I’m going to give you a little heads up if you’re heading out on the Southeast Asia backpacking trail:
At some point – likely, multiple points – you will meet someone who will wax poetic about a little town called Pai.
Amongst Thailand tourists, Chiang Rai typically plays second fiddle to Chiang Mai. Both towns serve as a base for treks through Northern Thailand; since I had chosen Chiang Mai for that, I wasn’t sure if I’d bother stopping in Chiang Rai.
Chiang Mai, Thailand is where you want to go when you’re a). a digital nomad, or b). looking for some ACTIVITIES to do. On the latter front, you can find trekking, camping, climbing, cooking classes, village homestays and daytrips, elephant rides, ziplining, mountain biking, massage lessons, and more.
I was on the fence about including Chiang Mai on my 2013 Asia trip itinerary, but when someone I know insisted on hooking me up with a family friend from there, my decision was made.
There are 400+ temples (or wats, as they’re called in Thailand) in and around Bangkok. It’s damn near impossible to go anywhere in the city without seeing at least part of a temple sticking out from behind a wall or building.
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