Doi Inthanon National Park two hours southwest of downtown Chiang Mai is part of the Himalayan mountain range with Doi Inthanon as the highest mountain in Thailand peaking at 2,565 meters above sea level. You can drive all the way up to the summit passing several attractions including Wachirathan Waterfall, The Royal Twin Pagodas, and the Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail. We decided to do the trail first when we had the most energy.
Last year we visited Chinatown in Bangkok for the first time and had an amazing food experience which I also wrote about on my blog. This year we decided to come back, and although it was not quite as good as last year, it was a lovely evening spending many hours just walking around taking in the atmosphere, ordering something to eat whenever we felt for it. Below is what we ate.
Rolled rice noodle soup with crispy pork belly
After a fun night in town, my wife and I ended up at Soi Cowboy which were located close our hotel in Sukhumvit. I don’t have much experience of red-light districts, but I have learned that Soi Cowboy has a more easy-going, laid-back atmosphere than other famous red-light districts in Bangkok. The 150-meter long strip with pink-red-purple ultraviolet lighting and loud music is packed with go-go bars and girls in revealing clothes standing outside trying to attract customers. It’s a fun place for adults, and it should be on your list of places to see in Bangkok.
Like previous years I have put together a little video of our vacation. The video shows only a fraction of everything we did; I filmed very little in Chiang Mai, and I didn’t even touch my drone — just like in Bangkok. But when we hit the south, I started to get the right feeling.
In our recent trip to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, meeting a long-neck woman was one of the highlights. This exotic tradition of wearing brass rings to lengthen their necks is pretty fascinating, and something I wanted to see in person. But is it ethical going?
These beautiful people are refugees from Burma (Myanmar) and international organizations such as UNHCR has urged tourists to boycott long-neck villages, describing the women as victims trapped in “human zoos.” But it’s more complex than that. Ignoring these women will leave them in a worse situation as tourists are the only income source. And shouldn’t we ask the women themselves?
Kiriwong is an idyllic village surrounded by lush mountains in Krabi’s neighboring province Nakhon Si Thammarat. I was blown away when we drove through this little village seeing how beautiful it was. I have learned that Kiriwong is an ecotourism destination, self-sustainable without any need for assistance from the government. The town is also famous for its incredible handicrafts making.
Turn left after the bridge and follow the stream all the way to the parking lot. Continue a few hundred meters until you reach a wire bridge. This bridge is a popular swimming spot, perfect if you have kids or a Thai wife (my wife bought a huge yellow duck and swam around like a kid).
It has almost become a tradition to visit a new rooftop bar in Bangkok every year. We have previously grabbed a drink at Red Sky Bar, Char Rooftop Bar, Vertigo & Moonbar, and Eagle’s Nest — and now it was time to hit the most famous rooftop bar of them all: “The Hangover Bar” or Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower as it’s really called.
My wife and I have been talking about going to Chiang Mai for quite some time and finally made it happen! Located 1,200 km from Krabi down south where my wife is from, Chiang Mai is completely different. With jungle-covered mountains, exotic hill tribes, impressive rivers and waterfalls, stunning temples, and its exciting history as the former capital of Lanna Kingdom (1296–1768) — Chiang Mai is one of the most incredible destinations in Thailand.
Below is a summary of our five-day stay in Chiang Mai and around; I will write more about each part later in separate posts.
Baan Mon Muan Resort up the mountain