Taking a trip up North after landing and spending a few days in Bangkok is a very good idea.
If you have ever been to Khao San Road, Bangkok, you'll understand that your body will need a break after it.
I only spent three nights there but it's probably the most hectic place I've ever been to.
Bucket after Bucket after bucket to finally check into a retreat up north.
Have a look at how we got on up north with a little bit of Bangkok thrown in:
I only stopped in Chaing Mai and Pai but both were bliss. Possibly my two favorite spots in Thailand and I stopped off on a lot of the Islands.
The first stop on the way up was Chiang Mai, which I thought was the perfect step down from Bangkok. It still has very good nights out but it's a lot more chilled.
You can hit Yellow Bar at night and just get a sense of the nightlife from here and go with the flow.
The city is a lot more of a calm place to walk around that Bangkok where you can grab decent food and a nice coffee.
We also took a trip out to Maerim Elephant Sanctuary.
Big tip, never go ride elephants when you're off traveling, this is not good and very cruel. Going to a sanctuary is quite different. They have room to roam around and aren't forced to do tricks or walk for hours on end carrying people.
And as far as I am aware, the elephant's in these sanctuaries are rescued.
A day out here is a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend it.
They take great snaps as well:
The food market in Chiang Mai is so good as well. In fact, all the street food here is top-notch. Do not be afraid, just dive in.
Next up was a trip up to Pai.
I really fell in love with Pai.
In the middle of huge open green fields in the middle of mountains lies a little town that will take your breath away.
The town itself is tiny but contains all you need including nice little cafes, bars, restaurants, and motorbike rentals.
Getting a scooter here is a must.
We barely had a big night out on the drink up here. It was more about getting up early and heading straight out to explore your surroundings like the waterfalls, hot springs, and Pai canyon.
If you're into yoga or anything along the spiritual lines, you will love Pai.
It is pure bliss, peaceful and you will leave nicely energised.
Especially if you're heading down to the islands after.