"After came back from recently trip to Phuket. It’s time to visit mountain and this is rainy season which I can imagine how beautiful of the green mountains in Chiang rai and Chiang mai. And because special promotion with Thai Smile then I planed 5 days trip combine Chiang rai and Chiang mai. I love mountains!!!"
Morning flight at 8.05am is what I chose as I think if we plan to travel and we wake up more early mean we can spend longer time for the trip. Now during COVID everyone should prepare and spare more time at airport to make sure that you will not run for final call.
Arrive to Airport and check in is normal process for all airline. But after check in and you have to pass the ID/Passport checking process. You have to register and fill out information about yourself such as ID number, date of birth, departure destination and arrival destination and you have to complete this process before ID/Passport checking on mobile application.
At Suvarnabhumi airport they moved 2nd carry on luggage scanner to be located closer to the gate which I agreed. This process is normal process and after pass scanner then I spent time waiting for boarding time at the gate.
They call passenger every 5 rows (start from the last row) and I think this is good idea to avoid crowded people in the aircraft as in the pass they always start from beginning row then passengers are blocked at the aisle while other passengers putting their luggage to the cabin.
The flight departed on time and arrived on time to Chiang rai airport as well. I always take picture of Chiang rai airport as this is very beutiful airport with flower decoration.
After got luggage then I continued to the van which waiting outside (around 50 meters walk from exit).
I booked this joined tour. So, there are another 4 passengers in the van (Muk,Sana,Kavin,Keng). And program today started with visiting the cave which become famous after 13 children were trapped inside and there were many rescue team came from many countries to help them and finally they all came out safely.
We arrived to the cave (it took around 1 hour from airport) and parked the van outside and then continue with the shuttle. We can walk around and visit only outside of the cave as they are under process of preparing area inside for tourist. Actually, this cave is around 1kms dept but I guess that they should open for tourist in the future only around 100-200 meters.
But I think this cave should open for tourist as soon as possible as even outside the cave is very beautiful. But they have to make sure and aware about safety of visitors as well.
After the cave then the guide name P Aor took us continue to try famous coffee shop on the mountain which took around 30 minutes as it was shower raining to driver drove more careful and slower.
Doi Pha Mhee is the name of the mountain where there are hill tribe people living since King Rama 9 invited them to move away from the border of Thailand and Myanmar and support them to build the sustainable community till present. People here grow fruit, tea, vegetable, coffee and open small home stay and coffee shops.
They are lucky to have a wonderful view from every coffee shop. And they have very good management team to support and take care all community members. We had lunch with local food there.
And this is their food. It’s amazing that they cooked without MSG, sugar, fish sauce they use only salt but all menu is cooked with lots of herb.
I like this menu the most
And this is signature coffee which is mixed between coffee and wine. For me who is not coffee lover, I can say only “It’s just coffee and it bitter” but other friends who are coffee lover said the same thing “this is good coffee” some of them bought coffee power. They have most famous coffee with cost THB 2500/kg (OMG).
After enjoy lunch guide P Ao took us to visit another local village call “Pang Ha” where people are farmer and handmade products maker after farming.
I tried treatment by the silk facial mask and I like it so much as same as other friends in this trip so all of us buy some products from them.
Behind me is "SAA Paper" which is famous product from this village. P Jin who is the leader of community to make this paper for export and create job for the local people after farming season.
After that we return to Chiang rai city but before check in at hotel. Guide P Ao took us to restaurant for dinner and this dinner again served with local Northern food.
Some menu I know well but there are some menus I never see or try before
But all food are delicious. And because we got table on the raft so we are closer to the river. I like their services as all staff keep smiling while they serve us and whenever we call for services.
After dinner then we checked in at hotel The Reverie (former Dusit Island Resort) https://www.theriverie.com/ .
Hotel is located next to the river and I can see beautiful temple “Wat Huay Pla Kang” from balcony.
The swimming pool is look nice but since there are shower raining so no one there
My room is very nice, large, clean and look new. They put 4 bottles of drinking water in the room (2 in the refrigerator and another 2 outside).
After shower and refreshment, nothing better than jump to the big and comfortable bed and pillow and take 8 hours sleep.
We were not lucky as today was raining since morning.
So, guide P Ao called us to adjust itinerary so we stayed at hotel till noon at leisure and then guide picked us up late noon and we went to Singha Park for farm tour
and experience some excited activity.
and dinner at the popular restaurant inside the farm.
I like this farm. There are 8700 rai in overall and they plant variety of fruits, tea, coffee, rubber etc., There are many small mountains in the area and every where are green with tree, tea plantation and flower garden.
