Get Your OM On at the Ganesha Museum

ganesha statue and pagoda

Who doesn’t love Ganesha? The chubby, elephant-headed Hindu god has been gaining popularity in Thailand in recent years. And one Thai man adores Phra Phi-kha-net (as he’s known in Thai) so much that he built a private museum dedicated to him just south of Chiang Mai. The Ganesh Himal Museum is easy enough to get to if you have your own wheels. Just head south on Hwy 108 past Hang … Continue reading…

Northern Thailand’s Own Sakura Cherry Blossoms

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Living in Japan for seven years, one seasonal event that I always looked forward to was the brief, but spectacular blooming of the sakura, or cherry flowers. So naturally, I was excited to find out that Northern Thailand has its own variety of wild cherry that grows in the mountains and creates fabulous pink blossoms each winter. The variety of sakura growing in Thailand is the Wild Himalayan cherry (Prunus … Continue reading…

The Biggest Buddha in Chiang Mai

the largest buddha statue in chiang mai

Most visitors to Chiang Mai have been to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep on top of the mountain overlooking the town. But there is another holy temple on a mountain top close to the city that few know about. The temple, Wat Prathat Doi Kham, is also home to the largest seated Buddha image in Chiang Mai. Wat Phrathat Doi Kham is actually older than the city of Chiang Mai. It … Continue reading…

Yi Peng and Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai – the Floating Lantern and River Goddess Festivals

Yi-peng celebration in Chiang mai

The Yi Peng festival of Chiang Mai is a unique celebration in Northern Thailand that coincides with Loy Krathong, which is celebrated throughout the country. Chiang Mai is the old capital of the Lanna Kingdom, which for many years co-existed independently with Siam. The North part of Thailand still has a certain character and charm that differs from the rest of the country. This is especially reflected in local festivals … Continue reading…

10-Day Vipassana Meditation Retreat in Thailand

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For many people, a 10-day long silent Vipassana meditation retreat is a life-changing and eye-opening experience. I had done a lot of different types of meditation before I joined a 10-day Vipassana course in Thailand, so it wasn’t all totally new to me. But it was still quite challenging, and the methods of sitting and walking meditation taught were something I wanted to learn and try out. I chose to … Continue reading…

Smoke Pollution Makes March the Worst Month to Visit Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand

smoke-air-pollution-in-chiang-mai

You would have to be crazy to intentionally plan a trip to Chiang Mai during the month of March. Your chances for having your trip ruined by hazardous levels of air pollution are significantly increased. In general, I would not recommend anyone plan to visit Northern Thailand during the two month period from the middle of February to the middle of April. Your chances of encountering unbreathable air are just … Continue reading…

Temple of the Four Buddha Footprints Near Chiang Mai

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A great little excursion outside of Chiang Mai is to visit the Temple of the Four Buddha Footprints. The Thai name of this temple is Wat Phra-Phuttha-baat Sii Roi วัดพระพุทธบาทสี่รอย. This temple is remarkable for its four giant, overlapping Buddha footprints carved in stone. But it’s also great for its location, far up among lonely wooded hills. This makes it an excellent destination for a day-trip by motorbike outside the … Continue reading…