Chiang Mai an escape to madding crowd of Thailand is situated in the north of Thailand. It is the unofficial second city with spectacular mountains, hill tribes and a relaxed vibe. It is nestled among the forested foothills and is also a home of some of the oldest temples.
This city has something to offer to everyone, but to your surprise not many Indians visit this beautiful city. We decided to spend 3 days in Chiang Mai and here is a quick guide of things to do in Chiang Mai.
Wat Phra Singh:
Located towards the west of Chiang Mai, Wat Phra Singh is an important Buddhist Temple with lot of history. It was built in the 14th century and the temple houses an important Buddha statue: the Phra Buddha Sihing, which also gave the temple its name. This temple is a perfect example of Lanna style architecture.
Entrance fee: 20 bhat for tourists
Note: While visiting Temple appropriate dress code should be followed.
Doi ithanon (National Park):
Doi ithanon also known as the ‘Roof of Thailand’ is 2500 meters above sea level and is the highest point of Thailand. The park is built in an area of 1000 sq km where you can beat the heat of Chiang Mai city. The park also have hiking trails and waterfalls within it. High above it you can witness the King and Queen Pagodas. You will definitely be marvelled by the surrounding landscapes. While coming back is the Karen minority village which gives you a brief insight of the Karen lifestyle.
How to get there: Either you can hire a car or can take a guided tour which will cost you around 1200 -1400 bhat per person.
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar:
Chiang Mai night bazaar is a shopper’s paradise. It is the best thing to do in the city as night falls as there are plenty of things to do in night bazaar whether you are looking to shop around, get a massage, eat some famous Thai street food or even see some local Thai boxing. The best time to visit market is after 7 PM. Walking in the night bazaar itself is an amazing experience.
Elephant Nature Park:
Elephant Nature Park is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center in Chiang Mai province of Northern Thailand. It was founded by Lek Chailert. The aim of this center is to give shelter to distressed elephants from all over Thailand. Most of these elephants have been rescued from street begging, logging or tourism. You can even volunteer or visit to help. The park also provides natural environment for cats, dogs, buffaloes and many other animals apart from elephants.
Wat chedi luang:
Wat Chedi Luang also known as temple of Buddha Stupa is another Buddhist temple which is worth visiting in Chiang Mai. This impressive ruined temple is situated in the center of Chiang Mai and was built in the 14th century. It is a unique piece of medieval architecture surrounded with some other temples and century’s old huge venerated trees.
War Phra That (Doi Suthep):
One of the sacred shrines of Northen Thailand, Wat Phra That is located near the top of mountain Doi Suthep. The temple is mostly referred to as Doi Suthep by most people. Located approx 15 km from the Chiang Mai city centre, this magnificent temple has become the symbol of Chiang Mai. You can view the entire city from the top by climbing 300 steps.
There is a naga serpent staircase that leads to the top of the temple which shimmers under a clear sunny sky.
How to reach: The cheapest way to reach is the red taxi (tuk tuk) which take 20 bhat (40 return), and waits for 90 minutes. You can also rent a bike or hire a taxi in case you need to spend more time there.
Chiang Mai night safari :
Chiang Mai night safari is an animal zoo which is set up like a theme park where real activity begins at night. There is an open air tram which takes you around the zoo where you can be in direct contact with the animals and even get a chance to feed them. There are elephants, giraffe, zebras, lions, black bears and many more animals. There are many activities which are lined up where you can see different animals performing which include elephant show, horseman show, musical fountain and much more. It is a bigger and better version of Bangkok Safari world. So if you are looking out for some fun in Chiang Mai it is a right place which is meant for all ages.
Note: Since we already visited Bangkok Safari world we didn’t visited Chiang Mai Night Safari
Admission fee: The ticket starts from 800 baht for an adult and 400 baht for a child.