Category: Northern Thailand

Royal Projects Trip to Chiang Mai

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.

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Four Northern Provinces Trip

Wat Phrathat Hariphunchai (วัดพระธาตุหริภุญชัย)

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 2Day 3 and Day 4.

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Nature and Temples in Nan

Whispering Lovers at Wat Phumin

TRAVEL DATE: 21-23 February 2015
ACCOMMODATION: Papua Bhuka Resort and Sasidara Resort

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:



Nan Nakhon Airport,ท่าอากาศยานน่านนคร,18.802430 100.784976
Doi Phu Kha National Park,อุทยานแห่งชาติ ดอยภูคา,19.085168 101.061459
Pua Walking Street,,19.175395 100.913669
Papua Bhuka Hotel,โรงแรมป่าปัว ภูคา,19.195491 101.047321
Wat Nong Bua,วัดหนองบัว,19.088706 100.786088
Wat Suan Tan,วัดสวนตาล,18.784392 100.774010
Wat Phrathat Chang Kham Woravihan,วัดพระธาตุช้างค้ำวรวิหาร,18.776238 100.772102
Wat Phumin,วัดภูมินทร์,18.774527 100.771633
The Noble House,โฮงเจ้าฟองคำ,18.789646 100.785566
Wat Ming Muang,วัดมิ่งเมือง,18.774539 100.769141
Nan City Pillar,,18.774857 100.769218
Wat Si Pan Ton,วัดศรีพันต้น,18.776109 100.765584
Nan Walking Street,,18.775193 100.771586
Sasidara Resort,ศศิดารา รีสอร์ท,18.774106 100.756764
Wat Phra That Khao Noi,พระธาตุเขาน้อย,18.769585 100.750714
Nan Riverside Art Gallery,หอศิลป์ริมน่าน,18.940337 100.767709
Wat Phra That Chae Hang,วัดพระธาตุแช่แห้ง,18.758381 100.791247

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.

Wat Phra That Khao Noi

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.

Light and Sound Show in Sukhothai

Sukhothai Historical Park

TRAVEL DATE: 10-12 July 2015
DESTINATION: Sukhothai Province
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel De’ Peal Sukhothai

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:



DESTINATION,สถานที่ท่องเที่ยว, GPS
Phitsanulok Airport,ท่าอากาศยานพิษณุโลก,16.782691 100.277904
Nok Air Drop-off Point,คอฟฟี่เฮ้าส์,17.018322 99.714867
Hotel De’ Peal Sukhothai,โรงแรมเดอ พีล สุโขทัย,17.018229 99.715445
Food Festival & Sunset View,ตลาดปสานอุทยานประวัติศาสตร์สุโขทัย,17.020192 99.703745
Mini Light and Sound Show,มินิไลท์แอนซาวน์สุโขทัย,17.019886 99.702148
Wat Mahathat,วัดมหาธาตุ,17.016862 99.704148
King Ramkhamhaeng Monument,พระบรมราชานุสาวรีย์พ่อขุนรามคำแหงมหาราช,17.019871 99.704671
Wat Sa Si,วัดสระศรี,17.019771 99.701190
Wat Traphang Ngoen,วัดตระพังเงิน,17.016497 99.699945
Wat Si Sawai,วัดศรีสวาย,17.013921 99.702211
Wat Sorasak,วัดสรศักดิ์,17.024168 99.704344
Wat Si Chum,วัดศรีชุม,17.026945 99.693354
Wat Phra Phai Luang,วัดพระพายหลวง,17.029261 99.699584
Ramkhamhaeng National Museum,พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ,17.017269 99.707343
Wat Chetuphon,วัดเชตุพน,16.997943 99.706817
Wat Chedi Si Hong,วัดเจดีย์สี่ห้อง,16.997493 99.708695
Wat Traphang Thong,วัดตระพังทองหลาง,17.017614 99.709086
Wat Chang Lom,วัดช้างล้อม,17.020952 99.714302
Wat Saphan Hin,วัดสะพานหิน,17.023267 99.675296

Wat Mahathat

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.

Visakha Bucha Festival in Chiang Mai


TRAVEL DATE: 31 May – 2 June 2015
DESTINATION: Chiang Mai Province

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.



Chiang Mai Airport,18.769353 98.965308,Photos | Aerials
Shangri-la Hotel,18.778499 98.999760,Photos | Aerials
Art in Paradise,18.776328 98.999622,Photos | Aerials
Wat Chedi Luang,18.787030 98.986472,Photos | Aerials
Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep,18.804998 98.921546,Photos | Aerials
Tawa Bistro,18.786186 98.992863,Photos | Aerials
Chiang Mai Zoo,18.809910 98.947683,Photos | Aerials
Chiang Mai Night Safari,18.742940 98.920106,Photos | Aerials
Doi Inthanon,18.590522 98.485490,Photos | Aerials

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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.