Located in the North of Thailand, Chiang Mai has become one of the most popular tourist sites in the country. Loved by Thais for its scenic atmosphere and “cool” temperature, averaging at 25°C throughout the year, Chiang Mai has also become known to visitors for its elephant sanctuaries. However, there is so much more that you can do and appreciate in Chiang Mai and we are here to tell you about all of the activities that you can immerse in during your time in the province.
In Chiang Mai, you will have great views of the mountains and if you decide to trek up one of the hills then you can possibly visit local tribe villages where indeginous people or “Chao Kao” live. There are seven different tribes that reside in Thailand, and they all have their own distinct cultures, languages as well as clothes that are worth learning about. They live completely different lifestyles compared to those who live at the foot of mountains.
If you love nature and want to spend some time among some of the prettiest flowers and plants then you must visit the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden. There, you can walk through endless fields of tulips as well as greenhouses filled with cacti or orchids. There is so much to see that you may not make it through the entire garden in one day.
However, you can possibly see everything in one day if you take the park’s shuttle, which is free for everyone to use (the park’s entrance fee is 50 baht per person). You can also drive around the garden and park in the marked spots. Other than beautiful plants, the garden also has cafés and gift shops around the park.
Because Chiang Mai shares a border line with Myanmar, the province is a great place to learn about the two nations’ merging cultures.
Some of the province’s temples, such as Wat Chetawan, Wat Mahawan, and Wat Buppharam, have Burmese architectural styles. You can also visit classic northern style temples that live on the mountains like Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Phra That Doi Kham, or the ones that live in the Old City, such as Wat Phra Signh and Wat Chedi Luang.
If you want to learn more about the northern region’s cultures then you can visit Old Chiang Mai to watch traditional performances, while enjoying some local food (Khantoke Dinner Show).
You can also head over to Bo Sang village, which is about ten kilometers from Chiang Mai city, to learn about the art of umbrella making. There, villagers have been making and painting paper umbrellas for centuries. Moreover, you can learn and buy authentic Thai silk and indigo dye fabric from the Thai Silk Village and Studio Naenna, respectively. Amazing food can be found everywhere in Chiang Mai, but the easiest way to get everything in one place is by going to the Chiang Mai Sunday Market.
If you are more adventurous then do not forget to go trekking, rafting, and ziplining in Chiang Mai. You can hike to nearby waterfalls, talk a stroll in Doi Inthanon National Park, or go to Mae Wang for an elephant sanctuary and trekking tour.
As for rafting, you can head over to 8Adventures or SiamRivers for more information. There are many great options for ziplining in Thailand, but we would have to recommend Jungle Flight, Flight of the Gibbon, and Eagle Track Zipline.
Overall Chiang Mai is one of the best places to visit during your trip to Thailand. It has everything from luxury to local attractions. The people are very welcoming and always happy to see interested tourists.