Chiang Mai is a paradise for nature lovers, or those looking for a relaxing getaway in Thailand. One thing we found out during our stay is that there is over 300 temples in town! I would say that is pretty much one per block. Another selling point for Chiang Mai is its cuisine and fantastic restaurants. I carefully chose the following and hope you will enjoy them as much as we did!
I highly recommend visiting Araksa Tea Garden in Mae Tang District. We booked a morning tour, where we had a chance to learn all about the tea production process and we even got to pick tea. Ending our tour sitting at a long table, drinking tea with some snacks. I can’t recommend this enough, I would say that this was my most favorite part of our trip.
The tour we booked included lunch at Lisu Eco Lodge just a few minutes from the Araksa Tea Garden. Located in the Lisu hill tribe village, this eco lodge is fully operated by the villagers. The set up for our lunch was so authentic; we sat on the floor of an open space room with views of the rice paddies. We enjoyed eating the local cuisine followed by a tour of the village.
A lot of people choose to visit an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai. We also really wanted to do that, but firstly I needed to make sure the place we would visit was 100% ethical. It is really important for me that they actually care for elephants that were once abused or mistreated. Our driver took us to a family run sanctuary were we washed and fed them (no ridding or tricks, and they all roaming freely). I enjoyed this experience so much, I made some medicine for one of the elephants, a female who is 80 years old and hand fed her. I felt so connect to her, and discovered that elephants have a fantastic memory. They apparently remember you forever by your scent.
Visit Wat Suan Dok, a gorgeous temple minutes from the old town.
Restaurants and Cafes
The House food and kitchen bar is a very charming restaurant in Old Town. With an extensive menu serving both Thai and Western dishes. There is two other places in the same complex by the same owner also worth paying a visit. We visited it for dinner so no good photos to share.
Rustic & Blue is the perfect spot to have lunch. The food is fresh, using local ingredients. I tried the pumpkin gnocchi with a Thai curry sauce and fell in love. Talk about the most amazing combination of flavors and spices.
And the best for last, coffee! You can’t leave Chiang Mai without making a stop at Ristr8to for a complete coffee experience. The experience starts with their menu, an informative and fun way to order your cup of coffee. Then we move on to the coffee presentation, a unique cup depending on what you order. Finally is the taste! All in all one of the coolest places I have ever been for a coffee.
Have you seen my previous post about where we stayed in Chiang Mai? We booked our stay with Nustay, an amazing booking platform worth checking out for your next hotel stay. Sign up is easy and their discounts are big since their goal is to “best match” you to a hotel.