I had always heard great things about Chiang Mai and so I definitely wanted to make it a stop on our trip. The first day, we went ziplining up in the jungle. It was awesome!
The next day, we decided to explore the city so we had the concierge draw us a good map of the best temples (there are over 300 in Chiang Mai) and then we walked that route. We also did a little shopping and of course grabbed some great food. To top it all off, we got a hour long Thai massage for $7 – can you believe it?!
We also rode in our first Tuk-Tuk which was really fun!
That evening, we decided to sneak into one of the custom tailors that we were seeing everywhere and see if it was worth a try. They said they could do 4 custom button-up shirts for us in 24 hours for a really good price so we got measured and picked out the fabrics.
Afterwards, we had a great dinner on the river and then bought a lantern and released it on the way home. I had always wanted to do this in Thailand so it was just awesome!
The next day, we went to the Baanchang Elephant Park and spent the day with the elephants. It was such an incredible day! One of the interesting things about this park is that all of the elephants are rescued (from tourist companies that don’t take good care of them, the logging industry, etc.) and each elephant has a Mahout that takes care of them. You can tell that they have quite a bond with each other.
First, they had you change into some Mahout clothes (which turned out to be a good idea because we definitely got messy) and then we got to feed all the elephants bunches and bunches of bananas.
After that, they taught us a few basic commands which we practiced – up, forward, right, left, and down. It was SOOOO cool!
Then we went on an hour long ride through the jungle – we were riding bareback on these elephants which was quite an experience! They had given us the largest elephant, too, so he constantly tried to eat during our ride.
Finally, we walked them over to the pond and got to give them a bath which was really great and super fun, especially because he kept spraying us.
That night, we went out for dinner and also checked out the Night Bazaar. We picked up our custom shirts – which turned out really nice and got some mango and sticky rice (we were seriously addicted!). Then we headed back to the hotel to rest up because we were heading to Phuket the next morning.
Chiang Mai was one of those places that we realized very quickly that we did not want this to be the last time that we visited – it’s such a great city with beautiful scenery, extremely nice people, and a very relaxed vibe. We just loved it! I hope we head there again sometime soon! If you’re thinking of going to Thailand, make sure to include a stop in Chiang Mai!