Other Things To Do In Chiang Mai | Almost Everything That We Did, We Booked Via Klook!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

We had 4 full days in Chiang Mai, and to make my travel organizer life easier, I just booked one activity per day via travel app Klook! This is not sponsored! 😃 I just want to show that if you're in charge of the trip, and you don't want to think too much na or you don't have time to make intensive itinerary, Klook has a lot of offerings na sobrang okay and sulit. I'd like to think that hindi ako napahiya sa friends ko, haha!

Klook tours usually already include your transportation the whole day, free buffet lunch, and a tour guide. I like it pag na ti-tita mode nako sa isang trip and don't want to navigate or think of where to eat lunch na may pwede sa lahat. I can't believe I'll be in this stage of my travelling life, haha! DIYs are cool and maybe even cheaper, but going on tours doesn't necessarily take away the fun in travels.

Air conditioned vans all the way! 😁👌

Aside from the above mentioned, I also like that these tours already include entrance fees and lunch. In short, mas onti na and kailangang cash during the trip. I only spent money for our Grab, shopping, and dinner. My estimated pocket money is about PHP 10,000 (or less, if without the shopping). No need to have money exchanged here in Manila, we just withdrew Thai Baht from the airport ATM. 

Day 0: Singapore's Changi Airport Lounge

Hours of in transit to reach Chiang Mai! More of this on this blog post.

Day 1: Arrival

We arrived in Chiang Mai late afternoon, so after settling in our hostel, we decided to just walk to the night market (North Gate Night Market) for our first dinner in the city. We had legit pad Thai, tom yum, mango sticky rice, etcetera. 

Food night market walking distance to our hostel, where we had our first dinner in Chiang Mai:

Nothing beats eating outside, and having authentic local food from street vendors!

Day 2: Elephant Sanctuary

I picked the full day visit at the Elephant Day Care at Chiang Mai Mountain Sanctuary (PHP 2416). Roundtrip transportation, lunch, and uniforms are all provided. More of my experience here.

Day 3: Thai Cooking Class

We booked for the full day at Mama Noi Thai Cookery School Chiang Mai (PHP 1233), which includes concocting 5 dishes. Everything that we cooked during the class kinain din namin so super nakakabusog talaga yung day na yun! May option din to take home the other dishes we can't eat na, so that's free dinner for us pa hehehe, sulit!

Mama Noi is not an air conditioned school, it felt more like a guerrilla style cooking class. Our first stop was a local market where we checked out the usual ingredients and spices used in a Thai dish. We also met our teacher there, who is very animated that she made a looong day in front of the hot stove more comical and even entertaining! Modesty aside, I'd like to think that humor is one of the reasons why all our dishes turned out delicious! My favorites are the pad thai, spring rolls, and of course the Thai milk tea. 

Tried the macopa while we went around the local market, super juicy!

Inside the cooking school's garden, super pretty!

We picked 5 dishes in this selection, I love that we have the freedom to cook what we want.

They are also very open to vegetarian alternatives! Our teacher was holding bottles of fish sauce, oyster sauce, and MUSHROOM SAUCE!

It was a very hands-on cooking class:

Proud of the dishes I made!

Our full dinner back in our hostel:

Day 4: Temples Day

I know that Chiang Mai and the whole of Thailand has a lot of temples, but to make sure we don't get "temple fatigue", we only set aside a day to explore some of the best and unique ones which are located in Chiang Rai (around 3-4 hours from Chiang Mai).

Our tour includes a visit to the White Temple, Blue Temple, and the Black House (PHP 1833). Again, transpo, entrance fees, and lunch are all included in the fee.

The temples we visited are also very unique from the ones I've been to in my whole travel life. But behind the beauty and intricacy of these structures are their local artists who are very dedicated in putting the name of their city on the globe. Mad respect for the right motivations.

Hot spring stop-over. Onti lang ang time so we just had CR break and bought some snacks which include a pack of quail eggs that the vendor boiled in the hot spring! 😄

The White Temple of Chiang Rai looks even more majestic in real life. 

