To see the best of the island, rent a scooter, go along the bumpy roads, explore the hidden beaches & the most important: respect the nature, don’t let your garbage & cigarettes butt ruined this… More
Hello Dear Reader,
Chiang Mai in 3 full days and 2 half day with plenty of activities is possible, Obviously I woke up every morning around 6h45 but it worth it by far.
- Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Temple: 500 Baht
- Elephant Sanctuary, 1 day trip: 2000 baht
- Quad Bike & Rafting day trip: 2,200 baht
- Temple visit, hike in the mountain, Swim on a waterfall, taste local coffee prepared in a traditional way, Day trip: 1,400 baht
- Visit the temples
- Food: 100 to 200 baht per dinner/lunch
- Chiang Mai National museum highlights the history of the region and the Kingdom of Lan Na.
- Hotel: depending on your budget: from USD 5 per night you can get something
A bit of History
Located north of Bangkok, Chiang Mai was the former Capital of the Kingdom of Lan Na. The city is located in the highest mountains of Thailand nearby rivers & beautiful landscapes.
Where to Stay?
I would recommend to stay within or nearby the old district, where the temples are. Defensive walls have been built around the old city, it is really nice to walk by and enjoy this part of the city.
I stayed in Mhonsa Hotel for 2 nights & Chiangmai Gate Hotel for 2 nights both hotels have swimming pool and comfortable stay.
Mhonsa Hotel Website:
Day 1: Planning
I arrived early afternoon, customs check, taxi, finally I arrived at the hotel. In general my first day is to prepare my trip, I wall around to find a travel agency and get as much as information I can.
On your first evening I highly recommend to visit Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Temple by night.
Day 2: Elephant Sanctuary
Elephant Sanctuary, I love Elephants but I hate the way they are treated for tourism purpose. In 2014 I was in Thailand and not aware of the abusive treatment inflicted to them and got trapped as many others on the back of an elephant while his Mahout was hitting him. Such a bad experience.
I heard about Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang mai and wanted to give ave a try. I have chosen “Chiang mai Elephant Sanctuary“.
Early morning you take a Jeep. Driving toward the sanctuary takes about 1 hour and a half. Wonderful site, with forest, waterfall, yummy Thai food.
The Elephants are in good shape, nobody hit them. They live between the mud bath, the waterfall and the forest. Their favorite food is fresh cucumber, they can eat thousand of them.
During the tour, you will learn how to feed elephant, give them a mud bath and finally play with them in the water. A stop by the waterfall before lunch will whet your appetite before a nice trek toward bamboo rafting. Before that activity you should have a relaxing nap the mat facing nature and listening to the surounding nature.
On of the Chiang Mai traditional tribe old lady wearing colorful clothes.
Thailand has several tribe with distinctive cultural backgrounds & languages. Mostly originate from Tibet & China.
One of the controversial tribe is the long neck women, a lot of tourist agencies offer a stop by the Kayans’s village to take pictures of those fascinating women were rings to create the appearance of a long neck.
Let’s go back to Chiang Mai around 6 pm.
On the evening I enjoyed wandering through the streets to discover beautiful temples and Chiang Mai’s Secrets.
Day 3: Sport day, Quad Bike & Rafting
If you love action, you will love this day.
Quad Bike in the forest for the all morning with a sweet lunch break before going for a lovely afternoon rafting.
On the evening I visited the night market, temples & enjoyed Thai food
Day 4: Trekking in the countryside & visit The King & the Queen Pagoda
First stop was the King & the Queen Pagoda, located in the mountain, the weather is quote chill. Better to bring a jumper. The park is full of colorful flowers, breathtaking view.
Next steps was the lunch in a lovely local restaurant. We started the hike in the forest, our guide was holding stick to check the the dead leaf in case a snake was sneaking under. The deeper we get the more beautiful it gets, forest, river, trees, scent, birdsong… I love it.
We could then swim in the waterfall and continue our journey toward the local plantation & village.
They plants different fruits & vegetables depending on the season. Farmers respect the biodiversity circle and tried to do not use chemical.
We had the pleasure to try the local coffee, homemade and very traditional.
Day 5: Visit of the city old city
Are you IN for the next Surprise?
- Hostel: USD 5 per night per person ( we shared a bedroom with 4 beds)
- Visit including boat tour, transportation and food: USD 20 per day per person
- Taxi from airport to hotel (city center): About USD 15.
- Food: USD 4 per meal in average
Guilin is in the region of Guangxi located south west of China. The city has an airport and railway stations. Very convenient access, once arrived at destination you can easily find a taxi to bring you at your hotel (Plenty of choices).
Guangxi is a region with mountains and water “桂林山水甲天下” Guilin’s mountains and water are the best under heaven. In China, a beautiful landscape is considering having water and mountains.
At that period we were studying in Shanghai. We took a plane to optimise our time. it was fast convenient and not very pricy for student’s budget.
Where to stay?
