When it started planning a trip to Thailand, Chiang Mai inspired me much for its nature and fascinating culture. This city as well its surrounding added very much value for my trip in fact. Good food, beautiful local experiences, unique travel are all we got after 5 days before we head to Myanmar by road.
Here are my top picks for the best of Chiang Mai:
1. Mae Ping River Cruise
For 2 hours, we had chance to appreciate the landscape of Chiang Mai from different perspective. We ended up by visiting an organic garden.
2. Wat Chedi Luang
Located in the heart of Chiang Mai, Wat Chedi Luang reminds me very much about Bagan Myanmar in small size. This sacred temple used to shrine the Emerald Buddha statue and now still a famous worship place for monks. After the earthquake in 1545, it was now a ruin yet valuable for local people.
3. Enjoy a Thai Cooking Class
We got a fun-packed morning at Thai Orchid Cookery School. The chef started by taking us to the marking, introducing the majority ingredient for Thai food then showed us how to cook Chicken curry, Pad Thai and some other traditional dishes. This hand-on-hand experience is fabulous !
4. Try the weird food at Night Market
Have you ever eaten grasshopper ? we did, it was fantastic. Make your time to wander along the food shops, you are not only offered chances to taste delicious dishes but also something you never tried before like cricket, cicada, mealworms. They are actually full of vitamin and tasty.
5. See a Muay Thai Match
If you do not like violence, this game is not for you. I was escorted by a local tour guide who introduced me many interesting facts about this traditional boxing art, it turned to be quite interesting.
6. See the white temple
The Wat Rong Ruhn is located about 2,5 hours drive from Chiang Mai. It is popular travel destination attracting not only tourist but also Buddhist practicers. We were really tempted by the history of this stupa which symbolizes purity in life.
7. Trek in Pui National Park
We booked a day trek with elephant experience through a local agency. They picked us up in the morning from the hotel then lead us through an elephant camp where we have touches to the mahout in real ! It was a lovely day to traverse different landscape and ended by Mok Fa waterfall.
8. Zip Line Jungle
After watching the video about Chiang Mai jungle flight, we decided to take this thrilling trip. All what we got was amazing, a perfect flight into the nature. I felt a little nervous at the beginning then it quickly become exciting and enjoyable. The Flight of the Gibbon center did a good job with their satisfactory service.
9. Stay at Ban Sabai Resort
For our last leg in Chiang Mai, we upgraded our accommodation with a little escape to the luxury. Ban Sabai has beautiful setting with smiling services I must stay. It is really recommended for a romantic treat or a Chiang Mai honeymoon trip.
10. Hit the road to Golden Triangle
If there is something that draws my curiosity the most in northern Thailand, it must be the Golden Triangle. This area, borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos is really mysterious. Taking a motorcycle trip to Golden Triangle did not reveal much about its secret but a great appreciate of mountain landscapes instead.
Need some more inspiration ? Check Thailand Itinerary from my friend Lisa Ekhall