The city of Chiang Mai is a favorite among travelers passing by the South East Asia region – whether to serve as a pit stop or a temporary home base for the so-called members of the gig economy; the digital nomads. The reasons why ranges from the diversity of its culture, richness of history and savory cuisines coupled by a vibrant yet laid back atmosphere. The charms of Chiang Mai isn’t exclusive only to attracting creative juices among the growing art-inclined travelers, it also boast of many wonderful attractions that fits the itineraries of all types of travelers. To get you started in planning a trip to this gem of a city, here are a few things one must experience when in Chiang Mai.
14 Awesome Things to Do and See in Chiang Mai, Thailand
1. Temple Hopping
Two to three days of exploring Chiang Mai's temples should be enough for you to tick off these beautiful temples from your list; Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Sing, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Umong, Wat Suan Dorg, Wat Lok Moli, Wat Sri Suphan and a lot more.
2. Explore Chiang Mai’s Art and Cultural Scene
Chiang Mai’s art and heritage scene is bustling and noticeable from the minute you arrived. The more you explore, the more you will discover hidden nooks and cranny overflowing with creativity as evidenced through the city’s architecture and artistic character.
3. Learn the Concept of Organic Farming and Cooking Local Cuisine at Ban Rai Kong King
The farming neighborhood of Ban Rai Kong King operates a tour program that allows visitors to learn the concept of organic farming as well as letting food connoisseurs try their hands at learning to cook local Chiang Mai dishes. The locals will also let you experience the soothing effect of the traditional Lanna Yum Kang fire therapy massage.
4. Witness Fine Umbrella Craftsmanship at Bor Sang VillageEye popping and visually enticing umbrellas made in Chiang Mai are mostly made from this village where skilled artisans, make handmade umbrellas using a traditional method of artistry handed down from many generations.
5. Visit the Elephant Nature Park
Feed, bathe and play with elephants at this Elephant Sanctuary which treats rescued elephants accordingly with all animal rights guidelines to prepare them prior to being set free to the wild again. Aside from the Elephant Nature Park, a number of other outdoor Elephant camps near Chiang Mai are worthy of a visit.
6. Take a Dip at Bua Thong Waterfalls
A list of great outdoor attractions surrounds Chiang Mai and the Bua Thong Waterfalls is a gem of nature when one can spend half a day just dipping at its cold soothing waters.
7. Have a Chat with the Monks
Monks would love to talk to travelers so they can also practice their English. In return, you get to ask a lot of things about Buddhism and Thai culture in general.
8. Market-hopping and Brush up on your bargaining skills
Whether it is the daytime market such as Warorot or the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, interesting finds depicting Thai culture can be found at bargained prices. Brush up that bargaining skill because during weekends, more night markets are set up across Chiang Mai.
9. Take a Day Trip Exploring the Countryside of Chiang Mai
Tour operators offers a day jaunt to various attractions located just outside of Chiang Mai. Visit the hill and long neck tribes, the Mekong River and the golden triangle.
10. Experience the Chiang Mai Night Safari
Ride an open air tram and pass by various animal zones and interact with some of them such as feeding the towering giraffes and see other interesting animals living freely in their respective zones, from a short distance.
11. Visit the Underground Ancient City of Wiang Kum Kam
Situated five clicks south of Chiang Mai, just along the banks of Ping River, this ancient city dates back to the eight century. Check out the beautiful ruins of this place which includes Buddhist art, architecture and sculptures.
12. Chiang Mai Rainforest Adventure
Hike into a mossy forest and view it atop towering century old trees while ziplining to a series of trees.
13. Get a Sak Yant Tattoo from a Monk
Also known as “Yantra Tattooing” which originated from Cambodia, this ancient form of tattooing consists of Khmer scripts that blesses your body with health and luck. Buddhist monks armed with mai sak (pointed bamboo stick) and traditional ink usually applies the tattoo by tapping it into your skin.
Marky Ramone Go learns the technique of cooking a curry dish
14. Last but not the least; Foodtripping
Everyone who has been to Thailand will swear allegiance to the delicious cuisine of this kingdom country. Chiang Mai never disappoints as numerous dishes are even elevated taste-wise, in this region – making it richer, tastier and more appealing on the plate and inside your mouth. Walk around the city and have a grand time exploring the food scene of Chiang Mai.
How to get to Chiang Mai, Thailand from Manila?
This article was written by Marky Ramone Go, Pinoy Aventurista's official representative to the "Chaing Mai Familiarization Tour" hosted by Thailand Tourism Authority and Thai Airways.
Read full disclosure here.
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