Providing you have a reasonable amount of time for your trip to Thailand you will be able to enjoy all that we have talked about with regards to designing a niche itinerary. For starters the art of getting exactly what you want from your trip is all in the planning.
We selected a niche design of someone who wanted to build a trip around the love of good Thai food and indulgent Thai spa treatments. We also looked at ways somebody might be able to achieve continued learning of their passions on their vacation. Finally we chose the area of northern Thailand and essentially Chiang Mai for our visit.
We then looked at making the most of the trip and travelling over land up to Chiang Mai. There are many places of interest to stop off at along the way. The itinerary up to Chiang Mai is full of history, culture and tradition. This is certainly known as the art of killing two birds with one stone. Not only are you on a trip with meaning, but have seen and are learning lots more about Thailand and the kingdoms culture.
Traditional Northern Thai Cuisine
Let’s say you have 17 days for your visit. You can mould the trip around your general interests and getting around seeing a bit of the country. It’s surprising how big Thailand is so you might have to return on a few occasions in order to see it all. That of course is no bad thing. The important thing is that you plan your trip around your interests and you don’t rush.
Planning A 17 Day Itinerary
Here is how you could spend a 17 day ‘’ Thai Spa and Thai Food trip to Chiang Mai including travelling overland to get to Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai : Food, Spas and learning
Now for the real reason you are visiting Thailand the combination of good Thai food,rejuvenating spas and treatments and a continued learning process.
The spas in Chiang Mai have various wellness packages lasting up to 5 hours or you can just have single treatments.
The beauty is you can combine your pampering and Thai food passions together with further sight-seeing.
From Lanna Come Spa
Start the day with your food passion by learning to cook some really tasty Thai dishes. There are lots of cooking schools in Chiang Mai and you can take your choice, but my favourite is Cookingathome Chiang Mai.
Afternoon: It is now time for some rest and rejuvenation and once again Chiang Mai has that in abundance. You can have the stand alone treatments or go for an all in indulgent spa package at Lannacome Spa
Evening: Combine some of the north’s superb cuisine with traditional northern culture and dancing in the form of a ‘’Kantoke’’ show. Yes the shows maybe slightly touristy, but you do get specific northern Thai cuisine and a real feel for the northern culture.
Take at trip to Doi InthanonThailand’s highest mountain. The park is 1,005 square kilometres and is part of a mountain range that stretches across Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and northern Thailand. The park has some fantastic waterfalls, dense forest, wild birds and plenty of great picnic areas. You can spend a good few hours here combining relaxation and looking around.
There are so many good places to eat in Thailand that identifying a favourite restaurant is a difficult job. However in Chiang Mai there is a place that was in the very first lonely planet guide and is also one of my very favourite restaurants. If it’s about show, appearance and sitting in some where plush for you, then forget it. On the other hand if it’s the taste of delicious Thai dishes then head on over to Aroon Rai ‘’ in the Tapae gate area’’ They do the best ‘’Gang Gari’’ yellow chicken curry I have ever tasted and have been serving quality dishes for more than 40 years
Time to get back to the cookery lessons and Cooking at home in Chiang Mai offer different courses for every day of the week. The courses run daily from 09.00 – 15.00. Take a look at the range of courses offered on the website.
Once again it’s time for some late afternoon early evening pampering and this time try the treatments of Cheeva Spa
Restaurant: Chit Chai: Another superb restaurant in the Thapae Gate area located just after the foot bridge in a left hand soi before the Thapae Gate area. Superb food and friendly service.
In the morning take a trip to Krisadadoy it’s a beautiful botanical gardens and flower park 700 metres above sea level. This really is a beautiful and peaceful place to spend some time. I prefer to visit in the mornings as the afternoon heat can be a bit energy sapping.
If you are somebody who likes a bit of music and entertainment whilst eating then the Riverside restaurant is a great place to go. You might want to get there early as it can get full.
Krisadadoy Botanical Gardens
Day 13 & 14
Leave early for Chiang Rai. This is where it would be good to travel by mini-bus so that you can travel at your leisure without rushing. There is much to see and do in and around Chiang Rai and you can choose the attractions you want to visit the most. It will be great to have a change of scenery for a couple of days before returning to Chiang Mai.
Beautiful Chiang Rai
Back for some more cooking lessons. Cooking at Home have courses for each day of the week so you are always learning something different.
Today is the last of your cookery lessons and you will soon be back home delighting family and friends with you new skill set.
Check out the shopping and tasty food of China Town on Chiang Moi road. It has many bargains and is a great place to do some final shopping .
China Town, Chiang Mai
For the final day you must visit probably the most sacred temple in the north of Thailand. The temple is Doi Suthep or ‘’Wat Phra That Doi Suthep’’ to be more precise. The temple lies at the end of a 300 step staircase. There are some terrific views from the top.
Once again and if you have time in your schedule you can take up the opportunity for some more indulgence in the way of spa treatments and by now you will know where to go.
A bit touristy and not my favourite place these days is the night bazaar. It’s good for a one time look and walk around though. The best thing is perhaps a bite to eat at the Galare centre where you can choose a couple of tasty dishes and a drink. You can also sit and watch the free traditional Thai dancing performances. This is quite nice of an evening and very relaxing.
Thai Massage Courses
For those interested in perhaps learning Thai Massage take a look at the list of Thai Massage courses available in Chiang Mai and see how a course would fit in with your schedule. You could always build a few lessons in to your itinerary at the expense of something else.
Holistic Wellness Centre
For those looking for the complete holistic health spa visit one of the best in the world at the Tao Garden Health Spa & Resort just outside of Chiang Mai. There are no end of courses and services to transform your mind, body and soul.
Further Must Do’s
Sunday Walking Market
Make sure one of the day’s on your itinerary in Chiang Mai is a Sunday. A massive market is held every Sunday evening around the Thapae gate area called ‘’walking street market’’. The night takes on a carnival like atmosphere with lantern balloons and has some of the most tastiest snacks imaginable and all at ridiculously low prices. It takes about 2 hours to walk around this market.
Sunday Walking Market
Check out Sailomjoy Restaurant on Rachadamneon road (Thapae gate). I have done a few articles about Sailomjoy as it’s the place I always have breakfast. Great food and great staff and service. A traditional family- ran business. You can get all information on Sailomjoy, learn about the owners special coffee and read an interview I recently did with them from the highlighted links here.
Sailomjoy Restaurant, Chiang Mai
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