Thailand, one of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia, has been famous for its mouth-watering cuisines, breathtaking scenery, and friendly people. Whether you are planning to visit Thailand or not, it is always useful to know the to-dos, and travel tips from a local tour guide for your next travel destinations. Born and raised in Chiang Mai, Mu is a tour guide who has been passionate about his job. With Mu, we are yet to discover more about the northern part of Thailand, and some travel tips!
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First thing first: Northern Thailand vs. Southern Thailand
When traveling to Thailand, Bangkok is often the first that come to mind. Yet, as Bangkok a popular tourist destination, for those who are looking for off the beaten paths should visit the north of Thailand, Mu personally recommend the north of Thailand which are some of the most exciting and interesting cities including Chiang Mai, Pai, and Chiang Rai. In short, the North of Thailand is more about history, heritage, mountains, national parks. If you are into culture and nature, heading north would be a perfect choice for you.
However, the South of Thailand got a different vibe. For those beach lovers, the south of Thailand might be more exciting. With no shortage of stunning coastline, Thailand is home to some of the most awe-inspiring, breathtaking beaches in the world. You will surely enjoy Railay Beach for amazing photos, and The stunning Morakot Cave, which is only accessible from the sea. Thailand is known for the unique characteristics among the different cities. If you mixed up the different regions, you would miss being able to appreciate its beauty.
The off the beaten place to visit: Chiang Mai
As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, for those who are more for the off the beaten places, northern Thailand is recommended. Chiang Mai, where Mu is born and raised and a personal recommendation from Mu, is comparing to Bangkok, a less touristic city to visit. Chiang Mai is a land of mountains, colorful hill tribes, and a dreamland for shoppers. Mu also mentioned the Chiang Mai Old City as a must go. Chiang Mai Old City is where you find all the attractions and exciting stuff to do, and to explore the local culture of Chiang Mai. Often said to be” the capital of the north,” Chiang Mai certainly has it all.
Be adventurous, be curious about local cuisine
Thailand is famous for its mouth-watering cuisine. For Mu, one of the must-dos when traveling in Thailand, including sampling the traditional dishes. There are times when tourist avoids trying dishes that are with a strong flavor, which is a pity since they are missing out on the authentic taste of Thai food. MyProGuide recommends you three must easts dishes in northern Thailand.
1. Khao Soi
One of the most famous northern Thai cuisines, Mu highly recommends Khao Soi. Khao Soi is a coconut-curry flavored soup filled with chicken, flavorful spices, and egg noodles. The dish gets its name from the color of the noodles. Most of the time, you will be given a plate with diced red onions, pickled green mustard, and a wedge of lime on the side.
2. Nam Phrik Num
Nam Phrik Num is a green chili dip served with pork skin and sticky rice (Kab Muu) and is commonly served in Northern Thailand. Warning: it might be a little bit spicy!
2. Gaang hang lair
Gaang hang lair is a hearty curry cuisine which combines fatty pork belly, mild spice mixture, and fresh ginger and garlic. It is a regular dish often served at festivals and ceremonies, and restaurants, mostly in northern Thailand. It will surely satisfy your craving for a Thai curry.
It’s not just about taking pictures but experiencing the culture
For Mu, it is a pity for those tourists that are only interested in taking pictures for their social media. He believed only through experiencing local culture can a through enjoyable journey can be completed. For example, going to the markets where the locals go to, or going for streets food, and have a brief knowledge about history. Mu find it sad for those tourists who take pictures in front of the temples but barely know the history behind.
“With the longest and finest history, I am proud and confident in the Northern cities of Thailand.”——-Mu
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Mu has taken many tourists around in Thailand. He has always been passionate about the spread of local customs and traditions. “The happy faces of customers are the satisfaction at work”, Mu said. What is your next destination for your vacation? Why not add Chiang Mai to your bucket list? Remember to be curious about local cuisine and culture, and you will find your time in Thailand amazing and unforgettable.