You and Bae have come a long way. Fortunately, the relationship is still somewhat intact after a grueling 24+ hours of traveling from home to reach your dream destination of Thailand. The gateway to the north of Thailand is the city of Chiang Mai, the country’s largest city in the region and a hot spot for tourists and expats alike. Settle in and snuggle up because here are some recommendations for how to have a romantic and fun time in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
1. A Five Star Lanna Welcome Together
Kick the romance off in the old city area of Chiang Mai, by finding your way down a narrow lane and into the immaculately kept Rachamankha Hotel. The boutique hotel is a collection of structures and courtyards inspired by ancient Chinese architecture and is filled with art and cultural artifacts reminiscent of Northern Thailand’s flourishing Lanna period. The hotel’s not all ancient though with 25 luxe and comfy rooms and suites you won’t want to leave. Do explore beyond the towering hotel walls as the area is full of temples, and has plenty of dining options nearby like the popular “SP” chicken joint or a cozy cocktail bar called Mixology.
Rachamankha Hotel, Online at Rachamankha.com
2. Tarzan and Jane Got Nothing on Us
Ready to glide through the tree tops of the Thai rainforest hand in hand? Don’t worry there will be plenty of time to practice your jungle roar (or ahem, scream) when you sign up for a couple or family excursion with Flight of the Gibbon. The heart pounding zip lining tour where you glide from tree to tree is sure to bring you two together, even if purely out of your survival instincts. Also the zip lining company has a superb safety record and is well known for their efforts to conserve Gibbon monkeys and their shrinking habitat in the north of Thailand.
Flight of the Gibbon, Online at Treetopasia.com
3. Take Advantage of an Affordable Splurge on Dinner
Chiang Mai is an exciting place to eat and you’ll surely find yourself wandering the markets and having a bowl or three of the city’s most popular dish, “khao soi” curry noodles. However, when evening hits and you’re ready to show your boo a good time, make sure you’ve reserved seats at David’s Kitchen a few days in advance. Upon arrival you’ll most likely be greeted by David himself and welcomed into the packed restaurant for divine French food along with a decent wine selection. Best of all the menu is reasonably priced so you won’t be breaking your holiday budget with this special splurge.
David’s Kitchen at 909, Online at DavidsKitchen.co.th
4. Be Dirty… and Caring
If you think being savvy about what to do in Chiang Mai makes you look good, you’re about to upgrade an entire level of sexy by showing you’re genuinely concerned about the conservation of the Asian elephant. Too often tourists go to elephant camps where these beautiful creatures work long hours and spend much of the day chained up. Not so at the Elephant Nature Camp where you’ll find yourself spending time with the animals on their terms! Prepare to get beyond dirty and remember although there’s nothing romantic about smelling like an elephant, there will be no denying the feeling of truly connecting with these majestic and at risk wildlife.
Elephant Nature Park, Online at ElephantNaturePark.org (Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park)
5. Rejuvenate in the Hills of Chiang Mai
Finally it’s time to be completely selfish and indulge in a mini spa retreat suitable for both sexes. You’ll find the Panviman Resort built into the hillside about an hour from Chiang Mai. The resort is a photoshoot waiting to happen, but remember at some point you’re there to rest those muscles overworked from taking epic selfies the entire trip. Choose the type of massage therapy you prefer and clear your mind for this award winning experience.
Panviman Resort, Online at Panviman.com
*Photos courtesy of D. Turner, except where noted.