There are unusual modern details you'll spot around the White Temple compound:

Even their toilet looks like a temple, all painted in GOLD!

The artist behind the Blue Temple is a student of the artist of the White Temple! No wonder they have similar aesthetics: Detailed and full-blown!

Had coconut ice cream with purple sticky rice.

Our last stop is the Black House, a museum of unique (mostly black) structures housing animal bones, skulls, and other weird stuff. The artist behind this is locally renowned--if you look at the property as a whole concept, it's amazing how they curated everything.


Day 5: Nature Day

For our last full day, I picked a scenery tour which is a trip to the Doi Inthanon National Park (PHP 1800). We went to a Karen Hill Tribe village, 2 waterfalls, and then visited Thailand's highest peak!

A downside of this tour is that the description in Klook said that we're meeting Karen Long Necks, but the tour was about to end when my friends and I realized that it's just the Karen hill tribe and sobrang na-down ako for building my friends' expectations! Akala ko ako yung nagkamali for misunderstanding the tour inclusions, but I had screenshots of the descriptions. Buti nalang our tour guide was very helpful and booked us a half-day tour the next day since our flight is still after lunch (a buzzer beater, huling hirit na tour!). I checked the app now, and they have already changed the description after a series of reviews about this same issue.

This is the Karen Hill Tribe village that we visited. It's also a nice chill site where we were able to try their coffee and check out their weaved handicrafts:

The King and Queen's Pagoda, and a beautiful garden located near the top of the mountain:

It says that a piece of Buddha's hair is inside the clear jar:

The trek to Thailand's highest peak. I love that the temperature suddenly dropped here! Plus I enjoyed seeing unique blooms and mossy trees during our walk. Sobrang ibang iba from our past days in Chiang Mai na hulas ang labanan! 😂

Group pic in Thailand's highest point!

Day 6: Secret Temple and Karen Long Necks + Heading to the Airport

Again an unplanned visit because of a misunderstanding with yesterday's tour, we spent our flight day going to another half day tour in the morning (Php 750) which includes a visit to the Karen Long Neck Village. But before that, we also went to the Hidden Temple, also known as the Wat Pha Lat. Now this place is something new to me and I'm glad we went to this tour because of this!


Very amused! Found Bagan pagodas in this jungle.

Our tour guide opened a marker, and wrote our names in our arms in Thai alphabet!

Super konti din ng tao dito. It's not as touristy as most temples in Chiang Mai. 

Post-Travel Thoughts

Chiang Mai ranks high in my travels for this year, maybe it's because a) I seldom travel with friends and I enjoy it from time to time, and b) It's also my first time in Chiang Mai. I am counting YEARS since my last visit in Thailand! Ang sarap pala talaga ng food and shopping sa kanila.

I also had fun getting to know this beautiful city without tiring myself by simply dropping my "DIY travel" pride and just joining tours. I have to admit, even for an introvert it was nice to meet fellow tourists from all over the world through these group tours!

We also had a minor boo-boo when our pocket wifi did not work for the whole trip. And since we're on a group tour, navigation and last minute researching weren't necessary. I actually think having no internet was a blessing in disguise coz for the first time I had no pressures in putting up content real time or check "updates". We just posted when we're back in our hostel, but for the whole day, we only have each other for entertainment! 😂

Yun naman din talaga ang nakakamiss as much as I love solo travelling! (Kaya madaldal lang ako sa Stories pag mag isa ako). At the end of the day, I am grateful I have my two best friends with me to share insights with about our experiences, and of course my favorite part in any day: people to laugh with!

Ending this whole Chiang Mai travel blog series with more photos!

Posing with elephant poo turned into craft paper!

Biglang naka scarf nung ang lamig sa Doi Inthanon, Thailand's highest peak!

Our cozy room in Chiang Mai:

Akala ko strong nako, but I can't even chop these sugar canes for the elephants! 

Playing with filters when we don't have internet access. 😂 

More ready to eat than to cook! 😄 

Thai milk tea with our cooking classmates!

To seeing more of the world together! ❤

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