Chiang Mai; The Rose of the North

Chiang Mai - Best of Both Worlds

The world in which we live is such a diverse planet that even the most committed travelers will never get to see it all. This could easily be a depressing thought; that one life is not enough for us to see everything, and that no matter how far we travel and how much we spend we will still leave something undone. What it means, in practice, is that we have to pick and choose where we go. We need to decide what we want from our travel portfolio and leave undone some of the things that do not quite come up to the standards offered elsewhere. For some of us, it is enough to see a few countries of choice; for others, to see at least one country on each continent; still others, to see as much of the world as funds and free time permit.

More and more people are of the opinion these days that, no matter where else you visit, Thailand is a country which simply has to be visited. Positioned in a continent which already offers the wonders of Japan, Korea, China, India and Pakistan among others this is no small thing. There is already so much to see and do in Asia – what makes Thailand so special? For many of us, the answer is simply in a glance. Just to look at Thailand is to see a country which combines modernity and bustling metropolises with something that is becoming harder and harder to find in this world – sheer, unique natural beauty.

Thailand is one of the world’s most beautiful countries, with simple bucolic scenes as far as the eye can see. Among this, the metropolitan area of Chiang Mai allows the traveler the best of both worlds – indeed, the best of a number of worlds, with the aforementioned natural beauty adjacent to shopping that compares favourably with many other cities, and the amazing old-fashioned buildings which are Thailand’s hallmark – beautiful Buddhist temples and traditional settings which are always worth visiting. There is much to see and do in Chiang Mai. Festivals are frequent and showcase the best of the region – from classical dance and music to traditional handicrafts – as well as the wonderful cuisine of the region.

Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s most diverse regions. With a population in the metropolitan area of close to one million people, there are residents from a number of different tribal backgrounds. There is however virtually no clash of cultures, simply a peaceful co-existence which would make most visitors from the busier cities of the world somewhat envious. This may be why another one million people pour into the city every year from all over the world. If the mere feeling of good-natured welcome is not enough to put you at your ease, Chiang Mai is also one of the best places in which to experience the wonders of Thai massage – if you have time you can learn the basics yourself, otherwise why not simply put yourself in the hands of an expert and feel your worries float away?

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on Sep 26, 2009.