Our third and final stop on our honeymoon was in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand after Bangkok. We loved that we got to spend time at the beach (read about Phkeut here), in the country side (read about Chai Lai Orchid here) and in the city all in 1 trip! It almost felt like 3 vacations in 1! It was super duper hot in Chaing Mai, like living in a sauna hot, but we made the most of it!
The first day we explored the city and got acclimated. The next day we headed about 20 minutes outside the city to Tiger Kingdom. Tiger Kingdom is a tiger sanctuary where humans are actually able to go into the cages with them to pet and interact with them. We were skeptical at first that the tigers are drugged or mistreated, but we met someone at Chai Lai Orchid whose friend interned at Tiger Kingdom and conducted an investigation into how the tigers are treated. According to her research they are conditioned from birth to behave in a calm manor and obey their trainers. The trainers didn’t use any force with them and they were amazingly gentle.
Being able to get that up close and personal with a tiger was an unforgettable experience! It was also really neat to see them play and interact with one another!
As is true of our other stops in Thailand the food in Chiang Mai did not disappoint! One of my favorite food experiences in Thailand was at the Ploen Ruedee Night Market. It is a large prepared food market where you can buy food from a stand and sit and enjoy while listening to music!
At this food stand you could get spring rolls that they “made-to-order” by frying them right before your eyes! So fresh, hot and delicious! We also tried out some pork buns and of course the pad thai!
Chiang Mai has some very famous temples, we visited the largest one, Doi Suthep. It is about 10 miles outside Chiang Mai city. The temple was beautiful with so many ornate details.
Due to the heat we spent our afternoons in Chiang Mai relaxing by our resort’s pool. We noticed that many of the pools in Chiang Mai are built in the shade, which we were grateful for since that made for cool, refreshing water!
One night we went out to a Thai Boxing match. We had a great time because we met a nice couple from Canada that were also honeymooning and staying at our resort. As for the actual Thai Boxing, it was an experience… I will leave it at that.
The dish pictured above is called Khoa Soi, it is famous and we believe unique to northern Thailand. We did not see it in Phuket and I have not seen it served here in the US at Thai restaurants. It is a yellow curry chicken dish with eggs noodles, topped with crispy noodles and pickled vegetables. It has a sweeter taste then most thai curries and the crispy noodles add great texture. We enjoyed it several times from different restaurants and we both loved it!
On our final night in Thailand we went to a traditional Khantoke dinner at our resort, 137 Pillars House. It was a 2 hour dining experience with traditional Lanna music and dancing performances. The food (pictured above) was served family style for the 2 of us to share and try out many dishes. Our favorite dish was the one in the front left, Gaeng Phed Ped Yang, a roast duck curry. Walter even got a turn dancing up on “stage”!
Overall we could not have asked for a better honeymoon! We were so blessed to be able to travel to such a beautiful and culturally rich destination. We will never forget it!