Style Destination

Style destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Style destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Ping Nakara hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand Author: Ping Nakara

Style Destination

Style destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Editor-in-chief Erin McLaughlin travels to a city nestled in the hills of northern Thailand just in time for its internationally renowned flower festival.


With its lush landscape, relaxed atmosphere, amazing shopping and delicious and affordable food, Thailand is an inspiring, colourful place to visit. I went to Chiang Mai to check out Canadian furniture retailer Artemano’s buying process and see the famous flower festival.

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Style destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Day one: Exploring Chiang Mai

I stayed at Ping Nakara, a sophisticated Colonial-style hotel with a laid-back yet luxurious vibe. The best part is the hotel’s location – it feels remote despite its proximity to the action. It’s also the site of Nakara Spa, which offers Ayurvedic treatments in a peaceful environment. Try its invigorating Abhyanga massage before embarking on a day of strolling and sightseeing.

Image by: Style at Home By: Erin McLaughlin Source: Ping Nakara

Style destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Get a shot of energy

Good news: There’s no shortage of coffee shops in Chiang Mai, so you won’t need to travel far to get a good cup of joe. I especially loved the eclectic FunkyDog Cafe, where I ordered the best banana pancakes and a coconut smoothie served with a shot of espresso.

Image by: Style at Home By: Erin McLaughlin Source: Erin McLaughlin

Style destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Coffee break

Thin Thai Factory, one of the places Artemano sources wood from, has an on-site cafe where I had one of my favourite lattes.

Image by: Style at Home By: Erin McLaughlin Source: Erin McLaughlin

Style destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Make sure to catch the show

Plan your trip to coincide with the Chiang Mai Flower Festival, which takes place in February and features a parade, exhibition and competition. Be sure to check out the displays around the Thapae Gate, showcasing unique flower and plant products from northern Thailand growers. I picked up pretty paper flowers to give to the Style at Home staffers. Spend the evening exploring one of Chiang Mai’s fresh markets, which sell produce, meats and prepared foods. There’s plenty to see and taste, and there’s always an incredible variety of fruit and veg available, fresh or juiced. I ate like a local, ordering a traditional fish dish cooked with chili peppers and coriander.

Image by: Style at Home By: Erin McLaughlin Source: Erin McLaughlin

Style destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Day two: See the craftsmen's work

Head to Baan Tawai Village, the handicraft village in Chiang Mai’s Hang Dong district. The area was established when villagers employed as loggers used leftover wood to make small carved pieces in their spare time. Even if you’re not in the market for shipping a teak table back home, it’s always interesting to see the talented woodcarvers do their thing.

Image by: Style at Home By: Erin McLaughlin Source: Julio Mestress

Style destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Dinner and a view

Dine at The Gallery along the Ping River. Go for the elegant atmos­phere, live music and authentic northern Thai dishes. (Plus, it’s Hillary Clinton approved!)

Image by: Style at Home By: Erin McLaughlin Source: Erin McLaughlin

Style destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Pick up a souvenir

Don’t leave without visiting the night market. Popular with locals and tourists alike, it’s where you can find a range of souvenirs, artwork, handicrafts and snacks.

Image by: Style at Home By: Erin McLaughlin Source: Erin McLaughlin

Style destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand

A sweet treat

While you’re there, keep your eyes open for Annette, which sells adorable ice cream bars out of an equally sweet pastel blue tuk­tuk (motorized rickshaw).

Image by: Style at Home By: Erin McLaughlin Source: Annette

Style destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand

What to pack

Perfect sun hat Lucy hat, Goorin Bros., $140 US. Breezy cover-up White tunic, J.Crew, $102. Powerful protection UltraCalming Super Sensitive Shild SPF 30 sunscreen, Dermalogica, $66. Essential travel cases Leather travel cases in Blue, Cuyana, $95 US per set. Comfy flip-flops Closses flip-flops in Opal, Tkees, $58.

Image by: Style at Home By: Erin McLaughlin Source: Style at Home
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Style Destination

Style destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand