Chiang Mai is a city located in the north of Thailand and is one of the most popular destinations throughout Thailand. Chiang Mai is a completely different city than Bangkok! This city feels more village and the atmosphere is also a lot more relaxed. Chiang Mai is a top destination for both nature and culture lovers. I think Chiang Mai is the best city in Thailand! What are tips for Chiang Mai?
I like to share with you my 8 tips to do in the city of Chiang Mai!
Chiang Mai is a city where you can easily be a week, because there is so much to see and do! The city center has a kind of intimate and village atmosphere and houses numerous historic temples and sights within walking distance of each other. In total I spent ten days in Chiang Mai and I wandered through this city for hours and I got to know the city very well!
My 8 tips for Chiang Mai
1. Walk around the night market
Chiang Mai is famous for the great night market which is held every evening at 6 pm in a number of streets of Chiang Mai. Here you will find the coolest souvenirs, the most beautiful jewelry and the best clothes. This can all be found in multiples and it is also super cheap. This night market is so big that you do not have to get bored in Chiang Mai any night, because you can wander every night on another piece of the market. Do not forget to always negotiate the price! The nightmarket must be on my list for tips for Chiang Mai!
What I really like about this night market are the many stalls with delicious food.
2. Wander through the city
The best thing I always find is to walk a bit through a city and see where you end up and what you encounter along the way. Chiang Mai is a great city for this, because I think it actually feels more like a village. You can discover the entire city on foot. Everywhere you see small temples, fantastic buildings, cozy restaurants and small shops. So stroll around and admire the beauty of Chiang Mai and see the many beautiful things Chiang Mai has to offer.
3. Wat Phra That Doi Kham
This is my favorite temple in Chiang Mai. This temple is not so well known to travelers, because mainly local people visit this temple. During my visit to this special temple I did not see any other tourists. The temple is a twenty minute drive from the old town of Chiang Mai. You will find a number of meters high beautiful Buddha statues, one of which is sitting, one is lying and one is standing.
What is this temple beautiful!
4. Thai massage
Traveling in Thailand means that you can pamper yourself with a wonderful massage for little money. A Thai massage is a bit different than the standard relaxation massage. They do not use oil and the massage is pretty hard and it feels like you are put in all kinds of complicated yoga doses and are being massaged. My favorite massage parlor is the Lila Tai massage parlor and they have massage parlors at various locations in the walled city center. Except that the massages are divinely delicious, all women working here are ex prisoners. By working in this massage parlor they get a second chance in society.
5. Visit a Thai boxing event
Thai boxing is a true Thai tradition and that’s why I think you should go to a real Thai boxing match. This is very nice to experience one time. I have seen a game on a small square full of local people and a handful of tourists and the atmosphere was exuberant and cool.
6. Climb the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
The Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is the most important and the most famous temple of Chiang Mai. This temple is named after the mountain on which the temple is located. It is a climb of more than 300 steps, but for 50 Baht you can also use a cable car.
At the top of the temple you have a beautiful view of the city!
It is one of the most historically and mentally important places in Thailand. It is an impressive embodiment of the Lanna culture that originated almost 700 years ago. The temple consists of a lot of gold and elegant details. These temples are very popular and therefore very busy. I went there very early in the morning to avoid the crowds and I definitely recommend this! This temple is about a half hour drive from the city. You can rent a scooter yourself or you can arrange a taxi to take you to the temple.
7. Chiang Mai zoo
Although this was not the first thing I thought about during my visit to Chiang Mai, I must confess that the Chiang Mai Zoo is surprisingly interesting. The zoo is at the foot of the Doi Suthep. Chiang Mai Zoo is definitely worth a visit, especially if you have had a look at temples. There are almost 400 different animal species to be found, but the coolest one I think are the pandas.
8. Take a hike of a couple days
The surroundings of Chiang Mai are particularly beautiful and very suitable for a multi-day trek through the Thai jungle. I did a trek of 3 days and 2 nights and I loved it. The jungle is a bit hilly, but not too extreme so you can walk and relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I walked through villages and crossed several rivers, where I stood in the water up to my waist. I have seen endless rice fields and beautiful vistas and spent the nights in small villages with local people at home!
These are my 8 tips for Chiang Mai! do you have tips for Chiang Mai?Check here my travel route for the north of Thailand 2 weeks
Hotel Chiang Mai
I always stay at The riverside House and Breakfast. The garden and pool are relaxed and beautifully maintained. The rooms are lovely and spacious. And I loved my balcony!
- Not what you are looking for? Find here more great places to stay in Chiang Mai!
Read more about Chiang Mai
- A multi-day trek through the jungle at Chiang Mai
- The 5 must see temples in Chiang Mai
- The 3 greatest hotels in Chiang Mai
Read more about the North of Thailand
- Travel route for the north of Thailand 2 weeks
- All information for your trip to Pai
- 7x the best things to do in Pai
Read more about Bangkok
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- The 5 temples in Bangkok you have to visit
- Cycling in Bangkok
- 15 fun things you didn’t know about Bangkok
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