Chiang Mai: New Year’s Eve

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Spending the New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai is one of the highlights of my trip. This is my first time celebrating the NYE in a foreign country. Having said that, the old city gives me the opportunity to experience something different. The Thapae Gate was the focal point of the NYE celebrations. The roads were closed to traffic and lined with food stalls and local markets. The crowd can get intense nearing the midnight and be prepared to elbow your way round.

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Chiang Mai: Halal Street and Shopping Area

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Halal food can be easily found in Chiang Mai. Located near the Night Bazaar, adjacent to Chang Klan Rd, Halal Street Hilal Town is a popular area among Muslim travelers. This stretch of is the best place to fulfill your stomach after a long day.

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Chiang Mai: Doi Suthep

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Wat Phra That Doi Suthep or often referred to as “Doi Suthep” is one of northern Thailand’s most sacred temples. One needs to drive up the winding mountain road to reach the top. According to Joe, this temple is a ‘must see attraction’ if your are visiting Chiang Mai. Doi Suthep is my final stop for the day. Indeed a beautiful way to end a nice evening at the top of Chiang Mai.

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Chiang Mai: Pong Yang Elephant Camp

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There are plenty of elephant camps in Chiang Mai. Besides Mae Sa elephant camp; one of the oldest and well known elephant camps among the tourist, I decided to opt for non-touristy elephant riding at Pong Yang Elephant Camp recommended by Joe. Elephants in Thailand used to play a vital role both in the economic and social life of the country but now it has been a major tourist activity.

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Chiang Mai: Tiger Kingdom

Tiger Kingdom

Right after the hot air balloon ride, I hired a driver for personal tour. Joe of Chiang Mai Expert Driver, recommended a few places to visit; one of it was the Tiger Kingdom. This is the only place that you can enter the enclosure and get close to a tiger. Set aside, the Tiger Kingdom has been marketed all over Chiang Mai. You will noticed posters for Tiger Kingdom all over the city and that include on every Tuk Tuk and Song Taew has a ‘Tiger Kingdom’ promotional sticker on it.

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Chiang Mai: Hot Air Balloon Adventure

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Is riding a hot air balloon on your bucket list? If yes, you don’t have to travel all the way to Turkey to ride one! There is no better way to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of Chiang Mai than from the vantage point of a hot air balloon. I booked the flight with Balloon Adventure Thailand. Advanced booking is preferred especially during the Chiang Mai winter season in December. Transfer from hotel to the launch site at Horizon Village & Resort is included in the flight fees. So you don’t have to worry about transportation but please be prepared to wake up early for the pickup!

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Chiang Mai: Tweechol Botanic Garden

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The Tweechol Botanical Garden is part of the Horizon Village & Resort property that I stayed in. If you are around Doi Saket district, the garden is worth to explore. It has one of the largest collections of plants in Thailand  collected over the years. I personally think that this is one of the well kept gardens I have ever seen.

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