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Temples, Tuk Tuks and the Chiang Mai Riverside

After our Bangkok stop and the assault on our senses, we were grateful for the warm welcome to the former Lanna Kingdom.

They say that the people from the Northern Capital of Thailand are the friendliest. Perhaps they’ve used theIR 721-year history to perfect their manners or it could be the fresh mountain air and relaxed pace because we found the locals in Chiang Mai were exceptionally kind. After our Bangkok stop and the assault on our senses, we were grateful for the warm welcome to the former Lanna Kingdom.

Chiang Mai’s intimate five star apartment hotel

We stayed at the Chiang Mai Riverside, a boutique five star hotel on the tranquil banks of River Ping. Inside our Luxury Suite was a decadent chocolate cake in celebration of my husband’s birthday.

We were further spoilt in our contemporary Thai style two-bedroom apartment with smart TVs that connected to an integrated Apple entertainment system and speedy WIFI. Molton Brown toiletries, bathrobes and slippers were in our marble and slate bathrooms. We made ourselves at home across two spacious bedrooms, living area with comfy corner lounge that lead to our private balcony. A full kitchen opened to a dining area with river views where a personal butler served a daily in-room complimentary traditional or Western breakfast.

Around the elegant hotel grounds, an on-site restaurant served delicious khao Soi, Chiang Mai’s iconic noodle dish. There’s a small gym overlooking the lovely riverside lawn and an inviting infinity pool, with a large toddler wading area.

The Chiang Mai Riverside is ideally positioned away from the busier old town tourist area, however the ancient city walls and gates, sections that have stood since 1296 are just a Tuk Tuk ride away.

“They say that the people from the Northern Capital of Thailand are the friendliest. ”

Tuk Tuks around temples

There are over 300 temples in Chiang Mai and the easiest way to get around to some of the best is by Tuk Tuk, our favourite mode of transport and cheap as chips.

Chiang Mai is all about the temples but temple hopping can get old with kids quickly. One of our ways to avoid temple tantrums was for the kids to choose a few to see each day, that way the kids had buy-in on the experience.

We mixed a few of the historically significant and must-see temples with smaller understated temples including:

- Wat Phra Sing - You will find robed monks meditating in this working monastery. The gilded temple built in 1345 houses the Buddha image Phra Sing (Lion Buddha).
- Wat Chedi Luang - An 80 metre lanna-style pagoda is a striking landmark of Chiang Mai. It sits in ruins at this temple compound. Restorative work has recovered the grand stone serpent staircases and loyal elephants protecting its base.
- Wat Suan Dok - The striking white Chedi's surrounds a magnificent golden stupa, which houses one half of a sacred Buddha image.
- Wat Chiang Man - One of our favourites is Chiang Mai's oldest temple, it has beautiful wooden and bronze Lanna-style temples, exquisite murals and a crystal Buddha image that is 1800 years old.

The close proximity from temples to hotel made it easy to zip back to the Chiang Mai Riverside for a dip in the pool during the hottest point in the day. End a perfect temple-hopping day with some of Chiang Mai's most succulent charcoal chicken at CP Chicken, a no-fuss street side restaurant. Typical of the locals, they were polite and well mannered and itching to play with the kids.


Together we roam‘s Rene Young has travelled to 70 countries. When the Brisbane based blogger is not discovering Brisbane's street art, exploring Queensland or roaming the world with her five-year old son and three-year old daughter, she can be found indulging her love of reality TV.

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