The northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, located between the mountains, is a gem to discover. Tourists can enjoy visiting many temples, immerse themselves in nature and visit the many waterfalls, fascinating museums, good food or enjoy the extremely relaxed atmosphere. Chiang Mai is certainly a relief compared to the very busy Bangkok. Nevertheless, you will find a lot of culture, nature and more than enough sights here to keep it up for several days. The Ping River flows through the center of the city, which was especially important during the heyday of silk export. The city walls characterize the oldest part of the city, which was founded around the thirteenth century. It contains many temples, city gates and craftsmen who still continue their work there. And shopping enthusiasts will also get their money’s worth in Chiang Mai. Especially in the area around Chang Klan Road and Rachadamnoen Road, you can discover a variety of shops, stalls and street performers. And with a bit of luck you will be present at one of the many festivals that are held in Chiang Mai. The Songkhran festival in April is particularly special. And with a bit of luck you will be present at one of the many festivals that are held in Chiang Mai. The Songkhran festival in April is particularly special. And with a bit of luck you will be present at one of the many festivals that are held in Chiang Mai. The Songkhran festival in April is particularly special.
Top 10 things to do in Chiang Mai
#1. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
According to ezinereligion, the Buddhist temple Wat Phra That Doi Suthep stands at the top of the holy Doi Suthep mountain. This mountain is also called ‘Doi Aoy Chang’, which means Sugar Elephant Mountain. Legends tell the story of a relic with magical powers that was tied on the back of a white elephant. The place where this elephant fell dead is where the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep can now be admired. The copper-clad stupa is considered the most sacred. Beautiful rituals take place here during sunrise and sunset. There are two options to reach Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Either you climb the two hundred and ninety steps or you take the cable car to the top.
#2. jungle trekking
Nature in Thailand is quite impressive. Many mountains, valleys, forests and rainforests are interspersed with the greatest of ease with cultural cities, villages, rice fields and other landscapes. Through a jungle trekking you go out with a guide to explore the nature of Thailand and in this case around Chiang Mai. The guide takes you along traditional old tribes where you can possibly spend the night. With a bit of luck you can cook a delicious meal with the residents and that way you get something extra from the culture. In most cases you will take a trip on a bamboo raft and experience the spectacular nature from the water. A visit to an elephant group is also often a must during a jungle trekking. Are you aware of the often horribly drilled animals that were often mentally destroyed as babies. All in all, these are often beautiful trips that show you a completely different side of the country and are definitely worth it for that reason alone.
#3. Wat Chiang Man
In the center of the northern city of Chiang Mai you can visit the Wat Chiang Man. This sacred Buddhist temple marks the beginning of the city’s spiritual history. King Mengrai knew how to shape the city from here to let it develop as we can experience it now. The two Buddha statues are the most important at Wat Chiang Man. One statue is made of crystal and is no larger than ten centimetres. It bears the name ‘Phra Satang Man’. The second image is ‘Phra Sila-Buddha’.
#4. Elephant Nature Park
Although the practice is increasingly criticized, there are still countless places in Thailand where tourists can take a ride on the back of an elephant. Unfortunately, it is not always immediately clear what preceded to get the elephants so tame. Tourists also often do not know how much work pressure the animals have to deal with on a daily basis or how the care actually works. Exploitation is the order of the day and baby elephants are often mentally broken down only to be forcibly rebuilt. Elephant Nature Park is a park that you should therefore visit. Here you can interact with elephants that have been rescued from the above practices, among others. Here you can see how you can also get acquainted with these beautiful animals that are threatened with extinction in other ways. During a walk next to and with the elephants you will become acquainted with the impressive nature, natural processes of elephants and their washing rituals. You can also feed the animals and interact with them in a friendly way. But the welfare of the animals always comes first here. You can even combine the Elephant Nature Park with volunteer work. In addition to elephants, dogs, buffalos, cats, birds and many other animals are also regularly taken care of.
#5. Wat Chedi Luang
Sometime in the mid-fifteenth century, the Buddhist temple Wat Chedi Luang was built in the Muang District. Unfortunately, an earthquake some time later caused a lot of damage and reduced the height by half. No serious reconstruction has ever taken place, so the building still shows traces of this. In addition to the Wat Chedi Luang, the tree at the entrance has also been declared sacred. A legend says that when this tree falls, the city will fall too.
#6. Bua Thong waterfalls
Thailand’s beautiful nature is an attraction in itself. In the wooded areas you will sometimes find ancient temples, colorful bird species, natural water sources and beautiful waterfalls here and there. Chiang Mai’s Bua Thong Falls are an excellent example of this. If you like to climb and scramble, then a visit to these waterfalls will be even more fun. The three floors invite you to climb the waterfall. An afternoon of fun is guaranteed.
#7. Sunday Walking Street
One of the most vibrant areas in Chiang Mai can be found on and around Sunday Walking Street. You can shop endlessly, eat well or enjoy a well-deserved drink. The Sunday Walking Street street is known by many for the Sunday market that can be found in the vicinity of Rachadamnoen Road in Chiang Mai. All kinds of stalls are then filled with handmade artwork, souvenirs, jewelry, music and of course food. The scents and colors ensure that your senses are immediately stimulated. Because the market here gets going around four in the afternoon and continues well into the night, it is also called Chiang Mai’s Sunday night market. In the immediate vicinity you will also find many restaurants, bars, street artists and other entertainment.
#8. Ladyboy Cabaret
Buddhist society recognizes some fourteen gender identities. One of the most striking in Thailand and therefore also in Chiang Mai is that of the transgender people. Men who dress up lavishly and therefore feel like a woman on top. This type is also called Katoey in Thailand. There are several spectacular professional shows performed by these ladyboys in Chiang Mai which are quite popular. Ladyboy Cabaret is therefore a full evening program that is filled with dance, song and lots of glitter and feathers. In Chiang Mai, you can visit Chiang Mai Cabaret Show and Miracle Cabaret Chiang Mai, among others. Expect an exuberant portion of humor and a lot of fun here.
#9. Night Market
Chiang Mai’s Night Market or Night Bazaar is a popular attraction. It is a different market than the one described in the Sunday Walking Street. The Night Market, also known as ‘Kad Luang’, is located in the Mueang Chiang Mai District on Chang Klan Road. This night market is mainly filled with handmade craft items, jewelry, toys and much more. Meanwhile, there are all kinds of street artists who entertain you in surprising ways or take a seat with one of the many masseurs who will take care of your feet in a relaxing way.
#10. Flight of the Gibbon
Adventurers should definitely not miss a visit to the Flight of the Gibbon. This eco-friendly adventure park in the mountains east of Chiang Mai guarantees a lot of fun and challenge. Safety is provided with a special harness before you move from treetop to treetop and over bridges via zip lines. The journey through the rainforest is about eight hundred meters long and offers a lot of variety. At the end of the trip you will visit the Mae Kampong waterfalls and you have another option to visit the village of Mae Kampong. The Flight of the Gibbon is suitable for all ages.