Chiang Mai is nestled in Northern Thailand, sandwiched between Myanmar and Laos. Though it isn’t on the coast, we think you’ll as much adventure in Chiang Mai as you would anywhere else in Southeast Asia (or on earth for that matter)!
Chiang Mai has elephants. That should be enough to get you there, but they keep going. Eye-catching temples scattered throughout the city. An Old Town complete with a moat and brick wall around the entire town. Food so good it’ll make you wanna slap yo mama!
Here is everything we experienced in Chiang Mai that you need to know before taking the trip yourself.
Seeing an elephant sanctuary when you visit Chiang Mai should be mandatory. It is an ABSOLUTE MUST PEOPLE! Why? Let me tell you.
First off, because elephants are the kings of the animal kingdom. Lions have NOTHING on them. They are somehow the largest AND cutest land animals on earth. How is that even possible?
Second, because all of the money you spend on a sanctuary goes towards saving elephants from terrible lives. Sounds like a cause that everyone can get behind.
Third, because you will have the time of your life! You will get to feed them bananas, sugar cane, pumpkins, and more. You will get to have a FREAKING MUD BATH with them (Zach literally fell and slid down the mud/poop mountain on the way down… what an oaf). You will get to finish it off by rinsing off in the river, with elephants playing and using their trunks as super soakers all around you. It is paradise, folks.
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The day we went to the @elephantjunglesanctuary happened to be a very rainy day. Which was a bummer at first but turned out to be to our advantage when half the tour didn’t do the mud bath or river shower. More elephants for us!! Anyways, to get to the mud bath we had to go down a hill, which was more like a muddy slip n slide in the rain! As the tour guide was trying to safely help me down this slippery slope I heard a whaling “wahooooooo” coming from Zach behind me. I turn around to find him sliding down the hill like a beetle stuck on his back! Arms and legs waving in the air as he slides through the mud (and elephant 💩) until he comes to a thud at the bottom right next to Tantor. He claims it was on purpose, everyone knows he’s just a klutz 😂🤣. * * * * * #welovetravel #whatatrip #wheretonext #wonderful_places #wonderfuldestinations #wondermore #worldcaptures #worlderlust #worldtravelbook #worldtravelpics #worldtrotter #youmustsee #goadventuretogether #mydreamhoneymoon #travelcouple #travelcouplelife #travellustcouples #thailandinsider #thailandismagic #elephantjunglesanctuary #chiangmaielephant #chiangmaithailand #southeastasia #lostinthailand #thailandstyle
Getting to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary was actually extremely easy, as long as you do one thing: book your transit as a part of your elephant adventure package! The trip is far enough (and straight uphill) that it would be a real challenge on a bike or in a tuk-tuk. Also, as far as we’ve seen, any day-trip you book in Chiang Mai will come with a pick-up from your hotel or homestay.
One of our favorite parts of the day was getting to FEED the elephants! You might as well have tattooed a smile on Julie’s face for the ENTIRE day. Elephants eat over 350 pounds every day. Sounds like a hungover brunch…
We absolutely LOVE photography, and sharing pictures! These are the cameras we use on all of our adventures. The drone and GoPro help us get cool new perspectives (underwater, in the air, wide angle) and the Rebel we use on a day-to-day basis for most of our shots!
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We learned that elephants eat 350 pounds of food per day, which is about the same as us at the Super Bowl, or at a hungover brunch… All these elephants do every day is eat, roll around in the mud, play their anatomical trumpets, and eat again. And you know what happens after eating a big meal. If that's not the life, then I don't know what is. It's pretty much what Zach does every Sunday. * ** *** **** #sheisnotlost #femmetravel #girlsthatwander #wetravelgirls #girlsborntotravel #travelinladies #traveldreamseekers #dametraveler #pinktrotters #ladieslovetravel #roamingwomen #darlingescapes #herwanderfullife #ladiesgoneglobal #travelgirldiary #ladiesexplorers #womentravelandmore #thetravellerwomen #womenworldwide #ladiesgetoutside #tourismthailand #thailandluxe #asianwanderlust #elephantjunglesanctuary #thattravelblog #travelandchill #travelvibes #whatatrip #letsgoexplore #travellifelove
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This is real footage of when Zach and Julie first met. Just look at their eyes lock, it was obvious immediately that they were going to be together forever. They way Zach looks in that canvas parka, so fly for a white guy… the way Julie was going to town on that bamboo and wild grasses for 16 hours a day, her floppy years moving in sync with her trunk… a real match made in heaven folks! * * * * * * #chiangmaithailand #elephantjunglesanctuary #elephantsofinstagram #thailandadventures #thailand_allshots #thailand_ig #thailandbestshot #adventureanywhere #adventurenthusiasts #adventureinspired #adventurelovers #adventurethatislife #adventuretravel #bucketlist #budgettraveler #bdbucketlist #dailytravellers #ddotraveling #discover_vacations #lifeisanadventure #takemethere #travelcommunity #traveldeeper #traveldiary #travelgram #travelingthroughtheworld
The city of Chiang Mai is full of temple treasures spotted all across the city. The temples are each a truly stunning combination of gold and red, with jewels of all colors decorating the entirety of each building.
