I spent a week in Northern Thailand exploring the provinces of Chiang Mai and Pai. There were plenty of options to travel up to Chiang Mai from Bangkok. The most convenient and affordable mode is surely the tens of domestic flights operated daily by Thai Airways, Bangkok Air, Thai Air Asia and also Thai Lion Air. However we opted for the most adventurous and scenic route, and that is to travel by the railway.
Tickets have to be purchased in advance, and they cost approximately $36 per passenger for each trip. The journey itself takes about 13 hours. Thinking about the travelling time can be daunting, but trust me, the train carriages are equipped to make sure you find yourself comfortable. The train seats can be transformed into beds, and each bed has its own privacy curtain, pillows and blankets. The toilets have taps with running water, and the train even has its own restaurant in one of the carriages.
We didn’t manage to catch the sunrise because I slept through the journey, but I’m sure it would have been a beautiful sight.
Upon arrival in Chiang Mai, one would easily notice that public transportation such as taxis are rare. There are a lot of red pickup trucks though. They usually travel on a designated route, but however if you request for them to take you elsewhere, most drivers would usually comply for an extra fee.
Alternatively, there are also plenty of affordable car rental options in Chiang Mai. I got myself a Honda City that was in spanking clean condition for only $40 a day. Driving in Chiang Mai is easy because traffic is not as congested as it is in Bangkok. With our own transportion settled, we were able to get to most places with ease.
This place is called The Giant Chiangmai, which is a homestay by itself, but visitors are also allowed to patronize the cafe on the giant treehouse.
Another place worth checking out is actually Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai. It is a huge piece of property that mimics a palace and has actual hotel rooms and villas for guests. I noticed there was a horse carriage that shuttles guests from the front gate to the lobby. We didn’t stay at the hotel but we came to visit this property because Dhara Dhevi’s desserts are pretty notorious too.
Their macarons come in some pretty audacious flavors and I love the different types of eclairs they offered. Do check them out if you have a sweet tooth. Their macarons are also available at a small booth outside the gourmet supermarket in Siam Paragon.
Separately, I will also be posting about my stay in Veranda Chiang Mai and also my trip to Pai, as soon as I get the photos sorted out.