Bangkok was definitely too expensive of a choice, and doesn’t exactly scream peace and serenity.
I’ve started looking into Chiang Mai, aka Rose of the North. Some reasons that appeal to me:
1. Beautiful Landscapes – you can trek and see the rich culture of the hill ethnic tribes and even ride a zip line while appreciating the beauty of nature.
2. Temple architecture – Wat Phra Singh, the most famous temple in the city, Wat Chiang Man, is the oldest, and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep or the golden temple.
3. Animal Encounters – several elephant farms can be found in the city, and you can visit the Tiger Kingdom too. I love tigers!
4. Exciting Festivals – they have a water-themed festival for celebrating the New Year called the Songkran Festival. Also, there’s Loi Krathong Festival which involves lighting up thousands of lanterns and sending them into the night sky.
5. Shopper’s Heaven – the city has a famous night bazaar for handicrafts and many other local items. Every weekend the handicraft and food markets open up at night where you can roam around the open square, inside the buildings, even in temples.
6. Inexpensive – compared to other places in Thailand, Chiang Mai is cheaper, and the cost of living there is relatively low. A huge plus point for me.
7. Smooth Traveling – although the region is full of rainforests and mountains, transportation is hassle-free. You can get by with the endless modes of transportation.
8. Developing At A Moderate Pace – Chiang Mai is known for its rich culture but at the same time it embraces and welcomes new ideas, and that’s what makes the city really special. They accept change but they still never forget what and where they’re from.
At this point, I’m really leaning towards Chiang Mai. I’ll give it a think and keep you guys posted xx