We recommend you take one day for a temple tour. Get a map of Chiang Mai, mark out all the temples you want to see, and set out on your feet or on a bike for the day! You’ll have a blast seeing things you won’t be able to see anywhere else on earth.
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I have officially learned Zach is becoming much more like my father then I ever thought. While exploring the city center in Chiang Mai, I wanted to buy a cheap pair of baggy elephant pants since we were hanging out with the elephants the next day (especially since we were taking a mud bath!). I came across a pair I thought would do the trick with a price tag of a whopping 100 baht-about $3 US! When I asked my husband for the money he shook his head with a look of disgust on his face and said “are you crazy?? That’s way to expensive!” After arguing back and forth for a minute I finally stuck my hand out and said “give me the 100 baht!” Like a sad puppy dog he handed over the money. I (literally) wore the pants that day! Any of you ladies sympathize with a sista?? * * * * * #chiangmaitemple #chiangmaitrip #backpackingasia #jetsetter #jetset #keepexploring #letsgoexplore #lifeisanadventure #lifestylegoals #lifewelltraveled #liveforthestory #livefully #livetoexplore #livetravelchannel #liveyourdream #travelingcouple #traveltogether #travelwithbae #youandaview #asia_vacations #asianwanderlust #tlasia #thailandonly #tourismthailand #unlimitedthailand
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Well we successfully made buffalo chicken dip for our super bowl party but ate half of it before the game even started. 😒😒 Julie always seems to be able to sniff out the best food no matter where we are. At the SB party she basically had her paw in the guacamole the entire game. In SE Asia she never failed to find the best spring rolls locales. Her new fanatical obsession with those delectable delicacies is causing problems. It’s the same way Kobe 🐶 acts when he knows you have a treat for him. He’s gonna find that damn treat, and not one thing is going to happen until he does. Same way with Jules and her spring rolls! * * * * * #exploretheunknown #exploretheworld #exploringtheglobe #forbestravelguide #getlost #global_hotshotz #gohypetravel #goodtrip #iexplore #ig_travel #passportstamps #places_wow #planetdiscovery #pitstopviews #sharetravelpics #shareyourjourney #sidewalkerdaily #worldtravelig #thailandadventures #thailand_allshots #thailand_ig #worldtraveller #discovertheworld #enjoytheview #backpackerphotos #chiangmaitrip
Walking Around the Square
Chiang Mai is literally shaped like a square, with a moat and brick wall surrounding the entire town. It is a beautiful set-up, and you’ll find a surprise around every corner as you walk around town.
We recommend taking one day to go out with no agenda, and find things to do at the drop of a hat. We stumbled upon a street food festival that we would have not found without aimlessly wandering, and the food was OFF THE HOOK! I’m talking fresh sushi and Thai delicacies for $.50 my friends.
Where We Stayed!
Holy cripes of all the places we’ve been, our hotel in Chiang Mai was probably the best. We stayed at Plern Plern Bed and Bike located right outside Old Town.
First off, Plern Plern is an epic name. Right off the top, best name of any hotel in the world. Whenever someone asks where we were staying, we could spit out PLERN PLERRRRRRN and make double P’s with our hands. Can’t do that at any other hotel, can ya?
Second, and most importantly, the owner/manager was the nicest person we met in all of Thailand, and that is saying something because people in Thailand are awesome! She was the kindest person ever, helping us settle in to the city with some tea and home-baked bread upon arrival. She then told us EVERYTHING we needed to do in the city during our stay, and pointed out things we would have never known otherwise.
Third, we had a DELICIOUS home-cooked breakfast every morning, all included in the price of our booking. We’re not talking a few things on a buffet table, folks. We are talking ordering anything you want (pad thai, eggs, fruit and yogurt, home-baked bread and jelly, bacon) and they will cook it up FRESH! Perfect way to start every day, especially when each day was full of biking, walking, and elephants, have to fuel up.
Fourth, and finally, free bike rentals! Seriously, free. We could barely believe our ears. Just tell the manager you’d like to book one and it is all yours the next day! She will even draw out a route for you and send you off in style.
Plern Plern had everything you’ll want on your Chiang Mai adventure. At less than $20 per night, it is pretty unbeatable.
Here are our best recommendations for travel accessories to complete any trip! We are ALWAYS looking for great deals and shopping on a budget. We swear by these accessories!
More Elephant Photos!
More Temple Photos!
If you want any more advice on your trip to Chiang Mai, reach out in the comments!
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