Chiang Mai happened to be one of our favourite cities in SE Asia. We spent roughly 7 days here and there visiting all Chiang Mai has to offer, you will never get bored in this city and if you do you haven’t experience the real Chiang Mai. We hope you enjoy our Two Days in Chiang Mai – 9 Things you must do.
Visit The Temples.
Chiang Mai is known for it’s vibrant and cultural streets, there are also many temples to be discovered here too. Our favourite temple happened to be Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. If you have the time to visit more; Wat chiang man, Wat Umong and Wat Phra Singh are all located within a 30 minute radias.
TIP: Sunrise and Sunset are the best times to see the temples if you want to avoid the crowds.
Spend the Afternoon at the Grand Canyon.
If you want to get out of the city on a hot, sunny day this is the place to be. Not only can you walk around the area but you can also take an afternoon dip in the fresh water. If diving off huge cliff edges isn’t really your thing they have a water park next door, great for all ages (5-50yr) where you can enjoy zip lining, fly around on the inflatables, wake boarding and kayaking.
TIP: Life jackets are provided – we recommend taking lots of suncream!
Head to The Local Park.
After a crazy few hours take a walk to the local park where you can bask in the midday heat. The parks in Thailand are famous for workout stations so you will see quite a few people doing their daily exercises when you arrive. Don’t be disheartened about the people as there is lots of spots located around where you can enjoy some peace and quiet with a good book and some Ice tea surrounded by lush greenery.
Jazz Bar located on North Gate.
We found this gem whilst strolling back to our hotel one night. People were pouring out onto the streets all holding beers bobbing away to some great jazz played by the locals. The beers are cheap, the atmosphere is great and best of all is that you can enjoy it with fellow travelers.
Ethnical Elephant Tours.
Elephant tours are one of the most popular tourist attractions here in Chiang Mai as they have lots of sanctuaries in and around the city. We are hugely against any form of cruelty. Because of this we did our research and found two tours that resonate with our values. These sanctuaries don’t condone any harm or forced tricks on the elephants whilst also giving them a loving home. If you must go and see the elephants we recommend Elephant nature park or Maerims elephant Sanctuary.
TIP: You can either do half days 7am-1:30pm or a full day from 8am-3:30pm at the sanctuaries.
Chiang Mai is one of the best locations for coffee and good food. They have numerous amounts of cafes spread around the city, it’s hard to just pick one. All we know is that they serve some delicious coffee and sometimes they even serve it with some great cake too.
ECO TIP: If you’re not planning on stopping take your reusable coffee cup with you to avoid the excess waste.
Take a Cooking Class.
Taking a cooking class is the best way to learn how to make some tradition thai cuisine from scratch. Most options include 5 dishes ranging from meat to vegetarian. If you are vegetarian/vegan like us, make sure that you tell your tour operator beforehand to avoid having to make any meat based dishes. Majority of hostels and hotels will have leaflets to help you find the right one and book them in advance.
TIP: Make sure you haggle as the prices are set extremely high.
Visit the Night Markets.
Every Sunday there is a huge market located in front of the highly revered Wat Phra Singh on the west side, known as “walking street”. This is where they close off many roads to accommodate all the different stalls. This is a great place to buy souvenirs or eat local food for a reasonable price. Ultimately enjoy the buzz of the hundreds of people visiting from all over the world. Also there are a few other markets such as; the Night Bizzar Market (5pm – 11pm) and Warorot Market (5am-6pm)
EcoTips: Always make sure you carry a bag with you.
Vendors will offer you a bag with everything you purchase, to help save waste, take a bag with you.
TIP: The markets are known to be extremely busy. If you’re not a huge fan of crowds it’s probably best you head to the smaller ones. Central Kad Suan Kaew Night Market is great quieter choice. It usually starts from 5pm Thursday – Saturday.
If you have an extra day and would love to get more involved into the wellness side of Chiang Mai we would definitely recommend Monk Chat’s one day meditation retreat. On this retreat they provide you with a few hours learning about buddhism and what it means to be a buddhist monk. They then dive right into meditation so if you’re a complete beginner which majority of people were, this is a great place to start. Best of all it’s totally free.
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