Discovering Thailand: Bangkok is not the sole destination

Thailand the name itself connotes dazzle, glitter and nightlife full of energy but it is only a half reality. Because the country has not so hyped things like Buddhist wats, tranquil destinations like Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. So if your idea of Thailand is all about glittering shopping malls of Thailand or exciting nightlife of Phuket and Pattaya you need to take a flight to Thailand where quaint Ciang Mai is waiting for your attention.

Bangkok: Glittering as ever

Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, catches the imagination of even well travelled visitor. With so much on offer, in the forms of bustling nightlife and food the city generously rewards its visitors. It is the city where neon lit skyscrapers resides in sync with Buddhists Wats, swanky shopping malls shares space with religious places and a apart going youth talks to a monk. The new age development may have added more glitter to this already dazzling capital but no change has occurred in the cultural perceptions of its people. The city packs a punch with exhilarating contrasts. And this contrast is even evident in traffic. The roads might be jampakced with a sea of traffic but you can cut corners with boat ride. Bangkok is also a foodies’ paradise and it is hard to resist the whiff of the food coming out of restaurants.

Grand-Palace-Bangkok

Phuket: High on fun

Phuket, the island destination in Thailand is tourists’ paradise. Well known for its natural beauty and hedonistic charm the tourist destination attracts a large number visitor from around the world. Most of the tourists come here to spend some quality time at Patong, Kata and Karon. The island teeming with hotels, bars and restaurants has become popular with the tourists in recent years.

phuket

Chiang Mai: Desperate for glamour

Gone are the days when quaint and serene were the terms to describe Chiang Mai. This once sleepy town is not content with these nicknames anymore and seems to be inspired by the capital city Bangkok. The city seems to be in a hurry to add some elements of modernity to its fold. The town may not have evolved as a city but it has got all the hazards of the city like pollution and snarled up traffic. But tourists are advised to not get deterred by these things and go to explore the major tourist attractions of this place. The place dotted with temples exudes a spiritual air. A trip to Wat Chiang Man and Wat Chedi Luang is highly recommended.

 Koh Samui: Emerging beach destination

The island destination of Koh Samui charms tourists with its natural beauty and azure beaches. Beaches like Chaweng and Lamai are known for activity while Choeng Mon is known for its quaint surroundings. Tourists remember Koh Samui for its great nightlife.

Chiang Mai Waterfalls

So if you are planning a trip to Thailand dare to think beyond Bangkok as this country has more options  to make your vacation unforgettable, than you imagine,

Chiang Mai where every experience is real

If you are of the opinion that glamour of Bangkok and nightlife of Phuket is everything, you need to think again. Scratch the shiny surface and you will be amazed to see that true colours of Thailand are skilfully preserved in the lanes of Chiang Mai. And you feel the difference right from the moment you arrive in this small idyllic city.  With lush hills all around and Thai Wats in every corner Chiang Mai has potentials to turn even an atheist a firm believer.

Team Carlton Leisure catches up with charming Chiang Mai and digs out its hidden secrets.

What a Wat?

Temples and historic sites impart Chiang Mai an ancient appeal. With century old temples and stupas, the former capital of Lanna kingdom spells a magic on visitors. Wat Chiang Man and Wat Chedi Luang are major attractions.

What a Wat.?

Say hello to holy mountains

Doi Suthep considered holy by local’s offers a commanding view of the city.  A morning hike to the mountains is recommended.

Tusker Treatment:

No trip to Chiang Mai is said to be complete without having an elephant ride. If you have interest and time you can take lesson on how to ride an elephant at the nearby Thai Elephant Conservation Canter.

Gut testing adventure options

If adventure is your cup of tea Chiang Mai has a kettle full of it. Trekking, biking and rafting, the choices are umpteenth.

biking and rafting in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai offers an experience that is exclusively ethnic. Are you still missing Bangkok? No.