Chiang Mai can only be described as one of the most authentic, magical and diverse cities in Southeast Asia. With an endless range of possibilities, any visitor is sure to find a suitable activity here. The following are top 10 activities you should try while visiting this city.
Dine with locals
There’s no better way of getting to know a city than by eating with those who know it best. Spend an evening enjoying the company of experts whilst they cook up an array of local dishes in their own home. Not only are the finished products delicious, but the experience allows you to learn the recipe as you dine with locals, meaning you’ll have more than just the memories to take home after your visit. En route from the city to the host’s house (about a 30 min ride) make sure to take in the beautiful hot springs, another must see in Chiang Mai.
Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall
Thailand boasts a wide range of stunning waterfalls, but Bua Tong has yet to find its equal. True to its name, Bua Tong sticky waterfall lacks the dangers of slippery stones, allowing you to climb its steep slopes in a spiderman-like fashion. Nestled into the tropical jungle, its five levels are just waiting to be explored by the many local and foreign visitors. It is located just over an hour outside of Chiang Mai and represents the perfect destination for a scooter trip. There is no charge, however make note of the donation box and fees for littering in an attempt to keep it spotless.
Visit Elephant Nature Park
Located about an hour from the city center, Elephant Nature Park is a scenic camp offering an animal-friendly approach to viewing Thailand’s elephants. Rather than put dollars towards abusive trekking camps and riding, Elephant Nature Park is a sanctuary for rescued elephants from the country’s logging and tourism industry. The elephants are treated respectfully and tourists are welcome to feed, bathe and observe the pachyderms.
Chiang Mai offers an endless variety of markets, yet none is quite as colorful and diverse as the Sunday Market, starting at Tha Phae Gate and extending throughout Ratchadamnoen Road. While offering some of the more touristy trinkets, the Sunday Market excels through its presentation of beautifully handcrafted products. Many of the stalls are family-run, local businesses with affordable prices. Musicians and artists take care of the atmosphere, while the range of food stalls around Tha Pae Gate and the close-by temple offer some of the best street grub in the city. Sunday Market offers something for every taste in a relaxed, magical atmosphere.
Wat Phra That
Wat Phra That, one of the most beautiful temples in Chiang Mai, is located on the top of Doi Suthep and can only be described as one of the most magical sceneries in the country. The Buddhist monastery was founded in 1383 and exists to this day. It is run by donations, so make sure to leave a contribution. The walk up to the temple leads through the beautifully crafted 300-step Naga Serpent stairs. On arrival visitors are greeted by the golden spire of the temple. A lift is available for those unable or unwilling to make the climb on a hot day. The surrounding area is filled with a variety of food stalls and trinket vendors with some genuinely original products.
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