Best Places to visit in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Finally, it's time to talk about my beloved Chiang Mai, a famous city in northern Thailand and a tourist destination for the thousands of travelers who year after year decide to visit this emblematic country. It is not a megalopolis but it does not stop being a big city, with traffic, much noise, and at first sight, I thought that it did not have much attraction.
Its history is fascinating since basically, it is a wall and a moat that was constructed to defend the city of the Burmese attacks. It is true that it has spectacular temples and that you can spend hours and hours losing yourself in its streets without ceasing to look everywhere because there is always something to see. In addition, Chiang Mai is one of the cheapest places in Thailand and if you know how to ride and know how to look for good places, you will spend very little money!
Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
The Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is located a little more than 15 km from the city within the area of the natural park of the same name. Its main attraction is the temple Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and the places that are approached from. You can reach there with a rented motorcycle, by public transport or on a mountain bike. On the way to the Doi Suthep Mountain, I found the Watpalad Temple. There was nobody there. I was strolling through the temple that looked semi-abandoned.
Temples across Chiang Mai
One of the things that every backpacker should do when visiting Chiang Mai is to enjoy the history of the city visiting its temples, enjoy a good day admiring these architectural gems in the surroundings of the city or its old part.
When traveling to Chiang Mai, do not forget to book some time to visit the most important Night Safari attractions. It has everything you need to know to make your trip to Chiang Mai even more enjoyable. It's a different way to see a safari. You can see how the animals sleep or live at night. The place is nice and with less "smells" than a zoo. It is worth coming in at night if you want to do something different than usual.
Stroll through the huge "Sunday Night Market"
If you are lucky enough to visit Chiang Mai on Sunday, you cannot miss the Night Market! Everything you can imagine that you may want to buy you will find there. It is so huge and you can have everything. You must see it without having dinner because you will find thousands of cheap food stalls.
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
Watching elephants and even feed them and play with them in the water is an experience that you should live if you like animals. If you are an animal lover you will surely love it. Elephant conservation fields are located on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, mainly in the Mae Teng area. You can choose a traditional elephant ride by the river or spend a few hours or the full day with these animals riding on them without a chair. This option is for young people without fear of heights.
Trekking through the Jungle
The city of Chiang Mai is completely surrounded by jungle so doing activities in it is always a way to enjoy its lush nature. If you are a little cheeky and are not afraid of heights to do "Tirolinas", also known as jumping from tree to tree is an activity more than advisable. The safest and most beautiful place to do it is called “Flight of the Gibbon” and is located about 5 - 60 km from Chiang Mai in the Mae On area.
Doi Pui Tribal Village and National Park Suthep-Pui
The Doi Suthep-Pui National Park consists of two mountains, Mount Suthep and Mount Pui, which is located very close to Chiang Mai (18 km). The two places that I propose to visit in this national park are:
"The Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Temple", from which you will enjoy some great views of Chiang Mai and "The Khun Chankian Hmong Tribal Village" which can be visited on a pleasant and narrow road surrounded by forest.
The best way to visit them is in your own vehicle, whether car, motorcycle or if you are fit and well-motivated, a bicycle. I went in a car that I rented for just over 1000 Baths a day. You can easily find places to rent cars, motorbikes or bikes in the old city.
Art in Paradise, Chiang Mai
Maybe when someone goes to Thailand he hopes to go to the beach, dive or see elephants ... Art in Paradise is very different, it is a 3D museum that could be in your city.
It is expensive, in fact, I was about to not get in for the price, but less badly I paid because I had a great time. In addition, many of the paintings are for you to photograph, for example on top of a building or about to be eaten by a crocodile. You will leave the museum with a good amount of photos for your Instagram!
Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders
It’s a curious museum to visit in Chiang Mai when you are bored and do not know what to do after getting drunk every night on Loikhro Road and visiting all the temples. It is a two-story cottage that has a lot of bugs you may have never seen in your life and this is what makes it interesting, especially if you are not from Asia. I thought that I would not like anything but it was quite entertaining.
Named after the highest mountain in Thailand and the National Park in which it is located. In the park, you can visit two temples in honor of the former kings of Thailand, several waterfalls (like Mae Ya's) and some northern tribes.
Wat Phra Singh
Wat Phra Sing stands out for its beautiful white Stupa. In a fascinating precinct, it is an indispensable among the 10 places to see in Chiang Mai. The main attraction is the “Wihan Lai Kham”, the hall where the Phra Buddha Singh stands, a statue that gave its name to the temple when it was taken there in 1367. In the same room, there are also some exceptional murals.
Chiang Mai is a city that has grown a lot. But its historic center is clearly defined by a moat and a wall that was built to defend it from the Burmese attacks. Within these walls is the most beautiful of Chiang Mai: its Buddhist temples and its rich culture. Although there are over 300 temples in the city you will soon discover.
You will also love the smell of grilled meat grilled meat, the atmosphere of street restaurants where you can have a good “Pad Thai” and drink a fruit smoothie. The only advice I can give you is to lose yourself in the streets of the old town and discover its magical corners.