Traversing Northern Thailand

On my previous trip to Thailand many moons ago I completely skipped the north due to time constraints. Ever since places like Chiang Mai and Lately Pai have taken on an almost mythical status in my mind as tourist and travellers can’t help but extol the virtues of both. However they were always short on details of why these places were so great apart from describing them as ‘laid back’ ‘relaxed’ and ‘chill’.

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I took the wise decision (if I do say so myself) to visit the ruins early in the morning. This was great for many reasons: few tourists, good temperature and gorgeous golden light
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I rented a bicycle and slowly cycled around, enjoying the sights as I went

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Hi mum
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Wat Si Chum contains a large Buddha statue enclosed so that from afar Buddha is just peeking out
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Golden hands
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Next was a move up north to Chiang Mai
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The atmosphere is indeed laid back and much more relaxed than Bangkok for example. There was loads of nice temples to visit
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Further north along extremely windy roads was Pai. A place I had only heard of a few weeks previously but haven’t stopped hearing about it since. I would show more photos from Pai but the best thing I saw was the Lod Cave. Otherwise when you ask people what’s good about Pai they just tell you it’s really ‘chill’.
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The cave itself is immense
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At parts a bamboo raft is needed
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Reaching the other side you find a huge opening to the cave
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I also took a one-day cooking course. I would show pictures of the food but I forgot to take them. Anyway I never knew making curry paste took so much time and effort
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I was exhausted afterwards and vowed to just buy curry paste in the future if I ever decided to cook the dishes that I had learnt to make (will never happen)
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Final stop on a short trip across northern Thailand was Chiang Rai. It’s famous for The White Temple. Constructed in modern times and designed by a Thai artist
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In contrast to The White Temple are the Black Houses made by another Thai artist. This one is as suitably creepy as the name might suggest
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They look like temples but are not and contain do not Buddhas but animals skins, skulls, horns and other weird, creepy but wondrous artefacts
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I really enjoyed the place and found it extremely intriguing
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There are around 40 houses in total
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The Golden Clocktower in downtown Chiang Rai

Next up: Laos

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