Off-The-Beaten-Path: Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is a city in mountainous northern Thailand. Founded in 1296, it was capital of the independent Lanna Kingdom until 1558. Its Old City area still retains vestiges of walls and moats from its history as a cultural and religious center. It’s also home to hundreds of elaborate Buddhist temples, including 14th-century Wat PhraSingh and 15th-century Wat Chedi Luang, adorned with carved serpents.
This hotel, the Art Mai Gallery in Chiang Mai, is a stark contrast of modernism against a centuries old civilization of Thailand. Surround this focal point of Northern Thailand are natural and manmade landscapes that are wrapped in cultural beliefs that embody the spiritual density of the people of Thailand.
The lesson learned here is that you need to drop all of your pre-conceived expectations about a place or culture until you have landed and had a change to breath in the air that has made this special place special.