Thailand – Mae Sot

From the outside, the First Hotel looks like it’s been left abandoned for years. The fading, flaking paint on the exterior makes you wonder if the place is actually open. Only a few vehicles in the car park persuade me that it is still in business, and convince me to go inside. One step inside…

Thailand – Phitsanulok

You have to think something is awry when a town’s main business is making coffins. Phitsanulok has a curious number of shops displaying 6ft boxes. And not just any old coffins – these are boxes with bling. Scoffing at the notion that it’s no good being the richest person in the graveyard, each one is…

Thailand – Lampang

Lampang tends to be overlooked. When it comes to great northern towns, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Pai are the headline-stealers. Yet Lampang has a few things that set it apart, thanks largely to the animal kingdom. The Thai Elephant Conservation Centre on the outskirts of town has a strong educational feel to it. Sure,…

Thailand – Chiang Mai

Some cities demand your attention and won’t give it up. The frenetic pace of Bangkok immediately draws you in, the beauty of Ko Phi Phi is instantly stunning; Chiang Mai is more of a slow burner. It may be Thailand’s second-largest city but there’s none of Bangkok’s lung-bursting pollution or its soaring skyscrapers. The one…