Arriving in Chiang Mai was such a relief after the craziness of Bangkok. Here is my list of a few awesome things to do in Chiang Mai.
We got the over night train which was tired-sum, but as soon as we arrived we knew we were in a better place. From day one we had a good feeling about Chiang Mai, it has a chilled vibe and is much cleaner.
Even though Chaing Mai is really chilled out there are a lot of activities on offer. It offers everything from Cooking Classes to Trekking Tours, this can make choosing what to do a bit overwhelming. Hopefully my top three things to do in Chiang Mai may shed some light on which activity is best.
Get Up Close And Personal With Elephants
Choosing which Elephant sanctuary to visit can be a confusing task. I advise you to do plenty of research beforehand. We wanted to make sure the Elephants were treated correctly even after all the tourists had gone home. Many of them sound good on paper, but may not be as ethical as they sound. Or even worse it seems like they treat the Elephants well, but actually it’s all for show. Anywhere that offered Elephant riding was also completely off the cards. But even then there are still a lot to choose from.
We chose The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. Overall it was a wonderful day. The Elephants were allowed to wander off if they wanted to, this put me at ease, I didn’t want them being forsed to spend time with us. We fed them, bathed them and had lunch in the jungle. The food was provided by the family that lives there, they also look after the Elephants.
The only thing I would maybe complain about was the number of people there were visiting the Elephants. I’m sure we were off putting to the elephants.
I would also recommend Elephant Nature Park, I’ve only heard good things about this place. So definitely look into it too.
Listen To Some Awesome Guitarists
We heard a lot about The North Gate Jazz Bar, lots of people were raving about how good it is there. We decided to check it out for ourselves, we had to see what all the fuss was about. When we arrived the bar was already pretty full, we bought some beers and settled ourselves in to listen to some cool music.
The first band began playing Jazz music. It was actually awesome, a really good vibe. They also had an Open Mic Night, a few people got involved, playing the guitar, bass and one guy beat boxed and rapped. Soon the bar was full out the door, people where poring out onto the street, it was mad. The last band to play was my favourite. The guitarist was incredible. He actually may be the best guitarist I have ever seen live. He was pulling some unusual faces though, but it actually shows all the hard work and passion that went into it.
I highly recommend you go to the The North Gate Jazz bar while you are visiting Chaing Mai. Even if it’s just for one drink and to check out the vibe.
Play Temple Run
You wouldn’t be in Thailand if you didn’t visit a few Temples. I like to call these sorts of days: ‘going to play Temple Run’. They are always beautiful, pristine and I think it’s nice to chill out and wander around them if your looking for something relaxing to do for the day. Plus it’s cheep, so if you are looking for something inexpensive to do in Chiang Mai, visiting the Temples are perfect.
The pictures above is Wat Chedi Luang which has other temples surrounding it, located in the city center. Here, we even had the chance to speak to some Monks. They do this so they can practice their English.
We also visited Wat Rong Khun also known as the White Temple on our journey to Loas. If you are planning the Slow Boat to Loas, I would advise to see if your package includes a stop here first before paying to visit it beforehand.
Chiang Mai is a wonderful place to visit, and there are many more things to do in Chiang Mai. Have you visited? What is your favourite activity? Share it with us in the comments.