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Bangkok Golden Mount prayer bells
Bells bearing handwritten messages hang at Bangkok’s Golden Mount Temple.

Chiang Mai

  • Eat well at the Coconut Shell. It’s popular with tourists (for good reason), but serves up good-value and delicious curries, stir-fried rice, and shakes. (I’m still dreaming of their coconut-pineapple shake!) It’s got great branding too — the main dishes are served in a coconut shell.
gold leaf Buddha Chiang Mai
Applying gold leaf to a stupa representing my birth year, since it was my birthday.
Colorful wallets and purses for sale at a market in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Kaleidoscopic wallets for sale at a Chiang Mai market.
A bowl of Thai red curry and a coconut pineapple shake, in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Tasty eats at the Coconut Shell restaurant.
Silver Temple Chiang Mai Wat Sri Suphan Thailand
The Silver Temple.


  • Meander through the picturesque remains of the Sukhothai Kingdom, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We spent one full day at the Sukhothai Historical Park, independently exploring the attractive grounds and about 7 temples.
  • Mingle with the locals at Sukhothai’s low-key, but friendly, night market. Unlike Bangkok’s, Chiang Mai’s, or Ayutthaya’s night markets, we only encountered a few tourists there. And the food was great!
A man and woman stand in front of Wat Si Sawai in Sukhothai Historical Park.
Wat Si Sawai.
Wat Sa Si Temple Sukhothai Thailand
Wat Sa Si Temple.
A man looks at the large Buddha figure at Wat Si Chum Temple in Sukhothai, Thailand.
Wat Si Chum is best known for its Buddha’s elongated, graceful fingers.


  • Ayutthaya – We spent three comfortable and pleasant nights at the Baan Bussara (affiliate link), a family-owned property. Our room was spotlessly clean and its interior felt brand new. The air conditioning and internet worked well, and there was even a tiny refrigerator in our room. In about 15 minutes we were able to walk to Wat Maha That, Ayutthaya’s most famous temple. (It’s the one with a Buddha head emerging from a tangle of tree roots.) Ayutthaya’s night market was about 15 minutes away, on foot. On-site we were able to make arrangement for a boat tour of Ayutthaya’s temples at sunset. Also, for a fee, Baan Bussara’s friendly owner made our onward bus arrangements to Sukhothai.
  • Chiang Mai – For five nights, we stayed at the Pudsadee House (affiliate link). The air conditioning and internet worked perfectly, the room was clean, and the owner was helpful and friendly. We enjoyed breakfast on-site (coffee, omelette, fruit) and thought it was a great deal that breakfast was included in the room rate. Also, the Pudsadee’s central location made it easy to walk to many of Chiang Mai’s main sites.
  • Sukhothai – With convenient access to Sukhothai’s bus station, the Rueangsrisiri Guesthouse 2 (affiliate link) was a good fit for us. We spent two nights there. The owners were nice, and our room’s interior was brand new – complete with a showy rhinestone headboard. :) Small restaurants nearby offered tasty breakfast and dinner options (we opted for Thai fare). One night, we walked to Sukhothai’s night market for dinner, about 15 minutes on foot. Our room’s air conditioning and internet both worked well.

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