Things To Do in Chiang Mai
I realize it’s been a while, since I’m not in Chiang Mai anymore, but back in my room in Zurich. Chiang Mai has been a beautiful experience, completely different to Bangkok or the life on the islands. If you already know a little something about Thailand and are wondering, too, what the difference is between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, I can tell you what I was told… Supposedly, Chiang Rai, the older of the two cities was established as a capital for King Meng Rai’s kingdom in the 13th century and was later relocated to Chiang Mai, while “mai” means “new” in Thai. While Chiang Mai has overshadowed it’s predecessor and has become ever so popular for tourists and locals, Chiang Rai is has similar attractions to offer and tourism has been booming there, too.
I guess many of the things to do in Chiang Mai are valid for Chiang Rai, too. One of the main reasons my boyfriend and I decided to travel up North were to explore the nature up in the hills as well as the way of life far from the country’s main capital Bangkok or the touristic spots on the islands. Staying there for a total of 4 nights has made it possible for us to just relax and enjoy the pace of life in Chiang Mai for a little while.
Things to Do in Chiang Mai
As mentioned, Chiang Mai is located in the North of Thailand, which makes it perfectly suitable for daily trekking tours and elephant rides. Even though we’re no big fan of riding elephants because for the sake of the animals, we decided to go for a trekking trip in the jungle. Honestly, while trekking has been a wonderful experience in itself, the tour part of it wasn’t really existent. The so called guide did not explain nor show us interesting things about the jungle. Basically, we just walked up and downhill for about 5 hours, enjoying mediocre views and a little packaged lunch consisting of fried rice and fried chicken. Anyhow, I probably recommend this if you want to exercise and meet new people, since this is a great way to do so.
Renting a Scooter
My best tip would probably be to rent a motorbike and go explore the city on your own. Renting a scooter will make you much more flexible when choosing restaurants or cafés to relax at as well as save you from Chiang Mai’s horrific taxi and tuck tuck prices. When renting a scooter, make sure to take a lot of pictures of the scooter before, so in any case you have proof for which scratches happened on your behalf and which didn’t. If you’re staying at Siri House (highly recommended), Pat will take care of these things for you. Whether it’s a scooter, laundry or guided tours, you’ll have receive with a blink of an eye.
Temples and Markets
Chiang Mai is quite known for its various temples and its everyday night market. While I’m not a big fan of seeing every existing temple in the area, I enjoyed visiting the one uphill, called Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple. Not only is the temple beautiful, but the view up there is magnificent, too. As for markets, I suggets you make a big turn around the Kalamare Night bazaar, because it’s very touristy and the food is cheap and unspectacular. However, interesting local markets include the Sunday Market as well as the Waroros market, where you will find more loci stuff for a third of the price you’d pay at the Night Bazaar.