Known as a digital nomad haven, Chiang Mai is one of those cities that I’ve been dying to visit. And I finally got the chance in December 2014 – I was really psyched!
Chiang Mai was everything that I imagined it to be. Its neat streets were lined with shops that offered the classic experience with modern comforts. Perfect for our generation.
I could see why this city was one of the top destinations for digital nomads. Coworking spaces lined the streets, such as the popular Punspace, and almost every cafe on the road had free wifi.
We were also extremely fortunate to be in town at the same time a design festival was ongoing. Nimmanhaemin Art & Design Promenade was the central location for the event, and we managed to snag some great items and hear local tunes here.
OTOP Mall is the shopping mall in Chiang Mai, rivaling (dare I say it) many shopping centres in Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia.
And here is our favourite mango dessert shop on Nimmanhaemin Road- right across from our hotel. Have you ever seen so many types of mango desserts on a single plate?! I haven’t, and I enjoyed eating every last bit of them.
Enough of the town. Being the adventurous sort, we decided to take a trip out into the wild – just in time for my birthday.
Mae Ngat Dam
Okay, so it was a national park, but it was wild enough for us. Mae Ngat Dam, nested deep inside Sri Lanna National Park, is one of Chiang Mai’s best kept secrets.
Here, we stayed a night on one of their resident houseboats. We felt like serious adventurers – around us were locals, no foreigners at all (apart from us). It was a nice feeling.
Without any network connections, we spent our time here kayaking in a rickety boat (with a wooden paddle to boot), swimming in the lake, and checking out the early morning sun.
The sun, shrouded by the morning mist, was indeed a sight to behold.
Being born and bred Singaporeans, one night in the wild was more than enough for us. For our anniversary, we spent our last night in Chiang Mai at an interesting Italian-themed hotel called San Pareni.
And then it was 12/12 – our anniversary! For dinner, I decided to splurge a little and go for one of the top restaurants in Chiang Mai: Nakara Jardin. While it was a little out of the way, we weren’t disappointed with the food and ambience! Remember to pack the mosquito repellent, though.