Chiang Mai, Thailand Travel Guide

Chiang Mai, Thailand

There’s a reason so many travelers beeline for Chiang Mai when they visit Thailand—the city is undoubtedly the cultural capital of the country. Then there are the markets, rich aesthetics of both temples and nature, and the ever-present smells of espresso and curry. As for the street food, let’s just say you haven’t really lived until you order a bowl of khao soy.

Here are the top things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

1. Doi Suthep:

The most famous attraction in all of Chiang Mai is Doi Suthep, every travel agent and driver will ask you if you want to go, it is like Big Ben is to London. Doi Suthep is about 12km outside of Chiang Mai and is a mountain that has a fantastic view over the entire city. Standing at 5400 metres the mountain also houses Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a 13th century temple that is home to a large white elephant shrine as well as a replica of the Emerald Buddha.

2. Lanna Folklife Museum:

The Lanna Folklife Museum is an interesting museum full of exhibitions about the lives, history and culture of the Lanna people of northern Thailand. The museum (also called the Lanna Heritage Centre) is located opposite the three Kings Monument in the middle of the old city, and sits inside the old municipal court of Chiang Mai. The building has been renovated and now looks like a white colonial style building, and despite the exterior the museum offers a lot of information about the city’s history in English, Thai and Chinese

3. Have a conversation with a Monk:

While exploring the amazing wats of Chiang Mai, there is an opportunity for a very unique experience. A few of the temples in the city have a “Monk Chat” program where curious visitors are able to speak to the monks about almost any aspect of life. This is the perfect opportunity to get insight into their lifestyle and beliefs. A popular place to do these chats is at Wat Chedi Luang.

4. Karen Long Neck Tribe & Chiang Dao Cave:

At Chiang Dao cave, the caverns stretch many kilometres into the mountain yet only a small part of the complex is possible to explore. Two of the caves, Tham Phra Nawn and Tham Seua Dao, are illuminated by electric lights, but the upper caves are pitch-black and require local lantern-carrying guides to lead the way. There are some spectacular limestone formations and Buddhist shrines in these caves.


Other great places to see: Grand Canyon, Poland and England