This was our second time to Thailand but our first to Chiang Mai. We heard so many good things about Northern Thailand and boy, it didn’t disappoint. It is lush and green and mountainous. If you weren’t planning on going to Chiang Mai, change your itinerary and go there! It is different from southern Thailand, from the climate to the food and even the people (in our opinion). One of my absolute favorite things from Northern Thailand is khao soi, a coconut curry soup that is only served in the north. We would eat it everyday and didn’t get tired of it. Don’t be afraid to eat at the street vendors as we have found them to have the best food! They generally specialize in one type of food and are really good at it!!
We met an amazing couple from Brazil that are also traveling full-time (Larissa and Rafael @sanson_travelust). We always find that meeting fellow travelers to be so inspiring and easy to build relationships with.
We were In Chiang Mai for 10 days and it wasn’t enough! We wandered the temples, visited the surrounding mountains, jumped off cliffs, and explored the nearby attractions. We have complied a list of things to do in Chiang Mai, some we did and some we will do when we are back to visit in the future.
Things to do in Chiang Mai:
- Visit Doi Suthep: this golden temple is perched on a mountain overlooking Chiang Mai. If you’re on Instagram, there is no doubt you have seen it posted on there. It’s a must visit!
- Visit Wat Chedi Luang: this is one of the oldest and largest temples in Thailand. About 500 years ago the top part of the temple broke off during an earthquake. Even without the top part, the temple stands tall.
- Do a cooking class: we did our cooking class at North Hill City Resort and we absolutely loved it. The farm-to-table concept was a really cool experience. We went to the organic farm to pick our produce and then were trained to cook 5 different meals.
- Wander Wat Suan Dok Temple: this is a beautiful temple but white-washed mausoleums in the front is what captured our attention. There are hundreds of them that are very ornate and beautiful.
- Pha Chor: these are beautiful rock formations that stand tall. There is a trail that goes through it that you can take.
- Rice Fields: there are rice fields scattered through out Northern Thailand that are so beautiful! When visiting Chiang Mai, make sure not to come during the time when they burn the fields or else it might not be very enjoyable.
- Visit Doi Inthanon: this is about a 2 hour drive from the center of Chiang Mai. This is a large temple in the mountains with hiking trails all around.
- White Temple: this is in Chiang Rai which we didn’t have a chance to visit due to time but looks incredible in photos.
- Bua Thong Waterfalls: these are nicknamed “sticky waterfalls” due to their sticky feeling. The limestone and mineral deposits make the rocks not slippery and a very popular tourist attraction.
- Night Markets: these night markets are huge and so much fun! They sell everything from clothes to trinkets and of course delicious food. They have a night market every night but on Saturday and Sunday they have a HUGE market that what seems like everyone comes out to.
Where to stay in Chiang Mai:
Secluded Luxury- North Hill City Resort
This hotel and golf course is about 20 minutes from Old Town Chiang Mai but it is so beautiful and peaceful. We really enjoyed our stay here. The rooms have awesome views of the pool area and the mountains. The food on site is delicious and the spa is really nice. They have shuttles that take you to Old Town so don’t hesitate about the location.
City Center Oasis Luxury- Sireampan Boutique Resort
This hotel right in the center of Chiang Mai but offers tranquility and relaxation. The suites are large and beautifully decorated. Breakfast is also served wherever you want and whenever. We loved having it brought to our terrace to enjoy in the mornings. The pool area is awesome too.
Mountainous Retreat- Panviman Resort and Spa
This luxury hotel is in the mountains with incredible views! Chiang Mai is known for the mountain region therefore staying in the mountains for some time is a must. The restaurant on site serves traditional northern Thai cuisine that is absolutely delicious. Alex and I tested out the spa and it was incredible. The staff was very professional and made us feel very comfortable. The pool area is HUGE and resort like, with incredible views. Even though it rained for most of our time there, it didn’t stop us from going to their beautiful pool.
We loved Chaing Mai! Can’t wait to come back to visit.
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