Have You Been to Chiang Mai Yet?
Locals often pose this question to foreigners visitors, as if it is a sin not to do so. Chiang Mai stands as Thailand's premier city after Bangkok, and is a tourist's glimpse into the heart and soul of a nation. It is a city born out of a blissful marriage between natural scenery and exoticism, with its location by the beautiful Himalayan foothills and being the former capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom.
Just 700 kilometers north of the country capital Bangkok, Chiang Mai feels like a world away. If the former is frenetic and thoroughly modernized, the latter has managed to preserve its ancient atmosphere - as evident in its array of hill tribes and more than 300-strong temples.
Though Chiang Mai has, in the past decades, developed an urban sophistication, the change is merely skin-deep. Since its foundation in 1296, it had been isolated for much of its existence, reached only via river and elephant trips until the early 1920s.
As such, it still has retained it indigenous identity. The Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Chedi Luang are testaments to the native architecture. Ethnic communities of Karen, Hmong, and Lahu continue to thrive in the 21st century. Chiang Mai Flower Festival reveals its multitude of colors.
Travels in the "Rose of the North”"
A visit to Chiang Mai doesn't end with its culture, though. Nature excursions are also at a premium there, offering the chance to scale the mighty Doi Suthep Peak at 1,676 meters high, or go sightseeing by the banks of the Ping River that bisects the city.
Travelers find that Chiang Mai is truly a green city, with just a whiff of cosmopolitan air. Bicycle tours are great ways to explore the surrounding mountains and countryside. For a more exotic experience, though, elephant safaris are the way to go.
Chiang Mai Landmarks:
- Temples (4)
Sikkim, a vertical land in India
One of the smallest states in India (which was slightly less than Friuli) had an independent history as far back as 1642, under the dynasty of kings Chogyal, Tibetan term translated from the Sanskrit "Dharmaraja" or "King defender of the dharma." In 1975, through a referendum, it became part of India. In the territory of Sikkim entirely mountainous and with only a few green houses ... Read full Blog post
An Aerial fiesta in Clark Pampanga
Its a party in the sky as multi colored hot air balloons piloted ny different pilots from various partso of the world participated in this annual gathering. As early as 5am, the 2,500 hectare aviation complex at Clar Economic Zone in Pampanga was already crammedi with excitement. Clusters of hot air balloon participants busily prepare their own balloons for liftoff as they need to take advantage of ... Read full Blog post
Laos seems like a long shot to become Southeast Asia’s next big thing. The food doesn’t win any prizes, the roads are severely potholed by frequent flooding and locals regard the prospect of increased tourism with a sunny indifference that exceeds even Mediterranean proportions. Laos is the least developed and most enigmatic of the three former French Indochinese states ... Read full Blog post