Best Places to Visit in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, located in northern Thailand, is known as the "Rose of the North". This tree-lined town, though not as bustling as Bangkok, is a fresh and natural township scene, with glittering temples just a few steps away. Surrounded by mountains, Chiang Mai has a pleasant climate. Compared with steaming Bangkok, the temperature in Chiang Mai can drop to 10 degrees in January, attracting countless tourists to come to escape the summer heat. In this article, we will introduce you to some of the highlights and attractions that you can enjoy in Chiang Mai.

 

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang is one of the most impressive and historic in Chiang Mai. It dates back to the 14th century and features a massive chedi (stupa) that once housed the Emerald Buddha, the most revered image of Buddha in Thailand. You can also visit the Viharn Lai Kham, a beautiful wooden hall with exquisite murals and carvings, and the city pillar shrine, which is believed to protect Chiang Mai from harm.

 

wat-chedi-luang

 

Wat Phra Singh

Wat Phra Singh is another masterpiece of Lanna architecture and art. It was built in 1345 and is named after the Phra Singh (Lion Buddha) image that is enshrined in the main hall3. The hall itself is decorated with stunning gold and red motifs, as well as intricate woodwork and mosaic. You can also admire the Ho Trai, a library that houses ancient Buddhist scriptures, and the Ubosot, an ordination hall with a beautiful facade.

 

wat-phra-singh

 

Wat Umong

This is a unique and tranquil temple complex that is built into a forested hillside, featuring tunnels, caves, a large pond, and a meditation center. You can feed the fish and turtles in the pond, read the proverbs on the trees, explore the underground passages, and join a meditation retreat. Wat Umong is also home to a large collection of Buddha images from different eras and styles. If you are looking for a peaceful and serene place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, Wat Umong is a perfect choice.

 

wat-umong

 

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep

This is one of the most sacred and iconic temples in Thailand, located on top of a mountain overlooking Chiang Mai. You can climb the 309 steps or take a cable car to reach the temple, where you will be greeted by a golden stupa that shines in the sun. You can also ring the bells, admire the view, and watch the sunset from this vantage point. Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is not only a religious site, but also a cultural and historical landmark that reflects the glory and legacy of the Lanna kingdom.

 

wat-prathat-doisuthep

 

Elephant Park

This is a place where you can interact with elephants in an ethical and responsible way, without riding or exploiting them. You can feed, bathe, walk, and play with the elephants, while learning about their history and behavior. You can also support their conservation and welfare by donating or volunteering at the park. Elephant Park is more than just a tourist attraction; it is a sanctuary for these gentle giants who have suffered from abuse and neglect. By visiting Elephant Park, you will not only have fun, but also make a difference.

 

elephant park

 

Longneck Karen village

This is a village where you can meet and learn about the Karen people, an ethnic minority group that migrated from Myanmar. The Karen are known for their distinctive neck rings, which they wear to elongate their necks as a sign of beauty and status. You can also admire their weaving skills, their lifestyle, their beliefs, and their challenges. Longneck Karen village is not a zoo or a museum; it is a living community that welcomes visitors who are respectful and curious about their culture.

 

Long-neck-village

 

Saturday Night Market Walking Street 

This is one of the best places to experience the local nightlife and shopping in Chiang Mai. Every Saturday night, Wua Lai Road becomes a pedestrian-only zone where hundreds of stalls sell everything from handicrafts, clothes, accessories, food, drinks, massages, music, and performances. You can bargain for souvenirs, sample delicious street food, enjoy live entertainment, or simply soak up the atmosphere. Saturday Night Market Walking Street - Wua Lai Road is a must-see for anyone who loves shopping and culture.

 

saturday-night-market

 

Sunday Night Market

This is another popular place to experience the local nightlife and shopping in Chiang Mai. Every Sunday night, Ratchadamnoen Road becomes a pedestrian-only zone where thousands of stalls offer similar products and services as Saturday Night Market Walking Street - Wua Lai Road. However, there are some differences and similarities between these two markets. 

 

  • Sunday Night Market is bigger and busier than Saturday Night Market
  • Sunday Night Market has more variety and quality of products than Saturday Night Market
  • Sunday Night Market has more religious and cultural elements than Saturday Night Market
  • Both markets have friendly vendors, cheap prices, and festive vibes.

 

sunday-night-market

 

You can also find some products and services that are unique or special to Sunday Night Market, such as:

 

  • Paper lanterns that you can light and release into the sky for good luck.
  • Hand-painted portraits that you can commission from talented artists.
  • Traditional Thai massage that you can enjoy on the street or in a spa.
  • Buddhist chanting and blessing that you can join at the temples along the road.
  • Sunday Night Market is a great place to end your weekend in Chiang Mai.

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