Thailand Adventure Network

Chiang Mai

Chaiang Mai is the second biggest city in Thailand and it is located near, but not in, the “Thai Northern Mountains.” If you are looking for the Northern Thailand relaxing mountain experience don’t book a hotel in the city. If you do you will have to drive up into the mountains everyday, wasting what we think is a good amount of time.

However if you are a solo traveler and are looking to do some socializing Chiang Mai City is a good place to start. There is a large university and like most university towns you will find some good bars to watch a fairly good cover band play. Just don’t get to upset if the lyrics are sung wrong. Many of the singers in Thailand actually don’t know what they are singing when it is English. One of our favorite bars for music is the Lucky Bar.

Best Things to Do in Chiang Mai

Best City & Temple Tour
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Rafting in Chiang Mai
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Ping River Dinner Cruise
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As cities in Thailand go, we have come to like it, but it had to grow on us first. With the ruins of an old fortress running through a portion of the city and a pretty good zoo we found the fun in the city after about our third visit. There are a couple of famous temples in Chiang Mai that would be good to see if you are not already “templed out.”

Sky Lanterns Have Been Prohibited for the 2021 Yi Peng Festival

The Phra Singh Temple (The Gold Temple) is one of those famous temples you have undoubtedly seen pictures of. On your first trip you might want to look at going a little further East to Nan Provence and save Chaing Mai for a return visit. Although there are not a lot of “must do” activities in Chiang Mai, we do recommend visiting the Wat Chedi Luang Complex. This is a very historic site and well worth a visit. One of the best times to go is during the Loy Krathong and Yi Peng (Sky Lantern) Festivals in November. If sky lanterns are allowed in the year you are going to be in Chiang Mai then the Yi Peng Festival becomes a “must do,” Bucket List Adventure.

If you have a driver or a rental car Chiang Mai is often the “base camp” for trips up into the mountains for places like Doi Inthanon (the highest point in Thailand) and Doi Tung (the home of the queen’s gardens). Both of these places are about an hour away by car and are highly recommended places to visit.

Overlooking the city of Chiang Mai
A Building in the back of the Wat Phra Singh

Recommended Hotels:

Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai, Thailand
The historic Chedi ruin of the Wat Chedi Luang temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Chala Number Six Hotel
Best Hotel in Chiang Mai
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Doi Inthanon