're all so wonderful but they are very similar, so sometimes people don't want to visit lots because they feel like they've already seen them. However, if there is any temple that you do go and visit then make it this one. The whole place is very spectacular with its layout and location that it really shouldn't be missed. I absolutely loved it!

They tried...

Cooking classes are very popular here in Thailand so of course we had to jump in and do one! I wasn't disappointed... It was so incredible. We went with the company 'Tom Yum Thai Cooking' and I couldn't fault them one bit. Oun who runs this was really lovely and so helpful when we were making the food. He picked us up from our hostel and as a group we drove to the local Thai market where he showed us all of the different ingredients they use in Thai food (some of which are very strange). We then collected all of the ingredients we needed and he took us back to his house were he has about 10 workshop stations for everyone to cook at. We were allowed to all choose 5 dishes each and then everyone made mango sticky rice. The food was just incredible and he completely tailors meals to make them vegan/vegetarian so I was so pleased. The pad thai that he taught me to make has honestly got to be the best pad thai that I've ever tasted. There are so many cooking classes to choose from, ranging from 800TBH to 1100THB (£16-22) and Tom Yum Thai who went with only cost us 800THB and included making 6 dishes which was very good because most only include 5 or 6. I would really recommend this company. I had the best time!

Just mooching around Chiang Mai is wonderful in itself too. The Sunday night market is a real must see. They have the cutest little stalls selling clothes and souvenirs, and lots of food stalls. 

Again, if you want to see elephants there are lots of choices but not one of them is ethical apart from Elephant Nature Park, so if you're going to choose one place to see them, please let it be there! 

I am definitely going to visit Chiang Mai again one day just because of how much I fell in love with it. It really isn't like a huge over crowded dirty hot city that you'd expect, it's actually really calm and a great place to be. I highly recommend making a stop off there.  

Sasha x 


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