Us in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chilling in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is our favourite place in Thailand. Over the last two years we’ve visited the city with friends and family, we’ve rented an apartment here for a month, celebrated Songkran and volunteered at the nearby Elephant Nature Park. Some of the happiest memories of our time in Asia took place right here in this leafy city nestled in the northern-Thai countryside.

Us by the moat in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Since we’ve spent a fair bit of time in Chiang Mai we know exactly where to stay and we have a list of favourite restaurants. The streets are semi-familiar to us and we don’t feel the pressure to go out sightseeing or temple hopping every day. Instead, our main goal for this trip has been to chill out and enjoy our favourite Thai city one last time before we leave Asia indefinitely.

Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai Thailand

Chilling Out in Chiang Mai

So, what have we been doing here? Not a lot, really. We’ve just been enjoying some simple pleasures; eating at our favourite restaurants, getting massages, shopping at the night markets and exploring a few temples. One afternoon we walked down to a park we’d never visited before and spent a quiet hour getting a massage, strolling around and watching people play badminton.

Muesli, Fruit and Yoghurt from Da's Bakery in Chiang Mai

We’ve also been eating a lot of delicious and (mostly) healthy food. There are literally thousands of restaurants here and we’ve been busy revisiting our favourites and checking out new, highly-rated ones. We’ve gorged on fruit shakes, muesli and yoghurt, pizza, veggie meals, pub favourites and night market goodies – I have a whole post coming dedicated to our favourite places to eat in Chiang Mai.

Rooftop Swimming Pool at the Lotus Cat Suan Keao Hotel in Chiang Mai

To counter some of those less healthy treats we’ve been swimming almost daily. We discovered a huge rooftop pool at the Lotus Cat Suan Keao Hotel which is usually pretty empty; for just £2 you get an all-day pass, including towels and sunbeds. In between swimming lengths we catch up on reading, something we didn’t have so much time for with our hectic teaching schedules in Hanoi.

Food Stall at the Sunday Night Market in Chiang Mai

Countdown to Leaving Asia

There’s a big ex-pat community in Chiang Mai and plenty of language schools, which makes me wonder what living and teaching here would be like. I can imagine eating regularly at our favourite restaurants, grabbing fruit shakes and treats from the bakery, heading to the night market on Sundays, swimming at the pool, browsing the second-hand bookshops and taking weekend trips into the mountains. As tempting as this life sounds, I know it’s time to move on and leave this part of the world.

Temple at Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai

In just a few days we will board a plane back to the UK. I can hardly believe that this time next week we’ll be back in England and this leg of our journey will be officially over. After spending the last two years travelling and living in Asia it will feel strange to finally leave, especially since we have no idea when we will return to this continent. Instead, our journey will take a drastic turn and I’m sure that we’ll have a completely different experience travelling in the U.S and Europe than we have done in Asia.  For now though, we will relish these final few days in one of our favourite Asian cities.

  • stefan
    Posted at 10:20h, 25 June Reply

    So long and take care! Can’t wait to read all about your US road trip xx

    • Amy
      Posted at 15:00h, 25 June Reply

      Thanks Stefan, we are super-excited about the road trip 🙂

  • Chris Donnington
    Posted at 16:24h, 25 June Reply

    Could you please give me the name/address of the apartment you stayed in.

    • Amy
      Posted at 06:33h, 26 June Reply

      Hi Chris, for short trips we stay at Baan Jaja guesthouse. The apartment we rented for a month was at Jigsaw Condominium 2 on the Superhighway. We rented it through AirB&B; you can find out more details in this post I wrote about apartments in Chiang Mai.

  • Gilda Baxter
    Posted at 21:36h, 26 June Reply

    Chiang Mai is such a great place, the food there is amazing. That rooftop pool for just £2 pounds/day sounds great. I could easily live in Chiang Mai for few months. You chose the perfect place to end your adventure in Asia.

    • Amy
      Posted at 13:51h, 28 June Reply

      I agree, we did chose the perfect end; we could live in Chiang Mai too, it’s such a great city.

  • Matt
    Posted at 21:54h, 26 June Reply

    We have been discussing a (very rough) plan of being in Chiang Mai for songkran next year so this was good timing – I will be waiting out for your post on where to eat! How did you find Chiang Mai after songkran? (was it too hot to do anything at all or worth sticking around for a bit longer after as well?) Let us know if you guys are in London in the next few weeks – would be cool to meet up with you guys for coffee or something 🙂

    • Amy
      Posted at 13:48h, 28 June Reply

      It would be great to meet Matt but we won’t be in London untill August as we will be visiting family in different parts of the country: If you’re still around in August let me know. Songkran was amazing, we left on the fifth day I think so we didn’t see what it was Lim afterwards; the weather was really hot though but you can always just chill out.

      • Matt
        Posted at 21:44h, 28 June Reply

        Cool – I think we’ll probably be around in London then so definitely drop us an email if you do get to London in August. Enjoy the family time 🙂 (and hope the fickle UK summer weather holds out for you…last few days have been alright anyway!)

        • Amy
          Posted at 04:29h, 29 June Reply

          Great, we will let you know

  • Jenia
    Posted at 15:51h, 27 June Reply

    Ack – I love Chiang Mai, for all the reasons you’ve mentioned here AND for the massages. I used to get one every day when we were there. OI, I miss it so!

    • Amy
      Posted at 13:42h, 28 June Reply

      Yes, the massages are so good! I will miss them when we leave

  • Louisa Klimentos
    Posted at 01:52h, 29 June Reply

    It is great to chill out ,eat yummy food and enjoy the place you are staying at .Well now you have finished your Asian adventure ,more adventures in Europe and USA to come.Amy and Andrew deserve a fantastic holiday adventure because they definately deserve it.You treat us all like as if we are your friends and not just people who reply on your travel blog .That is what I love about you both.Also you both have good hearts because when my son was badly injured in an accident ,Amy,you sent a lovely message hoping that my son will have a speedy recovery.i will always remember those lovely words.Keep enjoying your travel adventures,love always,Louisa

    • Amy
      Posted at 04:33h, 29 June Reply

      Aww, thanks Louisa. I hope your son is recovering well.

  • Patti
    Posted at 03:36h, 29 June Reply

    Somehow I missed this post, probably while I couldn’t get off of the sofa during my travel withdrawal. 🙂 I’m so glad you were able to enjoy one of your favorite places one last time before heading back to the U.K. You must be full of bittersweet emotions. Safe travels and enjoy your U.K. summer!

    • Amy
      Posted at 04:31h, 29 June Reply

      Thanks Patti, it is bittersweet but we are really excited to be heading back to the UK for the rest of the summer

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