The shuttle took us around and stop at the check in points.
Everyone enjoyed photo shooting with flower garden
Same as me
After that the shuttle took us to the restaurant for dinner. And dinner today is Thai food
Signature dish is this one, the tempura tea leaf with sweet and sour salad.
And also this one
But I like this one the most. Spicy salad with mix grilled mushroom
We were enjoyed dinner and talk and now we all become new friends.
After dinner we return to hotel for packing luggage and prepare to move from Chiang rai to Chiang mai. Before I go up to my room, I dropped by at the souvenir shop inside hotel as they selling many items of handmade stuff. And I got nice long coat with hand sewing by hill-tribe. This kind of the product is only one in the world as they design and made it by hand ( please ignore background as I wore this coat when I reached to Chiangmai). It is very nice coat which can match with many cloths.
Breakfast today with noodle in curry which is my most favorite menu when I travel to the north “Khanom jeen nam ngiew” besides of this noodle in curry I also had noodle with clear soup as this is a signature of breakfast at this hotel. We finished breakfast and it is the time which guide P Ao arrived to hotel to pick us.
We left hotel around 8am and today we visit one of famous coffee shop called “Abonzo Coffee in Town” which is the 2nd shop after they success with the first work shop on Doi Chang where there is coffee plantation which produced Arabica coffee for export to Japan, USA and other countries. Abonzo is Akha language, it is his grandfather name.
We do not have Doi Chang in the program this time so I’m thinking to come to Chiang rai again soon and visit some places which I still missing.
I like decoration style (LOFT) of this shop and in my personal opinion this is the coffee shop should be.
And we were lucky to meet with the owner and listen his inspiration and plan for his coffee brand and his community. His plans is to open more branches in other provinces and send young people from his village to work at those branches instead of selling franchise. He supports those young people for higher education to make their life better than working in the farm as he knows that “education can make the life changed’. He is a good man.
I tried their ICE MOCHA and I love it. Kavin prefer hot coffee and he got latte.
And this one is new signature drink and I like this one more than coffee (I did not mean that their coffee is not good but as I’m not coffee lover so I just think coffee is coffee and all coffee is bitter)
After that we continued to Chiang mai to visit the famous tea garden called “Araksa Tea Garden” which is 4 hours from Chiang Rai. It was long way but when we reached to the garden, I feel that it is worth to come. Actually, I like the scenery in the north of Thailand even just sit in the car and drive up and down the mountains. As I’m living in the city and every day, I can see only buildings so green mountains help me relax my eyes.
Araksa tea garden is located in Mae Tang district https://www.araksatea.com/ . We reached to around 14.00. So, we had lunch before start the activity.
The food they served look yummy.
And I like this menu the most. It is banana flower salad.
After lunch we turn to be a farmer with the basket on our back and their staff took us to the tea garden to try pick the tea leaf by ourselves. There was a lovely aunty name “Chan” show us how to do.
And then we moved to next process and experience the traditional tea roasting. Aunty Chan is professional.
After roasted the tea leaf we tried drinking the fresh tea with rice cracker.
The smell of tea is so good. I love drinking tea so I bought 2 packs of their Rose Black Tea.
And after finish with roasting the tea leaf then they serve us the good tea with rice cracker.
We left the garden and took another 15 minutes to the place call "Walk Camp" where we can be very close to the elephant. For me it is fine to visit this kind of the place but personally I afraid to get too close to the elephant. Because the camp is located deep in the forest because the owner want to make elephant feel like living in the jungle so we have to change to local truck which is more adventure.
It is very nice place with the green of rice field and the small cottage which they open for home stay. Tourist can stay one night or just visit as day tour.
Keng who love all kind of animals make friend with the dog. Meanwhile Muk walked direct to play with elephants.
I like to atmosphere in over all. I have new model "Muk" always happy when I call her in to the frame.
In the program we have dinner at the camp. And this is our very delicious food.
It was very nice dinner the food is simple but delicious and when we have it in the rice field with new friends. After dinner we heading to check in at SIB-SAN RESORT & SPA, Mae Taeng https://sibsanresort.com/ which located around 20 minutes away from the tea garden.
I like this resort, there is very big garden and another side is river and elephant camp. I hope to see some elephant from resort.
The room is so nice with Thai-Lanna decoration style. Big and comfortable bed and pillow. All furniture made by wood.
Big bathroom and bathtub.
And this is small gimmick which I never seen in any hotel. Small fish made by coconut leaf put on the toilet tissue. So, cute.
