Travel: Thailand – Wonders of Chang Mai

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Aside from delivering five- star luxury, the Four Seasons Chiang Mai is also a holistic wellness destination, and I couldn’t wait to sample some of the resort’s signature offerings. On our first morning, we started off the day with a sunrise yoga session at the serene outdoor yoga studio, which overlooks the property’s picturesque lake. Suitable for even beginner yogis like myself, it is the perfect way to stretch your travel-wearied limbs and work up an appetite for the breakfast buffet!

Wanting to make the most of the wellness activities on offer, we spent the afternoon at the spa, where we indulged in an Oriental blend massage, which focuses on relieving muscle tension in order to leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Being the home of massage, I had extremely high hopes, and the spa experience did not disappoint. The therapists here aren’t just administering a treatment, they are performing a heavenly ritual that has been passed down through generations in order to delight the senses. After a thoroughly relaxing morning, we decided to get back to nature and joined the local farmers to watch the buffalo bathing; a wonderful activity for adults and children alike!

For those who want to experience Chiang Mai town, it is just a short drive from the resort and has a wealth of attractions to satisfy your cultural cravings. Established by the Lanna people, this ancient city dates back to the 11th century. Entering the Old Town through the medieval walls, you really get a sense of the long history of the area. We spent a lovely evening taking in some of the town’s most popular sights. First stop on our excursion was Wat Pho, a magnificent Buddhist temple replete with a golden pagoda. Even for the non-spiritual traveller, the dazzling surrounds and the din of Buddhist chanting make this the perfect place to pause and reflect.

Next stop on our itinerary was the Lanna Folklife Museum. Located in a stately, white colonial building, which was once home to the town’s courthouse. The museum provides a fascinating insight into life in Chiang Mai since the founding of the city. The exhibition features wonderful textiles and artefacts and depicts scenes of everyday life in Chiang Mai. Our final destination was the Sunday-night street market. A warren of stalls selling everything from furniture to food, this bazaar has something for everyone, from teenage shopaholics to hungry husbands.

After a busy day exploring Mae Rim and Chiang Mai, I can think of no greater reward for the tired traveller than to return to the pure luxury of this incredible resort. Kicking off my flip flops and diving into the enormous cloud-like bed was pure bliss. The central philosophy of the hotel is balance and wellness, and after just a two-night stay, my travel partner and I felt completely reinvigorated. The Four Seasons Chiang Mai is the epitome of exotic opulence, a jewel hidden in the verdant jungle of northern Thailand, and I’m counting the days until I can return! www.fourseasons.com/chiangmai