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Exploring Thai Culture in Chiang Mai

April 2, 2014
  • Things to do in Chiang Mai: Wat Chedi Luang Buddha statue in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Things to do in Chiang Mai: Local farmers at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Things to do in Chiang Mai: Silk weaving in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Things to do in Chiang Mai: Thai flowers and gourmet food in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Things to do in Chiang Mai: Traditional lanterns in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Things to do in Chiang Mai: Thai elephant in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Things to do in Chiang Mai: Wat Phra Singh temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Things to do in Chiang Mai: Exterior details of Wat Phra Singh temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Things to do in Chiang Mai: Tiger Kingdom cub in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Things to do in Chiang Mai: Akha tribe Burmese woman and handmade crafts in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Things to do in Chiang Mai: Native flowers at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Things to do in Chiang Mai: Chang Klan Street in Chiang Mai, Thailand
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Inside the main prayer hall of Wat Chedi Luang is an impressive altar featuring a towering Buddha.
Photography Chris M. Rogers
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Local farmers tend the rice field at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai.
Photography Chris M. Rogers
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Artisans weave beautiful silk fabrics on San Kamphaeng Road (known as the “handicraft highway”) and in Thai Silk Village.
Photography Chris M. Rogers
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From fragrant lotus bulbs found at the market to the savoury Thai dumplings served at the Resort, we filled our senses with local flavour.
Photography Chris M. Rogers
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Decorative lanterns cascaded from the ceiling in this downtown Chiang Mai restaurant near the Night Market.
Photography Chris M. Rogers
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At the elephant camp, we watched a young elephant produce this work of art before we embarked on an elephant ride through the jungle.
Photography Chris M. Rogers
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One of the many temples standing within the walls of the Old City is Wat Phra Singh, home of the famous Phra Singh statue, or Lion Buddha.
Photography Chris M. Rogers
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The exterior details of Wat Phra Singh are amazingly intricate, especially the protective dragon that sits outside the temple.
Photography Chris M. Rogers
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The tiger cubs at Tiger Kingdom stole many travellers’ hearts.
Photography Chris M. Rogers
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In the outlying village of Karen, Burmese women belonging to the Akha tribe greet visitors and sell their handmade wares. You can even purchase some neck rings to take home.
Photography Chris M. Rogers
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Nature plays a major part in the overall design of the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, with orchids and other native flowers on display at every turn.
Photography Chris M. Rogers
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At night, Chang Klan Street buzzes with activity.
Photography Chris M. Rogers

The sights and smells at Chiang Mai’s Warorot Market are overwhelming in the best possible way. This is where the locals come to shop for fresh food, flowers and an assortment of wares. Unlike the more tourist-oriented markets nearby, Warorot’s stalls are often filled with higher-quality items at better prices, and you could easily spend an entire day perusing the variety of local food and produce alone. (A trip to the famous Night Market yields equally delicious results.)

After filling our packs with everything from souvenirs to jewellery to handfuls of angel plums, we hopped on a rickshaw and made our way through the Old City, passing through the original gates of this once walled area and even crossing over the 13th-century moat. A number of wats (temples) stand in the Old City, signifying the importance of Buddhism in Chiang Mai both historically and currently. We stopped at the impressive Wat Phra Singh, one of the city’s most-visited temples, arriving just in time to visit with the monks and make offerings.

The next morning, we drove from Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai to the Maesa Elephant Camp. The elephants here start their day with a bath as they prepare to learn and play with their mahouts (elephant trainers). Our group spent time learning basic commands before embarking on a trek through the jungle atop these gentle giants on our way to visit the village of Karen near the Myanmar border. The residents here are members of the Akha tribe, known primarily for the brass metal coils that elongate and decorate the necks of the tribal women. A long row of stalls filled with handicrafts and textiles lines the entrance to the village, and skilled artisans work on pieces while visitors browse. You can find a number of these textiles in the Chiang Mai markets, but buying them in the village is a great way to support the artisans.

Our last stop? The famous Tiger Kingdom and a play date with some adorable tiger cubs.


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Chris M. Rogers

Blogger Chris M. Rogers

Photographer Chris M. Rogers is a veteran traveller and a lifetime adventurer. Follow him as he jets Around the World with Four Seasons and shares his photographs along the way.

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