We were there in 2013, quite a long time ago. At that time we stayed in a cheap hostel called Green Forest Hostel. Nothing fancy, it was clean & the staff was making the different. Very Helpful and friendly. They helped us to book amazing tours. We were very happy staying there and the food was tasty. Location was good, nearby the river and many shops.
What to do?
Go with the stream of the Li River (漓江) and enjoy the view. The river is 83 kms long, from Guilin to yangshuo.
On the reverse side of the 20 Yuan note a you can see afisherman on his bamboo raft floating on the Li River among the astonish Karst mountains.
One of the famous view in Guilin is printed on the reverse side of the 20 Yuan note. You can see a fisherman on his bamboo raft floating down the Li River through the spectacular Karst mountains of Guilin. If you ask locals in Guilin, most of them will be able to tell you where that is.
Fishermen in Guilin are using a bird called the cormorant to fish,
Guilin is magnificient and remain one of the most beautiful place I visited.
Together with the visit of local villages you will see the real China. Chinese people are very curious while meeting foreigners especially few years ago.
The red color around the main entrance door of the house in China is helping to push evil spirits away, this is really common in China to see them at the entrance. The famous spirit is named “Gui”. The Gui can take the appearance of animals, monsters or human to persecute the living. There are plenty of histories around those legends.
Near the Li River you also have a smallest one call Yulong River, we really like this place, bamboo boats and local fishermen make the trips even more authentic. At that time it was less touristic than the li River.
Always be carreful while bagaining as of course they want to get as much profit they can. It is a game in China to negociate the prices. I would not try to bargain with the price of the food. this is not recommended, however for transportation, tours or bying some souvenirs you should.
Tips: Make sure the taxi driver is using the meter. To avoid to be scam do not accept random drivers, go to the taxi’s queue.
You can learn some simple vocabulary in chinese on this website teach me chinese
Dear World Traveler,
If you haven’t got the chance to go to Philippines yet, El Nido is the place to be. You have a blend of beautiful beaches, landscape, countryside, fauna & Flora.
Budget for 1 persons, 5 days- 4 nights:
- Food: from PHP120-250 per meal
- Hotel: From USD 5 per night. I stayed at Sonie Pension 50 meters away from the beach of Brangay Corong Corong – USD 25 per night
- Transportation: From Puerto Princesa to El Nido by mini bus about 7-8h for PHP 500-700
- Scooter: PHP 500/day
- Daily Tour A,B,C,D from PHP 1,200 to PHP 1,400
Note: You can always go cheaper.
How to get to El Nido from Puerto Princesa?
I would recommend:
- The Early Morning Mini bus : Puerto Princesa -> El Nido
- Schedule: Depends on your contact, there are several departure every hour
- Situation: comfortable, bring your own water. You will stop by a restaurant for lunch. Earphone are always a +. Enjoy the landscapes.
- Number of persons per minibus: 12 persons is i well remember
You can buy the tickets from an agency, they pick you up at the hotel in general and drop you at your hotel if you selected one.
- Sneakers & Flip Flop
- Swimsuit (of course)
- Solar cream
- Sport clothes
Where to Stay in El Nido?
I stayed at Sonie Pension, comfortable, quiet and convenient location. Only 50 meters from the beach.
For a dinner on the beach, I was going to Greenviews Resort Corong Corong for a full BBQ menu with fresh fishes for PHP 250. So Tasty.
What to do in El Nido and its surroundings?
As most of the tourist I did some tours, they call them A,B,C & D. The A & C were the one i selected. Yes it was very stunning & worth the view however hundreds of boats are going every day which destroy the Fauna & Flora. At some point they even ask the tourists to step on the corals. I was pretty chocked & disappointed.
If you are a group of friends try to rent a boat, they can take you to some awesome places with no tourist, teach you the marine Flora, cook fresh and delicious food. A fantastic day. I remember they asked about USD 80/day. Very reasonable.
The second recommended activity is to rent a scooter, go for daily adventures, meeting locals, discover secret places above suspicion.
The Beaches in El Nido:
1- By Far my favorite is Nacpan Beach, located in the north west part of El nido & reachable by scooter. Was the most breathtaking I ever seen due to its water, it felt so transparent and gradually darken at each steps. The sand is soft & thin, lay down for a moment under the palm tree.
2- Corong Corong Beach, is convenient location to find hotel & chill at night, very quiet. No party is going on, Corong Corong is mostly for couples. The Restaurant Greenviews was my favorite spot for dining and resting. You can go for massage at the beach and benefit from the view.
3- Marimegmeg beach is well-known for its sundowner spot, come over enjoying a fresh coconut, go for a swim and enjoy the peacefulness. The beach is reachable from the main road TayTay, El nido national Highway, you will see a lot of tuk tuk driver waiting, take the path, it will lead you to Marimegmeg Paradise.
- If you are comfortable driving scooter, rent one and go around. Some roads are pretty bad, don’t take any risk to rent one if you are not used to.
- Download Maps.me as GPS
- Withdraw some cash in a main city, ATM is sometimes out of service, local shops barely take credit card.