When I was preparing my Thailand itenary, I was thinking to go to only to Bangkok and to the islands. I did not think of Chiang Mai at all. However, once I learned that one of my Thai friends was living Chiang Mai I decided to put it somewhere in the itenary. Also I heard many good things from people who have been to this Northern Thailand city before.
I did not regret to visit Chiang Mai because we enjoyed it so much and thought that 2 days were not enough to see everything that the city offers. Chiang Mai took a big place in our hearths after visiting it. I definitely would love to visit there again. Hopefully sometime soon!
So why did we liked the city that much?
One of the most important fact is that it is a small city offering lots of things to do for its visitors. Incredible temples, huge markets, coolest cafes and restaurants, delicious food, lots of activities in nature are some of these things… It is not that crowded as Bangkok and it has a better traffic.
2 days were just a hint of Chiang Mai’s taste. In my previous post, I have talked about the city’s food scene. Now I am going to list 8 things you must do while you are visiting Chiang Mai;
- Visit Temples: Without any exaggeration, Chiang Mai is the city of temples. It is full of historical and impressive temples. You would be captivated by the beautiness of these temples. Wat Chedi Luang is locatedin the middle of Chiang Mai and it is my favorite. It was constructed in Lanna Style in a pyramid like shape and surrounded by elephant statues. Love the ancient look of this temple. Wat Phra Singh is very close to Wat Chedi. It is impressive especially at night with its enlightment. It is considered as the most sacred temple in CM. Another most important temple is Wat Phra That Doi. It is located on a mountain overlooking to Chiang Mai. It has an impressive architecture. Golden domes, gold umbrellas, beautiful floors and the city views…You have to climb 306 steps to reach the temple however if you dont feel walking up, then you can take the finicular as well.
- Visit Elephant Rescue Sanctuary: In Thailand, elephants are used in many areas such as in carrying people or as show animal. This means that they would be treated in bad conditions and suffered in trainings as a wild animal. There are parks where you could watch the shows of these animals and also feed and touch them. However there are also parks where these animals are are being rehabilitated. It would be a better idea to go to these kinds of Rescue parks. You can google and find more information about these camps.
- See Long Nech Karen: You would probabyl see somewhere about the long Neck women who are still living in primative conditions. These people are living in a village outside of Chiang Mai. They sell handmade goods to make some money. Definitely worths a visit.
- Try Chiang Mai Tastes: Thai food varies from region to region and Chiang Mai has its characteristic cuisine as well. The Chiang Mai sausage, spicy pork paste are some of the local things you can taste. Check my previous post for detailed information about CM food. Her is the link: Chiang Mai Food
- Shop at Night Bazaar: Every night, a bazaar is built in the center of Chiang Mai. Şehrin merkezinde her akşam pazar kuruluyor. You can find anything you look for in this market. Dont forget to bargain.
- Visit Weekend Street Walk Markets: Save some money and time to shop at weekend markets in Chiang Mai. Especially the one on Sundays is huge. You can spend hours here while shopping. Make sure to go with a lighter luggage to CM since you will shop fır sure.
- Try to plan your Chiang Mai visit during festival times: Chiang Mai hosts 2 big festivals every year. One of them is Yi Peng Lantern Festival where thousands of lights are relased to skies. It is organized in November and the city offers amazing scenes during the festival. The other festival is more fun. It is called Songkran Water festival. People are throwing water to each other to refresh. It is held in April, the hottest month of the year and the beginning of Chinese new year. The flower festival in February also another festival offering beautiful flower decorations around the city.
- Plant Rice in Rice Fields: Rice is produced commonly in Northern Thailand. You see rice fields around. Some hotels have their own fields and gro rice there. They offer rice planting experience to their customers. Siri Panna and Dhara Dhevi Resort are two of these hotels. Try to experience rice planting since it is a unique experience.