|Wat Rong Khun|
Family holiday is over! It was indeed a memorable 10 days trip around Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Visited one Wat to another Wat which have its own beauty and uniqueness. And of course I went gaga over those sinfully delicious Thai food. Anyway, apart from the White Temple or Wat Rong Khun, here's some highlights of my trip in Northern Thailand:
|tunnel at illusions at Hall of Opium|
We flied from Surabaya to Bangkok via Singapore then bound for Chiang Rai on the next morning. First thing first, we headed to the Golden Triangle area because we wanted to buy and taste some opium (kidding! :p). Though I'm not a museum person, I insisted to visit the Hall of Opium which turned out to be such a great place to learn about the history of opium trading and how to smuggle it (HA!). Too bad it's not allowed to take picture inside the museum but pssttt....of course I never take a NO. I sneaked some clicks though it turned out blurry :'(
|Yai at Mae Sai border between Thailand and Myamar|
Because it's my first time to Northern Thailand, I thought it would be convenient to book a tailor made private tour for my family. Less hassle as I don't need to spend too much time in browsing which hotels to stay or which landmarks to visit like what I always do before travelling. Le princess needs to be spoiled once in a while, no? I just want to sit and relax and enjoy the ride :p
After comparing some local agents, I decided to book the land tour through Aimo tours. It's not a sponsored post nor a paid advertisement. I simply want to share this with you guys because their service has been beyond excellent. So next time you need to book a tour in Chiang Mai or other destination in Thailand, you'll know which company to consider :)
Booking process was easy breezy. Sophia who had been dealing with my emails are very efficient and helpful to accommodating all my requests (I avoid any kind of elephant rides and Tiger Kingdom). Yai, our local guide is also a super nice guy who ensured we truly enjoyed our journey. Apart from the itineraries I made, he added some 'off the beaten path' places which are impossible to find if I wasn't with him. Also when he found out that we are more interested in street food than restaurants, he took us to his favourite Beef Noodle stall somewhere secluded I can't even remember the place now. Lol! When they found out that my Dad was down with stomach infection, the manager showed up with a bag full of medicines and offered to take Dad to hospital. Seriously, I had quite a lot of experiences with travel agents around the world but these guys go the extra mile. Well done, Aimo tours! I'm genuinely impressed. Please keep doing the top-notch work that you are doing now :)
|Choui Fong tea plantation|
|Karen long neck village|
|the Blue Temple|
While the famous White Temple is undoubtedly beautiful however I am more impressed with the Blue Temple or Wat Rong Seu Ten in Chiang Rai. The huge white Buddha statue looks stunning against the bluish details and paintings interiors. It's also quiet so I could wander around freely and took tons of pictures until my camera battery ran out.
|Chiang Dao cave|
|sunset at Wat Aranyawiwake|
Of course a trip to Chiang Mai won't be complete without a visit to Doi Suthep and Doi Inthanon. But I was actually deeply in love with Wat Aranyawiwake. I've never heard about it before thus I didn't put it on my itinerary. Thanks to Yai, he decided to take us there on the way back to Chiang Mai city after trekking in Doi Inthanon National Park and Mae Ya waterfall. It was nearly sunset when I got there and the warm goldish sun beam enveloped the temple area. There was no one on sight but my family. It was so beautiful...so peaceful, I got goosebumps all over my body :)
|songthaew ride with Ma, Pa, sis, nephew and bro :D|
I requested one free day in Chiang Mai to do some shopping and street food hunting. After a week ride on a fancy Mercedes van now it's time to try the local transportation, Songthaew! It was so much fun, we giggled all the way. And because songthaews has no fixed schedules nor routes, we shared seat with some locals who were on the way to traditional market. I liked it a lot that I kept hopping on and off songthaews for the whole day. Lol!
|Assumption Cathedral, Bangkok|
|Or Tor Kor market|
Flied and stayed in Bangkok for 3 days for further shopping spree and Thai food adventure. So happy to finally visit Or Tor Kor market. It's my idea of food paradise, really. I walked through stall after stall with a big grin on my face, like a little girl's first journey to Disneyland.
|Mae Ya waterfall|
|only 1% of 5.678.345.927 food I devoured in Thailand|
There's more places I've been to during the trip including an almost deserted old temple made of teak wood in a rural area and the infamous Hell Temple which I'm going to publish on the next blog post. So stay tuned while I'm unpacking tons of luggage after the trip. It's a good thing I had around 200 kg baggage allowance otherwise I'd need a cargo service to bring all the stuff I bought in Thailand (mostly my food & snacks, dog toys and dog treats) :p