My Favourite Place – Charmed by Chiangrai

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By Earth Saiswang

41-year-old Indra Budiman, CEO of Hansar Hotels and Resorts is known for his easy-going, people-oriented character. The Indonesian-born hotelier, who describes his main responsibilities as managing hotels is as expected a travel savvy individual not only because his business interests require him to travel a lot, but also because of his sheer love for travel.

Obviously, of the many destinations he has visited, a number has captured his heart, his ideal holiday destination being those “less hectic” places where he can go with his family. In Thailand, not surprisingly, his most favorite destination is Chiangrai.

“Chiangrai still offers much natural beauty and does not have mass tourism yet as other Thai destinations like Phuket,” says Indra, who first visited the area in November 2012. “The people, the attractions, the prices, the services and facilities, even the ease of getting there, they really made my visit unforgettable.”

Indra says he really fell in love with Chiangrai, that he is planning to come back there again with his family in July.

Tips to Share:

Must-Do: Suwannee offers nearly daylong cooking courses that involve a visit to a local market and instruction in cooking four dishes. Suwanee’s house is about 3km outside of the city center but she can pick you up at most centrally located hotels and guesthouses.

Must-See: Hilltribe Museum & Education Center (This museum and handicrafts center is a good place to visit before undertaking any hilltribe trek. The center, run by the nonprofit Population & Community Development Association (PDA), is underwhelming in its visual presentation, but contains a wealth of information on Thailand’s various tribes and the issues that surround them. A visit begins with a 20-minute slide show on Thailand’s hill tribes, and exhibits include typical clothing for six major tribes, examples of bamboo usage, folk implements and other anthropological objects. The curator is passionate about his museum, and will talk about the different hill tribes, their histories, recent trends and the community)

Sleep at: Le Meridien Chiang Rai

Eat at: Chivit Thamma Da Coffee House

Bring: shorts, polo shirt, flip flop

Don’t forget: sneakers, your camera, and of course, your camera charger

Others: Do not come during raining seasons

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