DISCOVER CHIANG MAI
Situated in the heart of Southeast Asia, Thailand is strategically located within the region and can act as a hub between the many other destinations throughout Asia and the west. From the picturesque, misty mountains of the north, down to the numerous exotic islands in the south, Thailand offers a full spectrum of geographical features and landscapes.
A low cost of living by western standards, great weather year round, and smiling, friendly people throughout this gorgeous and exotic paradise are just a few of the reasons that make Thailand one of the top destinations in the world for vacationing as well as extended stays. The rich cultural history of the Thai people is apparent wherever you go from traditional Thai architecture, unique food offerings, and fascinating festivals and celebrations. The aspect of Thailand that really stands out for any visitors is the Thai people themselves. There is a reason Thailand is known as “The Land of Smiles” and it is because the Thais are world renowned for being friendly, hospitable, and all around just helpful and nice people. This is especially true in Northern Thailand, of which Chiang Mai is the de facto capital of the region.
Although Chiang Mai is experiencing a true modernization boom, the city’s rich cultural heritage remains intact. From the architecture, to the food, and even the way people dress, traditional Thai culture is apparent in even the newest real estate developments, the most elegant of restaurants, and even people walking around the most modern of shopping malls.
This integration of traditional Thai culture along with some modern, western ideals is very apparent in Chiang Mai which is the second largest city in Thailand. A sprawling city which consists of ancrumbling, square shaped city wall surrounded by a moat, which is then surrounded by a series of concentric ring roads with many interconnections throughout, Chiang Mai is very easy to get around. Interspersed with the multitude of foreign restaurants throughout the inner city are many ancient Buddhist temples and Thai cultural and arts centers.
The area surrounding Chiang Mai offers beautiful mountain views on all sides of the city so no matter what hotel you stay in, you will have a breathtaking view of the vast valley in which the city settles into. There are various treks to partake in that will take you into the dense jungles bordering the city. From day long elephant ride adventures to treetop zip-lining, mountain biking and much more, there is no shortage of activities to fill your days.
When it comes to nightlife, Chiang Mai is no slouch in that area either. Bars and nightclubs of all types line the thoroughfares. The famous night bazaar contains a sprawling marketplace filled with local goods and foods from around the world while the trendy Nimmanhaemin area is where you will find many of the hottest restaurants, bars, and clubs. No matter your taste or your expectations, Chiang Mai has you covered. From Jazz to Blues, House music to Hip Hop, from street food to world class fine dining, Chiang Mai truly has it all.
Chiang Mai Zoo, the Night Safari, mountaintop temples, the list goes on. You will never be bored in Chiang Mai and I guarantee you will fall in love with this charming city and the delightful and friendly people who inhabit it.
Loy Krathong refers to the lotus-shaped baskets that participants build and then allow to float away on the water. These baskets may contain food, incense, flowers, coins and of course. . . a candle. The ritual is very simple: build a Loy Krathong, make a wish, and let it float away with the current of the river.
The flame of the candle signifies longevity, fulfillment of your wishes and release from your sins, so people carefully watch their basket as it floats away, hoping the candle will last as long as possible.