Today we are exploring Chiang Mai, the largest and most visited city in Northern Thailand. It’s also Thailand’s most cultural city. People come to explore its temples, food, markets and its fun-loving culture. Chiang Mai means “new city,” it got its name when the Kingdom of Lana moved its capital from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai in the year 1296. Now come with me as we explore the top 10 things to do in Chiang Mai!
First stop is Wat Chedi Temple in the old town. This temple has two parts, the new temple and the ruins of the old temple that date back to the 15th century.
People believe that this is where the Emerald Buddha was first kept before moving to Bangkok. Its free to explore the grounds and it’s a must visit in the old town of Chiang Mai.
The one thing you have to do in Chiang Mai is get a foot massage. Head to Loi Khro Road, a street that is full of massage parlors. The best place to get a massage is at Young and Beautiful massage. A half hour foot massage costs 80 baht or $3. It’s definitely worth it!
Next up we head to Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar. It starts at sunset and ends at midnight, and is open every night of the year. Its 1 km in length, you can do some shopping, eat some food and enjoy one of the main attractions of Chiang Mai.
Wat Phra That is a temple located on Doi Suthep mountain. It’s a 30-minute drive to the entrance of the temple, and from there you must climb 200+ steps to the top. The walk isn’t so bad because of all the vendors selling fruits, shakes, food and souvenirs. From the temple you get incredible views of Chiang Mai.
Another night market you have to visit is the Sunday Market. It is the biggest market in Chiang Mai and it receives over 100,000 visitors in high season. You can buy everything here, including decorative masks like I did.
Warorol Market is Chiang Mai’s biggest whole sale market. It is a huge complex full of vendors selling souvenirs, clothing and food. You need to try Chiang Mai’s pork sausage, the most famous dish in the city. It’s very spicy!!
Now we head to Tiger Kingdom, a Tiger sanctuary. These tigers are all born in captivity, they eat twice a day and are cared for by veterinarians.
Bo Sang Village is a small community that creates bamboo umbrellas. Visit the handicraft center to see how they create these beautiful umbrellas from start to finish. Afterwards you can do some shopping and don’t worry about paying for extra luggage on your flight, because they will ship the umbrellas anywhere in the world! I had four of them custom made and shipped to me in the U.S.
Lastly, we visit the Elephant Nature Park, an Elephant sanctuary located about a 45-minute drive north of Chiang Mai. They have 47 elephants that were rescued from the logging and trekking industry. Lek Chailert, is the found of the sanctuary. She started working with elephants in 1992, then in 1995 she started her first sanctuary. Her goal is to educate the world about the situation with the Asian elephants. There currently are no fences so the elephants can roam wild 24/7!
We hope you enjoyed our top 10 things to do in Chiang Mai! Please subscribe, give us a thumbs up and leave us a comment below!