By Jyotsna Ramani
After visiting Southern part of Thailand 6 times, I really wanted to see the North.
Luckily, I won the travel story writing contest by Tourism Authority of Thailand – or TAT – and was one of the 6 bloggers to be flown for an all expense paid trip to North Thailand. I was psyched, to say the least.
Once there, everything from the meet and greet assistance to the hotels & attractions they had carefully handpicked for us, was simply perfect. Our tour was handled by the lovely Sirima Eamtako, from the PR company The Amiris which handles the contest, who literally pampered and spoilt us as we shamelessly indulged in Thai royalty.
For me, these were the top 5 experiences of the trip –
Ziplining in Singha Park – When in Chiang Rai, we had an option to zip line across vast countryside style fields of the lovely Rai Boon Rawd. This was surely one of the best parts of the trip as I zoomed across the manicured gardens of Singha.
Wat Rong Khun (Aka the White Temple) – If you have ever seen any pictures of the stunning White temple in Chiang rai, you would know why this tops my list. This spotless white temple looks so magical it could’ve jumped right out of a storybook! I had to pinch myself when we reached there as I was so awe-struck by its beauty.
Yam Khang (Aka fire massage) – In the remote village of Ban Rai Kong Khing, in Chiang Mai, you can experience this one of a kind, traditional fire massage. Now we have all tried the usual “Thai” massages but this is something totally different. Experienced masters who have learnt this art for decades, dip their feet in oil and put it on a burning charcoal. Lo, behold, huge flames spark on the charcoal holder and then they massage your body with those piping hot feet. It is said to have many health benefits and instantly relives any aches – which was true. I felt so refreshed after my Yam Khang experience.
Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden – Who doesn’t like pretty flowers and attractive displays? This garden offers all of that , plus, some of the most amazing photo opportunities. I believe I must’ve clicked around 200 pictures at Queen Sirikit gardens – that’s how pretty this place is.
Mountain F1 at Doi Mon Chaem – Lovely hillside village of Mon Chaem offers a unique adrenaline rush to tourists. Sit in a rickety wooden cart as you are pushed down a 600 meter downhill road – pretty rad, isn’t it? I felt like a kid again as I crashed twice but eventually came hurtling down the hill in one piece. Highly recommended experience and adding these little adventures took the monotony away.
Overall, the entire trip was a good mix of culture, history, adventure and gluttony. The itinerary was planned very well and all bloggers were taken good care of. I loved my experience and wouldn’t hesitate to go back, if given a chance.
If you’d like to read my detailed experiences, click on the following links: