TRAVEL DATE: 12-13 December 2016 DESTINATION: Chiang Mai Province ACCOMMODATION: Dusit Princess Hotel Chiang Mai
Ever since the passing of King Bhumibol, there has been a renewed interest in the royal projects that he initiated around Thailand. Most of these were set up to help local local people to learn about sustainable farming and also to help them to sell their produce. Tourists can visit many of these projects. Some of them also offer homestay options. However, unless you have your own transport, many of them are not easy to reach. I also visited a few other notable attractions in Chiang Mai. During the trip, I tweeted live on @RichardBarrow. Click to see the embedded tweets for Day 1 and Day 2.
TRAVEL DATE: 17-20 September 2015 DESTINATION: Uttaradit, Lampang, Lamphun and Tak Provinces ACCOMMODATION: SuNee Boutique Hotel (Uttaradit), Auangkham Resort (Lampang) and Baan Pailyn (Lamphun)
In mid-September I was invited by TAT Northern Thailand to visit a part of the country that I haven’t been to for a while. The trip was four days long and we visited four provinces. On the trip were ten Thai travel bloggers and myself. I was the only foreigner. The target audience for the places we visited was domestic tourists, but I think some places will be of interest to foreign tourists as well. During the trip, I tweeted live on @RichardBarrow. Click to see the embedded tweets for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4.
Towards the end of February, I went on a three day trip to Nan province in Northern Thailand. The highlights included Doi Phu National Park and the temples of Nan City. In particular, Wat Phumin, which is famous for the “Whispering Lovers” mural, and Wat Phra That Khao Noi for the Standing Buddha image, were very memorable. During the trip, I tweeted live on @RichardBarrow. Click for the embedded tweets for Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.
The following map shows the places that we visited during the trip:
A hidden gem of a province, Nan was once an independent kingdom and is now popular with travelers who wish to explore the natural beauty of northern Thailand and its rich cultural heritage. The provincial capital of Nan has a relaxed charm, an interesting history, some impressive temples, and a good museum. The province features six national parks, including the stunning Doi Phukha National Park, which contains mountains nearly 2,000 m high. The rich natural beauty of Nan makes it an ideal destination for trekking as the remote province sees far fewer visitors than neighboring Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. ..
PHOTO ALBUM: On the first day of our trip, we visited Doi Phu Kha National Park. The highest peak here is 1,980 meters above sea level. The provincial tree and flower of Nan is the Orchid Tree which blooms here at this time of year. That evening we visited Pua Walking Street and then in the morning we took photos at the local market. Everyone was very friendly. Our next stop was Wat Nong Bua that was built by the Thai Lue people in the 19th Century. We then drove onto Nan provincial city where we went on a Tram Tour. These tours run daily from Wat Phumin and only cost 30 Baht. During the tour we visited, Wat Suan Tan, Wat Phrathat Chang Kham, The Noble House and Wat Ming Muang. Later that evening, we visited Nan Walking Street in front of Wat Phumin. On the last day, we were up early to take pictures of the sunrise at Wat Phra That Khao Noi. The Standing Buddha here is an icon of the province. We next went to the morning market to take pictures before heading North to visit the Nan Riverside Art Gallery. Our last stop was to Wat Phra That Chae Hang which is one of the most sacred temples in the region.
Sukhothai was the ancient capital of Thailand about 700 years ago. On the second Friday of every month, between February and September, the local administration put on a free Mini Light and Sound show about the history of the province. This takes place at Wat Sa Si in Sukhothai Historical Park. I flew to Sukhothai on Nok Air’s Fly’n’Ride package that goes via Phitsanulok Airport. The hotel I chose is right next to the drop-off point, is very close to the park entrance and offers free bicycle rent. Cycling is the perfect way to explore the area as it is mainly flat. During the trip, I tweeted live on @RichardBarrow. Click to see the embedded tweets for Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.
The following map shows the places that I visited during the trip:
Founded in the 13th century, Sukhothai was the first truly independent Thai Kingdom and enjoyed a golden age under King Ramkhamhaeng, who is credited with creating the Thai alphabet. The superb temples and monuments of this great city have been restored, and Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-see for all travelers. Entrance to the park is 100 Baht per zone. Most people only visit the central zone where Wat Mahathat is situated, but Wat Si Chum in the Northern zone is also worth a visit. You can rent bicycles near the park entrance. The area is mainly flat and is easy to explore in one day. However, it is advisable to stay at a local guesthouse for a couple of nights and take your time. Unlike Ayutthaya, which is nearer to Bangkok, Sukhothai doesn’t get as many visitors.
GETTING THERE:Sukhothai is located about 427 kilometres north of Bangkok. There are no trains going directly to Sukhothai. However, you can travel by train to Phitsanulok and then take a local bus to Sukhothai, about 59 kilometers away. There is an airport in Sukhothai, but it is only served by Bangkok Airways. The budget airlines Nok Air and Air Asia do a Fly’n’Ride via Phitsanulok Airport. Air-conditioned buses depart from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal to Sukhothai daily. The journey takes 7 hours.
TRAVEL DATE: 31 May – 2 June 2015 DESTINATION: Chiang Mai Province ACCOMMODATION: Shangri-La Hotel
At the end of May 2015, I flew THAI Smile to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. I went with the guys from iTravel Channel. The purpose of the trip was to cover the Wisakha Bucha Parade to the top of Doi Suthep, the most well-known temple in this province. Other highlights during the three day trip included, Art in Paradise, Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai Zoo and Night Safari, and Doi Inthanon. During the trip, I tweeted live on @RichardBarrow. Click for the embedded tweets for Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.
The following map shows the places that we visited during the trip:
The old city of Chiang Mai is a showcase of the north’s fascinating indigenous cultural identity that includes diverse dialects, a delectable cuisine, distinctive architecture, traditional values, lively festivals, numerous handicrafts workshops, northern style massage, and classical dances. Chiang Mai is also blessed with pristine natural resources including mountains, waterfalls, and rivers. The presence of numerous hill tribes that feature a wealth of unique cultures enhances Chiang Mai’s distinctive diversity.
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Chiang Mai is about 700 kilometers north of Bangkok. Express and rapid trains operated by the State Railways of Thailand leave for Chiang Mai from Bangkok’s Hua Lumphong Station six times a day from 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. The trip takes about 11-12 hours on an express train. The journey by bus takes approximately 10-12 hours, depending on traffic. Domestic airlines, including Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, and Nok Air, operate several flights daily between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.