TAT Newsroom Blogger Campaign Familiarization Trip
In a nutshell, here are the highlights of the TAT Newsroom Blogger Campaign Familiarization Trip which happened in Bangkok ,Chiang Rai , and Chiang Mai. The entire familiarization trip lasted for 5 days (16-20 September 2016). In my previous post, I mentioned that I was one of the 6 bloggers who was made part of this amazing trip.
I will be writing in detail what happened to each of these destinations.So bookmark this page , as I share with you, my amazing experiences in Thailand.
Day 1, 16 September 2016: Bangkok (arrival)
I was second to the last blogger to arrive in Bangkok. So from Suvarnabhumi International Airport I was brought straight to the welcome dinner at Eat Sight Story Deck , a cozy restaurant at Riverside which offers an amazing view of Wat Arun across the river.
Doi Tung Royal Villa
Day 2, 17 September 2016: Bangkok – Chiang Rai
We woke up at 4 am on our second day as we will be flying to Chiang Rai. Chiang Rai is the northernmost large city in Thailand and that was my first to visit the place.
Mae Fah Luang Garden
Doi Tung Royal Villa and Mae Fah Luang Garden
From Chiang Rai Airport we went straight to the Doi Tung Royal Villa and Mae Fah Luang Garden . The Doi Tung royal villa is the former residence of the princess mother (mother of the present king) Somdej Phra Srinagarindra . Overlooking the villa is the spectacular Mae Fa Luang Garden with thousands of flowering ornamental plants.
Lunch at Krua Tamnak
After enjoying the Mae Fah Luang Garden we were treated to a hearty lunch at Krua Tamnak.
one of the houses at Baan Dam Museum Complex
Baan Dam Museum
After the feast at Krua Tamnak, the bloggers were brought to the Baan Dam Museum. The Museum is a temple style art gallery complex created by Thailand’s national artist Thawan Duchanee. He is best known for his fine art and sculpture, but his passion for arts and local architecture led to this collection of bizarre Lanna-style houses, most of these houses are painted black to emphasize the architectural details, hence the name Baan Dam, which means black house.
The TAT Newsroom Bloggers about to experience the zip line at Singha Park
Shortly after our art appreciation tour, our group headed to Singha Park, where we were made to experience their 600-meter Zipline and enjoyed the scenic views around Rai Boon Rawd. At sunset,the TAT Newsroom bloggers were treated at the Phu Phirom restaurant which boasts 360-degree panoramic views of the beautiful hills.
the majestic clock tower in Chiang Rai
The activities for the day weren’t done yet, so we’re brought to see the light & sound show by the majestic Clock Tower built to commemorate Her Majesty the Queen. The clock was designed by national artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. It is considered the most exquisite Clock Tower in Thailand with lights changing as the music plays at night.
taking my shots at Chiang Rai Walking Street Night Market
Chiang Rai Walking Street Night Market
After the photo op at the clock tower , we were made to experience the Chiang Rai Walking Street where art and handicrafts are sold. I even tried to eat fried silkworms in the market and bought some Dates .
Imperial River House
Our day in Chiang Rai indeed at Imperial River House, a beautiful hotel by the riverbank where we spent the night and recharge for the next day’s activities.
Day 3, 18 September 2016: Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai
It’s our day 3 in Thailand, this time, we are heading for Chiang Mai. Along the way, we dropped Wat Rong Khun whic is still part of Chiang Rai.
one of the most beautiful structures in Chiang Mai, Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun is a spectacular White Temple and one of the most important creations of famous Thai artist Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat who personally oversee the construction of the temple. Also visit the local art gallery which exhibits the artist’s original pieces of art, many of which are highly sought after by collectors.
‘Yam Khang’ is a traditional Lanna massage and healing technique using fire and oil ,and herbs
Ban Rai Kong Khing
In the afternoon we were made to experience some community-based tourism activities at Ban Rai Kong Khing, which received an Excellence Award at the Thailand Tourism Awards 2015 and was voted Best Community Based Tourism Initiative at PATA Tourism InSPIRE Awards 2015.
I got so excited on or visit this place because aside from tasting local delicacies and trying to experience cooking these treats, we were made to experience the Thai traditional massage and healing technique , the ‘Yam Khang’. In this treatment massage , I was made to strip my top clothing . The masseuses first bathe their feet in a therapeutic healing water infused with herbs and oil. Next, they heat their feet by the fire before a hot massage is performed using their feet at the patient’s weary back to treat tired muscles.
experiencing how local delicacies are being made
After experiencing some interesting activities at we proceeded to the Ratilanna Riverside Spa Resort Chiang Mai where we will be staying for the night. Suppose to be, we are scheduled to experience the Ping River in a scorpion-tailed river cruise but it was canceled due to the strong current in the river which may not be safe for us. So instead, we were given a few hours to enjoy the hotel.
Dinner at Cuisine De Garden, Chiang Mai
At around 5:30PM we left the hotel to have a dinner at Cuisine de Garden, a fine dining Italian restaurant in a local village.
visiting Chiang Mai will never be complete without visiting the Walking Street Market
Chiang Mai Walking Street Market
After our fine dining experience at Cuisine de Garden, the TAT Newsroom Bloggers were brought to the Chiang Mai Walking Street Market. That was my second visit to the place after 5 years.
Day 4, 19 September 2016: Chiang Mai
amazing socculents at Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden
Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden
Our last day in Chiang Mai , we were made to visit the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden which houses a huge and varied collection of a variety of plants categorized according to their species and habitat. I was really expecting that we can experience the Canopy Walkway, which is the longest canopy walkway in Thailand, at around 400 meters long and 20 meters above the ground. Unfortunately , the place is closed during rainy season.
the must-try Go-Karts
Doi Mon Chaem
After the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden, the TAT Newsroom Blogger Team headed for the hills around Chiang Mai to Doi Mon Chaem. One of unique experience I had in Thailand was riding the local go-karts, a white-knuckle ride .
Baan Mon Muan
After our hilarious experience with the go-karts at Doi Mon Chaem, we went to Baan Mon Muan, a nice restaurant atop a hill in Mae Rim, Chiang Mai for our lunch. The restaurant is situated 1,250 meters above sea level with panoramic mountain views and a pleasing cool weather.
After our lunch, we were supposed to drop by Wororot Market for some shopping before go back to Bangkok. Unfortunately , we have to catch our flight back to Bangkok.
TAT Bloggers team ,celebrating fun and friendships at Marriot Hotel, Bangkok
Marriot Hotel, Bangkok
Upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, we went straight to Marriot Hotel for our farewell dinner. The dinner was fun but deep inside me, I was a bit sad because we have already established good friendships amongst the delegates and the people of TAT and the organizers headed by Sirima Eamtako. How I wish, I can spend few more days with them , to share the laughter and fun. Well, that was just a goodbye for the moment. I know deep in my heart, someday some of us will meet again.
Day 5 20 September 2016: Bangkok
I left the hotel at 4:30 am to fly back to Manila.