December 6, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Made up of three temples, Wat Chedi Luang is a spectacular sight with its massive pagoda or chedi, which is a distinctive feature of the Chiang Mai skyline. At its peak, the chedi measures 80 metres in height and 60 metres across at the square base. It was once the home of the Emerald Buddha, the most sacred religious relic of the Thais.
This is Chiang Mai’s most famous shrine and well known for making wishes come true. After you make your wish, you have to walk around the golden shrine thrice while praying for your wishes to come true. You can get to the pagodas the easy way, which is by tram or the hard way, which involves climbing 309 steps to the top.
This coconut-milk based soup with egg noodles and beef or chicken is the signature dish of Chiang Mai and is often simply called “Chiang Mai noodles.” It is topped with deep-fried, crispy noodles and served with an assorted variety of interesting condiments including chilli paste, pickled mustard, lime wedges and sliced shallots. The taste is exotic and different from any dish you would have tasted back home in the UK.
Sprawling over 200 acres at the foothills of Doi Suthep and providing panoramic views of the city in addition to fascinating wildlife exhibits, Chiang Mai Zoo is certainly worth a visit. The zoo is home is about 400 species of animal, including the two ‘cultural ambassador’ or pandas from China. The walk-through the aviary and the freshwater aquarium are just two of the many spectacular features of the zoo.
Chiang Mai Night Safari features three animal zones – Savannah Safari, Predator Prowl, and Jaguar Trail. You can wander around the different zones on foot or you can tour via an open-sided tram. The zoo hosts regular shows and you can even hand-feed wild animals and pet tiger cubs during your visit.
With locals capitalizing on the tourism boom, you’ll find plenty of 1 and 2-day cooking classes run out of guest houses and hotels in the city. Sign up for a cooking class and learn to cook some exotic, genuine, Thai dishes – not the imitation Thai food you get back home.
You can spend the day at the camp where you can bathe or feed the elephants, go on an elephant ride through the surrounding forest or just sit back and watch these majestic beasts as they go about doing several amazing things you’ve got to see to believe. These elephants have been trained to dance, paint and even play soccer.
A visit to the Walking Street Night Market is a must, especially if you want to buy lots of local souvenirs to take back home. Open only on weekends, you’ll find everything here, from handicrafts to fashion items and footwear and all types of exotic foods.
Rising 2,565 metres above sea level, Doi Inthanon is the highest peak in Thailand and is the best place in Thailand for bird-watching with about 362 different species of birds, many of which are not found anywhere else in Thailand.
Bo Sang Village is famous around the world for the handcrafting of their hallmark umbrellas and parasols. Here, you’ll find the prettiest hand-painted umbrellas and miniature cocktail umbrellas as well as large parasols for gardens or patios.