From Luxury to Roughing It in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai - Northern Thailand
Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, Northern Thailand offers a diverse range of experiences for travellers. Whether you're looking for luxury accommodations, sumptuous dining, or a chance to immerse yourself in local culture, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai have something for everyone.
For those looking to indulge in a bit of luxury, the Centara Riverside Hotel Chiang Mai offers spacious rooms with picturesque views of the Ping River and surrounding mountains. But don't let the comfort of your hotel room keep you from experiencing the rich culture of Northern Thailand. Step outside and explore the bustling streets, where you'll find a fascinating mix of traditional and modern influences.
You may be overwhelmed by the seemingly chaotic traffic, but don't let it discourage you. Take an early morning or late afternoon walk to avoid the heat of the day and discover the interesting minutiae of daily life. Take in the impressively tangled electricity and telephone cables hanging above the streets, and keep an eye out for squirrels using them as a shortcut between trees. The city is a tropical garden, both planned and accidental, with a variety of trees and flowers to admire.
One tree you won't want to miss is the Ratchapruek, which is Thailand's national flower. You'll find plenty of these trees along the riverside, as well as spirit houses, small temples with adjacent tables for offerings, often fruit or bottles of green Fanta, that can be found outside most buildings.
As you explore the streets, you'll also notice the mix of languages on signs and in conversations. Thai is the most prevalent, but you'll also find Burmese and Lao, especially if you decide to make the journey further north to Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos meet.
You’ll also see many signs written in Northern Thai ‘Lanna’ script, also known as Tai Tham, which is an ancient form of writing that was used in the Lanna Kingdom, which existed in the northern regions of present-day Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. The script is based on the Brahmi script and is written from left to right. It is characterised by its round and curvy shapes, and its use of diacritical marks to indicate tone and vowel sounds. The script was widely used in the Lanna Kingdom for religious texts, inscriptions, and literature, and it is still used by some ethnic groups in the region for traditional rituals and ceremonies. Today, the Lanna script can be found on temple murals, manuscripts, and in ancient manuscripts, and is considered an important cultural heritage of Northern Thailand.
Northern Thailand offers travellers a unique and diverse range of holiday experiences, from the luxurious comfort of Centara Riverside Hotel Chiang Mai to the immersive local culture of Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle. Whether you prefer to indulge in the best that Thailand has to offer, or immerse yourself in the everyday life of the country, Northern Thailand is the perfect destination for your next adventure. For those looking to experience the best of both worlds, Centara Hotels & Resorts offers properties in both Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, including Centara Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai and Centara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort. So pack your bags and head north to discover the true beauty of Thailand.