After Bangkok, our second stop in Thailand was Chiang Mai, which is a city in the mountains of northern Thailand. The part of Chiang Mai we stayed in was not super touristy. It was easy to get lost in the markets and really feel submerged in the culture. I must admit I was cautious about trying new foods, but I have to say the street food was just amazing! Some excursions that I would recommend seeing were the Doi Suthep Temple and Chiang Rai, where the journey to the White Temple was as magical as the Temple itself. Doi Inthanon is the highest point in Thailand and the view was unreal. I would highly recommend getting to that point if ever in Chiang Mai.
My favorite part of Chiang Mai was getting to interact with and bathe an elephant. Not something I ever thought I would do in my lifetime! We went to an elephant farm (preserve) called the Chiang Thai Heritage Elephant Home. They really take care of the elephants and make sure they are happy and healthy. We were lucky enough to feed them and give them a mud bath (which the elephants loved).