What To See and Do in Chiang Mai

March 6, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Chiang Mai is included in the world’s top 25 tourist destinations because of its diverse and rich culture, abundance of fun activities for families and solo travellers and its down to earth affordability. During a placement in this exciting city, you will never run out of things to see or do. Although it is not Thailand’s official capital, Chiang Mai has earned the title “Cultural Capital of Thailand”. Being in the centre of a nation’s cultural capital will give you a lot of things to see and places to explore.

Student Kelsey enjoying elephant riding near Chiang Mai, Thailand Thailand Hill Tribe Village

You don’t have to limit your hill tribe visit to just the regular day trip and neither do you need to book an expensive hotel room in this city. There are a lot of small inns that accommodate travellers at very affordable prices. You can even stay a few nights at a villager’s home for the unique opportunity to get an up close look  at the real culture of Thailand.

Chiang Mai National Museum

This museum showcases Thailand’s cultural past and the historical kingdoms of this country. It highlights the Kingdom of Lanna. Chiang Mai is a 700 year old city that was established in the 1200s. Its former capital was Lanna Kingdom. In the 13th century, the kingdom included parts of Myanmar, Laos and China. In the museum you’ll also see plenty of amazing artefacts, pottery and antique jewellery that come from this kingdom and era.

Wiang Kum Kam

This ancient city was buried for 700 years until it was rediscovered in 1994. The area has been flooded several times throughout history and was abandoned for most of its existence. Due to the floods and constant evacuations through time, much of the region’s historical structures remain untouched. Most of them, such as the Wat Chedi Liam temple, have been restored for visitors to appreciate.

Chiang Mai Night Market

Take a trip to the centre of Chiang Mai near the river where you can find one of the best night markets in Thailand. Streets are lined with vendors selling silk shirts, imitation designer bags, jewellery, and other bric-a-brac and souvenirs. It is a night flea market, so don’t hesitate to bargain for every purchase you make.

Doi Suthep And Wat Phrathat Temple

If you can handle the hike, visit this 309 step stairway that will bring you to the top of Doi Suthep. The hike will be worth it once you see the breathtaking views of Chiang Mai from above. The golden Wat Phrathat Temple is also located at the top of Doi Suthep which is the one temple you must see in Thailand. 

Wildlife Rides And Tiger Camp

If you have seen photographs of tourists playing with tigers or riding atop an elephant, then they must have been to Chiang Mai. Visits to the tiger and elephant camps are memorable experiences and the perfect opportunity to have your photographs taken as a souvenir of your visit to Thailand.

Local Cuisine

Of course, you must try as many local dishes as you can throughout your stay in Chiang Mai. Local Thai cuisine is one of the country’s most famous tourist highlights and you can be sure it’s something that everybody will ask you about when you get back home.