Our morning was free for optional activities such as visiting textile galleries, relaxing in one of the town's cafes, or visiting the Ethnology Museum. In the afternoon, we took an excursion to Kuang Si waterfall.
Rising at dawn, we were able to watch the monks collecting offerings of food from the locals in exchange for blessings, then visiting the Royal Palace Museum and Wat Xiengthong. Later, we caught a boat to Pak Ou Temple caves and stop in local villages.
Today, we explored Chiang Mai with some free time. This evening, we visited a village outside Chiang Mai and sit down around an authentic khantoke for dinner in a local family's guesthouse. We traveld to the countryside near Chiang Mai. This night, we enjoyed a chant dinner, a must-do when you reach northern Thailand. Khantok in the Northern dialect means a wooden tray used for carrying dishes, round in shape, made of teak wood. The host invited guests to sit on the floor around the khantok. The main dishes on the khantok usually include sticky rice, hang-le curry (Burmese-styled curry), and some chili-pasted crispy pork. After, we enjoyed tea time with the opportunity to talk with local people to learn their way of living.
Today we voyaged to the market with a local chef to learn about traditional ingredients. We participated in a Thai cooking class and enjoyed our creations for lunch. Later, we visited an historic temple and sit down with one of the young monks to discuss daily life and Buddhism. We visited the Doi Suthep Buddhist Temple and listened to monks chanting at sunset. We could opt to visit the bustling Chiang Mai night market. Monk Chats are a great cultural exchange, but is also important in helping the young Monks improve their English. Our hotel was located in the heart of Chiang Mai city, a five-minute walk from the famous night bazaar.
Today we explored Bangkok and took a boat along the klong canals. We were able to visit the Grand Palace and sacred Emerald Buddha at Wat Phra Kaew temple. Later, we caught a flight to Chiang Mai followed by us settling into the exquisite surroundings in Chiang Mai to take a relaxing break from the fast pace of Bangkok.