Located in the north, by the mountains, Chiang Mai is a good starting point to explore the northern area.
We went from there to Chiang Rai and back, and, while in location, we visited its most interesting points, included a long circuit through practically all the handicraft activities. It was our first approach to the diversity of Thai food, and got a perception of the social problem connected to the integration of the hill tribes. Very interesting, and… its seen.
Doi Suthep – Great views
Our first contact with Thai temples was Doi Suthep. It was an excellent way to start. The location, the sights, and the temple itself make the visit highly recommendable.
The cars can´t go right to the summit where the temple is, so, the best way, is to take the small railway up, and to descend by the decorated staircase.
Phone: +66 53 295 003
Website: Doi Suthep
It was easy to see the effort being made by Thai authorities to open the touristic resources to tribal people from inland.
We saw the mixture between authentic tribal life, and serial production of touristy bauble. Being a peaceful country, I expected a stronger activity close to the borders of the countries after a long war.
That absence shows how closed those countries were. But it was a good excursion, the one that took us to Chiang Rai and back, visiting the tribes.
It’s show business… but it’s good. The performance at the training center (I don’t know if it exists more than one) shows hard work and professionalism with the elephants.
The show pleases adults and children.
The final ride, though short and following a very beaten path, demonstrates well how securely the elephants deal with mud, even in steep slopes and narrow paths, and uses well the river to compose the landscape of the jungle.
Some people limit themselves just to watch the performance of the trained elephants. I think it’s wrong.
This ride was different of all the other that I made with animals, due to a well chosen trail, allowing us to understand how does the animal deal with slopes, mud, and all the obstacles that start worrying us about safety, and finally make us trust and admire the elephant and his permanent stability.
One of Chiang Mai highlights in tourist brochures are the waterfalls.
I must confess that they are photogenic but very common (unless we were in the wrong season).
It’s nice to walk in the wild, amidst bamboo and exotic plants, but, if your time is tight, you may skip them without sorrow.
It’s a strange but beautiful production – butterflies.
As a matter of fact the “factory” is a tropical garden, recreating the natural condition for butterflies create and grow.
Wonderful flowers, and the vivid colors of thousands of selected butterflies, are a very interesting sight.