In the mountainous northern region of Thailand is the city of Chiang Mai, also known as the “Rose of the North”. This ancient city was founded in 1296 and was the capital of the independent kingdom of Lanna until 1558. It’s home to hundreds of stunning Buddhist temples and elaborate architecture. Filled with friendly locals that welcome tourists, Chiang Mai is growing in popularity as an awesome tourist destination. Its cooler mountain temperatures mean that you can spend all day sightseeing without getting overheated or worn down.
If you’re planning on visiting Chiang Mai, here are seven of the coolest things to do:
- Visit Doi Suthep
Doi Suthep is one of Thailand’s most sacred temples. The crowning jewel atop the Doi Suthep mountains on the Western outskirts of Chiang Mai. Free to visit (as are all temples), Doi Suthep is a golden, gleaning temple in the sun with some of the most stunning, panoramic views we’ve had the chance to enjoy in a while.
2. See trendy Nimmanhaemin Road
Nimmanhaemin Road, also known as Ninamn Road, is located in the trendiest part of Chiang Mai. The street is a bustling spot full of restaurants, cafés, bars, and shops for locals and tourists to enjoy. Far removed from the traditional Thai vibe, you can visit spots like the hip Maya Lifestyle Shopping Mall, the fascinating Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders, or take a short tuk-tuk ride to Wat Umong.
3. Check out what you can buy on the San Kamphaeng Road
Get ready to shop when you visit San Kamphaeng Road. This place is a mecca for people who like crafts and locally made items. The 18-kilometer stretch winds through villages and factories that produce saa paper, pottery, paper umbrellas, silk, and lacquerware.
This is also a great place to watch craftsmen at work and be able to see how they create and be able to purchase directly from the producer.
4. Visit stunning Doi Inthanon National Park
The surreal beauty of Doi Inthanon National Park can be found just 37 kilometers from Chiang Mai. Home to Thailand’s tallest mountain, Doi Inthanon, the park is home to pine trees, cool mountain air, and a large number of bird species. The views from the top of the mountain The Chedis. These are two sacred stupas and are a popular focal point for the park.
5. Eat some local Khao Soi
Northern Thailand is famous for its Khao Soi. This coconut and curry-flavored soup is rich with chicken and egg noodles and topped with crispy, fried egg noodles. The dish is rich in flavor and texture. The dish comes with a side of chopped red onions, pickled green mustard, and a wedge of lime. Khao Soi is very popular in Northern Thailand and is available at lots of locations.
6. Go to the night bazaar
During the day, Chang Klan Road is just another bustling street, but at night the stallholders come out and set their stalls up for the night bazaar. Meander the street and visit the hundreds of traders that line the road. You’ll be able to find everything from fake designer items, to handcrafted goods, to tasty local food. Bartering is encouraged and many items won’t have a set price. The night bazaar is open every single day of the year.