Tonight, I will go to bed more early as tomorrow I want to wake up more early for jogging and see the morning moment.
Early morning in the resort, almost guests still enjoy sleeping but I’m walking around the resort area to breath the fresh air.
There is a lovely coffee shop next to Mae Taeng river behind the resort. There is a big red bridge cross the river to another side which belong to resort as well.
This are is so nice, peaceful, green, fresh air. Sitting and listen the sound of the river is so relax.
I spent around 20 minutes at the coffee shop without any other one as the coffee shop opening at 10.00am. and then I walked back to the restaurant for breakfast and prepare for check out.
Today we do not have much program as we will move to stay in another hotel in Chiang mai city. So, we left hotel around 11.00am as the guide will take us to have lunch at the famous local Thai northern food “Khao Soi Nimman” (Khao Soi is the famous local food in the north of Thailand.
Guide suggested us to order in advance as the restaurant is not big and they always crowded during lunch time.
Khao Soi Nimman located in Nimman area which is very nice area ( I like this area more than night bazar as this area is more peaceful and more lovely. We reached to the restaurant around 12.00pm and the guide was right that there are many people in front of the restaurant. All those people are walk in customer.
We all ready at the table and waiting only around 10 minutes then we got our food.
My “Khao Soi with beef”
This one belong to Kavin, he ordered pork.
And this is chicken sate for share.
I like the taste of noodle here. The curry taste is rich with herb and coconut milk but may be not good for some foreigners who do not like spicy food.
We are enjoy eating our food and finished all within 30 minutes. Since there are many people still on que so we decided to leave restaurant after we finished food.
It is time for check in at hotel so the guide took us to check in at hotel called “Na Nirand” http://www.nanirand.com/ located next to Ping River (Mae Nam Ping) and the famous temple name “Wat Chai Mongkhon” which is a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. This temple is believed to have been built during the reign of King Tilokaraj, and serves an old Mon community.
Since today our itinerary is free time at leisure then I get local truck and go back to Nimman road. I love to walk along this road where there are lots of shops, café, souvenir shops etc.,
Today is small local market at One Nimman avenue. I like this kind of the market as there are lots of people selling their DIY stuff with variety of idea.
I got one t-shirt from this market which is only 100B, very cheap. I walked around the area and check new item at Freitag shop but I’m not lucky to day so I can not find any interested item (then I save my money today). After that I walked around the venue again and realized that this building is very nice decoration.
From the entrance
until upper floors. So, I got some nice shots
After that I got some finger food as I’m alone so better not go to the restaurant because and waste the food. Then take local truck to hotel.
It already dark so I can not see the river but I will tomorrow during breakfast as the restaurant is right next to the river and my room is not far from the restaurant (very good location). I like their lobby.
Open air with very lovely decoration.
Even space is not big but they prepare comfortable chairs for guest.
I got in to my room and I like the room at this resort. Big, soft and comfortable. And because of new normal tour concept, everyone staying in single room. So, I have very large space.
I like bathroom, see the bathtub in the middle.
Standing shower area is behind while the washing bowl is at the corner.
I like the work desk as well. It’s classic style and see the old style telephone which is not just decoration but it is still work.
Tonight I will go to bed more early as I want to see early morning moment in this area before guide pick us for the rest of itinerary before go back to Bangkok.
6am is my normal wake up time (without alarm clock 😊). Today do not have much program, we just relax at the resort till 11.00am then guide will pick us for lunch and then send us to airport. The reason they keep today free because some of the guest who joined this tour want to spend sometime at the market to buy souvenir.
I do not want to carry anything else this time so I wait for them at the resort. And get some nice shots.
11.00am is check out time and we heading to the restaurant for lunch.
Lunch today is at The House by Ginger Restaurant.
And here are our menus.
After lunch the guide take us to airport for noon flight.
I think this is good and relax trip. Itinerary a bit tight in some day but some day relax. But to enjoy this kind of the trip you have to accept some part of itinerary which you may not enjoy it but it safer.
This is rainy season so all the mountains are green. And this is the reason why I travel to the north at least 1 time every year (but this year I already visit Chiangmai 2 times with difference places to visit). And I still like Chiang rai and Chiang mai and I already listed down the places I want to visit for next trip even I still do not know when.
It’s time to leave and I will come back again. The reason why I can travel to same provinces many times is there are many places to visit and when we visit there with difference friends then it always make difference experience and memory. Thanks for new friend Kavin, Keng, Muk and Sana for this wonderful trip.
By the way, my next trip is travel to Khao Yai again (as I got new list of the places to visit).