Happy Tuesday and Happy New Year!

I knew coming to Asia that Thailand was one of the first places i wanted to visit. I am in a ton of Thailand travel groups on facebook which i found helpful. For this trip we decided on the Chiang Mai area and a day trip to Chiang Rai. I decided to hire a private driver for our entire time and i am so glad we did. I went with John’s Chiang Mai Thai taxi who was highly recommended. I messaged him on whatsapp with everything i wanted to do and our dates and he texted me back with a schedule and price for everything. His price wasnt bad considering we had a day trip to Chiang Rai on one of the days which is about a 3 hour drive from Chiang Mai. His price also included airport pick up and drop off. You can find his page and info here

Packing essentials: I was terrified of getting bit by mosquitoes here. I’ve heard Dengue is pretty big in Thailand (and other areas in Asia). Me and all 3 kids have O+ blood type so before we left for our trip i made sure to stock up on mosquito repellent with 99% deet. I also purchased another mosquito spray that was recommended by the locals and several people on the fb groups. We bought this at 7-eleven for cheap. I used a combination of those sprays and luckily none of us got bit! Also, i was happy i had the barf bags. The roads in Thailand can be very nauseating. I almost puked a few times, especially going up the mountain to Doi Suthep. 

Where we stayed:

We stayed at Shangri-la Chiang Mai. The hotel was beautiful! There was a huge pool and waterpark for the kids which was great after a long day in the heat. My only complaint about this hotel was that the beds were super small. Other than that, we enjoyed our stay here. The hotel has a security check upon entry; the staff was very friendly, and the food was great. It was located in a good area, we were about a 10 minute walk to the night market which had a ton of souvenirs, clothes, shoes, food, etc. There was also a 7-eleven maybe a 3 minute walk from the hotel. The hotel was decorated beautifully for the Christmas season.

Elephant Sanctuary

Our first full day included the elephant sanctuary park. Our driver reserved this for us. Upon arrival, we changed into the traditional Karen clothing. We got to feed the elephants bananas, make them nutritional snacks, and bathe them. Lunch was also included. The whole experience was about two hours long. 


While we were leaving the elephants brought us flowers as a thank you :)

After we left, we headed back to the hotel so the kids could swim. Later we walked down to the local market and found this cute temple on the way.

outfit linked HERE.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep 

The next day we went to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. We stayed here about an hour 1/2. This temple is very popular. It also has pretty views of Thailand. As mentioned above, I was very glad I had the vomit bags with me. The way up to this temple was about 20 minutes of turning and twisting on winding roads. I felt very nauseous the entire ride up but thankfully didn't puke.

dress linked HERE. I have this dress in multiple prints and love it. Very comfortable wrap dress and perfect for Asia.

The Terracotta garden at Lamphun

When we finished at the temple, we headed out to a spot I picked for lunch. I found this cute hidden garden cafe that i've had saved for years so I thought it would be a perfect place to eat.

dress linked HERE.

The cutest Thai green curry. The food was really good here. Everything we ordered was amazing.

Chiang Rai

The next day we woke up early and ate breakfast at the hotel and were out the door by 0730 am. Our driver was already waiting for us in the lobby for the 3 hour drive to Chang Rai. The drive was an easy one, pretty much a straight shot and all of the temples were located very close to each other. On the way about an hour 1/2 into the drive there is Hot Springs, which is another tourist attraction. Our driver added it it to our day as a rest stop but I had him take it off our day. I just wanted to do the temples and the cafe only. By the looks of it from the highway it didn't look like we missed much lol. 

First up - the white temple

dress linked HERE and cardigan HERE (similar here).

I loved how white everything was, but my favorite part were the skulls and arms reaching from the ground. We stayed here maybe an hour and went onto the next temple which was the one I was most excited for....

Wat Huay Pla Kang

I love the twin pagodas. This is actually what made me plan our trip to Thailand.

dress linked HERE.

Now off to lunch at Lalitta Cafe 

I found this place on one of the many Thailand travel groups I’m in on facebook and it did not disappoint. Over the last few months this cute cafe has gone viral on tik tok for its fairy garden vibes. It reminded me of Tinkerbell’s garden if it did exist. It wasn’t too crowded when we went for lunch. There are many photo opportunities around the cafe.


dress linked HERE (similar one here).


and now off to the blue temple!

This was my favorite temple. I love how blue everything is, especially with the gold accents.

White dress was purchased from a local vendor at the night market. Similar one linked here

dress linked HERE and is under $20 

...and of course had to try the coconut ice cream which was 10/10

Oversell, we enjoyed our time in Thailand and already cannot wait to go back to visit other parts of the country. None of the places we went to were overly crowded- I would say the crowds were manageable. The weather was great during our trip too, high 80's with some humidity. I would say that Chiang Mai is Americanized, meaning we never had issues with communicating or experienced any language barriers because everyone spoke English.

After our day in Chiang Rai we made the 3 hour drive back to Chiang Mai. We had an early flight the next morning to Vietnam so stay tuned for that post :)