2018 Primetime Emmy
& James Beard Award Winner

The Rose of the North

Chiang Mai and the Festival of Lights

November 26-December 3, 2023

Cool mornings, verdant mountains, and the annual Loi Krathong festival of lights make this the very best moment of the year in Thailand’s cultural capital. Our host is Andy Ricker, longtime resident of Chiang Mai who popularized this region’s cuisine in the U.S. with his PokPok restaurants, and is ready to show you what makes this place amazing. Our guide is Fern Sripungwiwat, a multilingual artist, producer and global traveler with a deep passion for her home region.

Andy Ricker

Our Host

Chef, Writer, Traveler
Andy Ricker

Fern Sripungwiwat

Trip Guide

Artist, Producer, Global Traveler
Fern Sripungwiwat

R&K Trip Itinerary

This former capital—which King Rama V called the “prime diamond on the crown of Thailand”—is the mountain soul of this country. We’ll start there and then branch widely around the ancient Loi Krathong festival of lights, venturing to the Golden Triangle and back down to Chiang Rai, into the mountains and finally into one final Bangkok bacchanal. Restaurateur, writer, and raconteur Andy Ricker and his friends—including the best people to cook and drink with in the country—are our guides to the multi-faceted cuisine of this extraordinary place.

November 26-December 3, 2023

Day 1

Nov 26 Sun


  • Chiang Mai
  • Private transfer from CNX airport
  • Walk the grounds, relax in your en-suite plunge pool
  • Welcome drinks with Andy and Fern
  • Private dinner with Chef Black and Bia of Blackitch Artisanal Kitchen

Day 2

Nov 27 Mon

Rice Forever

  • Chiang Mai
  • Visit to local rice field to meet our main ingredient
  • Tasting and talking with the country’s best Lao Khao rice spirits maker
  • Khanom Jin rice noodle lunch at a local noodle producer
  • Spa afternoon, of course
  • Boozy northern Thai dinner at Baan Rai Yam Tin, an encyclopedia of regional cuisine


Day 3

Nov 28 Tue

The Festival of Lights

  • Chiang Mai
  • Early morning market tour with breakfast of jok rice porridge, fresh hot soy milk, patanko crullers,  Sup Leuat Muu peppery pork and offal soup with herbs 
  • Lunch at Khao Soi Islam, a Muslim lunch institution
  • Private cookout at Andy Ricker’s featuring rice hay bonfire cooking with team Bolan
  • Float Krathong baskets with offerings and lanterns downriver in Andy’s village
  • Drink to sully our newly cleansed soul, sleep like babies.

Day 4

Nov 29 Wed

Akha Country, Akha Culture

  • Golden Triangle
  • Breakfast at Chiang Mai hotel
  • Helicopter flight to Lee Ayu’s family coffee plantation farm in the Akha people’s heartland
  • Coffee cupping with Lee
  • Akha lunch prepared by Lee’s mom
  • Luxury bus transfer to the Golden Triangle
  • Check-in at resort with elephants, spa and the like
  • Northern Thai street bites on the banks of the Mekong

Day 5

Nov 30 Thu

Into Chiang Rai

  • Pa Sak Tong Villa, Chiang Rai
  • 15 Mae Kon, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand
  • +66 52 020 647
  • Wake with elephants
  • Luxury bus transfer to Chiang Rai
  • Check into Pa Sak Tong and chill
  • Beers, snacks, cocktails at the pool.
  • Locus Native Food Lab: natural wines, Michelin-level northern Thai cuisine

Day 6

Dec 1 Fri

The Bounty of the North

  • Pa Sak Tong Villa, Chiang Rai
  • 15 Mae Kon, Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand
  • +66 52 020 647
  • Optional morning shopping in Chiang Rai
  • Travel to Doi Mae Salong for Yunnan culture, cuisine and KMT history
  • Back to hotel for poolside relaxation
  • Tour de force Isaan tasting menu by Chef Num, one of Thailand’s great innovators
  • Stagger to bed, full, drunk, happy

Day 7

Dec 2 Sat

To Bangkok and Beyond

  • Short flight from Chiang Rai-Bangkok
  • Chinese noodle lunch Bangkok
  • Siesta, charge up!
  • Bangkok river cruise and happy hour
  • Last night private dinner with legendary chef Prin Polsuk
  • Hang into the night at Jua Izakaya

Day 8

Dec 3 Sun


  • Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)
  • Wake slowly, gingerly
  • Noon tea service in the iconic Authors Lounge
  • Private transfer to BKK for flight home


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