Journey Two / Chapter 19

Northern Thailand

December 2016

Ancient yet modern cities in chilly mountainous north Thailand offer much more laid-back experience than the busting South. Well worth visiting for beautiful natural parks, great temples, historic cities and best vistas in all of Thailand.

Much less travelled than the Southern part of the country, the mountainous north of the Thai Kingdom is an awesome destination for any adventurous traveller that wants to avoid the crowds. And that's exactly where we head to finish our journey. We start at ancient walled city of Chiang Mai, the largest city in northern Thailand. The former seat of the Lanna kingdom is a blissfully calm and laid-back place paced amid humid hills, hosting thousdants of beautiful and sacred buddhist temples and offering incomparable atmosphere.

Just south of the Chiang Mai is Royal Park Rajapruek, massive grounds complex hosting yet another set of temples, botanical gardens and parks. Yet more south we visit a national park hosting Thailands' largest mountain Doi Inthanon. Appart from offering amazing views and spectacular sceneries, we visit The Royal Twin Pagodas, as well as Thai National Observatory.

We continue our journey to one of the northernmost cities in Thailand, the Chiang Rai (the old capital of Lanna kingdom). Unmissable along the road is eccentric and unconventional White Temple, which is unlike any other Buddhist temple in the world. Massive complex build mostly from white marble with extensive decoration both traditional buddhist styles and modern art is definitely a combination worth visiting. Past the Chiang Rai we continue to the northernmost tip of Thailand, the Tripoint between Thailand, Myanmar and Laos along the Ryak and Mekong rivers. In the heart of the area globally known as Golden Triangle, once known as the largest producer of Opium worldwide, we find re-worked and re-build agriculture focusing on sustainable plants, ethical farming and renewable power (in the Thai part of the Golden Triangle, at least).

At the very end of our Journey and this chapter you will find some views of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.