When I told a stranger that I was taking a Girlfriend Getaway to Thailand, they looked puzzled. “Why would you take a group of women to that country? What would you possibly do there?” I was equally puzzled by their reaction. “What would I do?” I had been to Thailand before with my family and couldn’t wait to go back with girlfriends to hit the places we missed on our first trip.

 

Visit the North!

If you’ve been to Thailand and only visited Bangkok and the famous beach towns of the south, you are missing out on some of the very best that the country has to offer. Chiang Mai is the largest city in the north, but it doesn’t feel like a city at all. It is walkable, safe, friendly, and quietly relaxed. It is also rich in history and culture. Here are some other things I could not wait to do with my sister and friends in northern Thailand:

 

Taste the Food

Northern Thai food is a huge draw for travelers. Mango sticky rice and Pad Thai are both native to this region. Our group traveled around the city sampling local delicacies like Thai tea, spicy sausage, mango sticky rice, curry entrees, and chicken satay.

 

Thai food
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Mango sticky rice is at home in northern Thailand

 

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Enjoying a magnificent buffet in northern Thailand.

Get a Massage

Relaxation and pampering services dot every corner of this city. You can indulge in high end spas that feature lush robes, gourmet snacks, and gorgeous surroundings. Or, you can find alternatives that are equally effective at relaxation and therapy, but they are so affordable, even someone on a limited budget doesn’t have to feel guilty about the indulgent activity.

 

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The path that leads to relaxation!

 

thai massage
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The massage team who took care of our group

 

thai massage
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Enjoying tea and snacks after our massage

 

Go Shopping

The shopping in Chiang Mai features local artisans that are highly skilled and who use only the best of materials. Our trip focused on pottery, textiles and jewelry, but there are a number of other things to enjoy if you love arts and crafts!

 

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Silk shopping in Chiang Mai

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Traditional pottery is a form of high art in Northern Thailand

Visit the Elephants

Northern Thailand is home to the Asian elephant, Thailand’s national animal. We spent the day in a mountain village interacting with elephants who call this huge paradise home. We played with them, walked with them, fed them, and even bathed them in a big mud hole! With as many elephants as there were people (5), it was a dream. I’ve never laughed so much or had so much fun!

 

elephant thailand
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Imagine how happy we were – up close with a grandma, two babies and two mothers!

 

elephant experience
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Enjoying these magnificent creatures in their home environment

 

Take a Cooking Class

When you taste the food in Thailand, you are going to find yourself immediately looking around for someone who can show you how to recreate it at home. A professional cooking class provided all of the tools and recipes I needed. The one selected for our tour was in a gorgeous outdoor, rural setting (you can do that in Thailand), with a kind and engaging chef who spoke perfect English. They also dished up our personal creations – Tom Yum Goong, Kaeng Keaw Waan, and Pad Kee Mao – for us to eat for dinner.

 

cooking school thailand
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Making green curry paste

 

cooking school thailand
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Preparing dinner at our individual stations after getting a lesson

 

cooking school thailand
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Dining on our delectable creations!

 

The south has a lot of offer too. Of course, the Royal Palace in Bangkok gets the most attention (and it deserves its reputation), but we also can’t say enough about the payoff that awaits if you are wiling to spend the time and money to get out to Krabi.

 

Island Hop — See Phi Phi Islands by Speed Boat

You shouldn’t miss a day snorkeling and swimming along the chain of Thailand’s six exotic Phi Phi islands. They are on my must-see list because of the indescribable turquoise waters and white sand beaches. A highlight for me was the lunch on Bamboo Island. I’ve traveled a lot and Bamboo beach has taken first place on my mental list. It’s also worth mentioning that the “simple” meal they provided for us tasted anything but simple.

 

Thailand beach
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Could not imagine a better beach experience than this one!

 

Phi Phi Islands
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“Simple” food on the idyllic Thailand beach.

 

Thailand Phi Phi Islands
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Rock formations and emerald green water are unforgettable!

 

 

If Thailand isn’t on your list of destinations, it probably should be. It is rich in activities, arts and culture, history, and cuisine. We encourage you to check out the itinerary offered on Niteo’s website, or contact Niteo to custom designed a tour for your group.

 

 

 

 

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