Chiang Rai is one of Thailand’s largest cities in the north, aside from well-known Chiang Mai. There are many similarities between the two cities, but I found after spending time in both that they are both fairly similar, aside from Chiang Rai having a much more local feel. Though there may not be as much to see and do in Chiang Rai, it is completely worth the few hours’ drive north. One thing I love about Thailand is how each city/town has its own night market. The Chiang Rai night market has a decent selection of souvenirs that are comparable, if not cheaper, than those in Chiang Mai and a large outdoor seating area surrounded by food stalls to grab some dinner.
After spending three nights in Kuta, I was ready to leave the craziness behind and head to Ubud. From all the hype that I had heard from others about Ubud, I was really excited to spend some time there. Afterall, Eat, Pray, Love had portrayed this area as a haven for soul-searchers and those wanting to escape their big-city routine life. Though I found Ubud to be much more enjoyable than Kuta, there were a few things that surprised me. And not in the jumping up and down sorta way.