Six Sightseeing Ideas in Chiang Mai
Thousands of tourists from all over the world visit Thailand each year. Many of these individuals and families make a visit to Chiang Mai a prominent part of their trip, and for good reason. Located in the heart of Asia, Chiang Mai is one of the most diverse and interesting places to visit in all of Northern Thailand. In fact, Chiang Mai easily rivals Bangkok when it comes to things to see and do. The area offers stunning natural vistas in a rich historical context, rare encounters with wildlife, and meaningful cultural experiences just waiting to be discovered.
Are you and your family thinking of planning a holiday in Northern Thailand? If so, here are six ideas for some of the most amazing things to see and do in Chiang Mai as part of your trip.
Doi Pui Village
Doi Pui is a tiny village of Hmong people surrounded by unbelievably breathtaking views to take in and enjoy. In addition to a large garden that features a wide range of plants native to the area, Doi Pui also hosts an exhibit detailing the fascinating history of the various historical groups of indigenous people who have lived in the mountains of Northern Thailand. Visitors to Doi Pui can enjoy opportunities to dress in traditional clothing, which surely makes for a memorable photo opportunity. Local shops offer many items available for purchase, including various teas, textiles woven by hand, and custom jewellery, to name a few. Of course, all of the sightseeing is sure to work up your appetite. So you will want to stop by one of the many small restaurants in the village, which serve delicious and generous portions of khao soi, Chiang Mai's famous hot soup.
Elephant Nature Park
Although a number of elephant camps can be found in and around the area of Chiang Mai, many of these unfortunately have received negative attention for the way they treat the animals in their care. Not so with Elephant Nature Park. On the contrary, this park prides itself in the excellent care that it gives to its elephants, most of which have been rescued from cruel mistreatment as hard labour or show animals and are now housed and treated in a very humane manner. For those who like to get involved, you can volunteer for spending a day at Elephant Nature Park with these beautiful animals, feeding and bathing them in the river. All you have to do is pay a small fee, which helps to defer the costs of caring for the animals and the grounds. The fee also covers the cost of your lunch and transportation.
Si Lanna National Park Cycling and Kayaking Adventure
Located just a short distance from Chiang Mai is picturesque Si Lanna National Park Cycling and Kayaking Adventure. Attractions in this park include a 20-km (12.4 mi) bicycle route through beautiful greenery, as well as the opportunity to go kayaking along a beautiful reservoir known as Mae Ngad. As you enjoy your bicycle ride and kayaking experience, do not be surprised if you see some exotic animals along the way, including kingfisher birds, monkeys, and wild boars. You can enjoy your noon meal on a floating restaurant before exploring the area some more. On your way to and from the park you will pass through the scenic Thailand countryside, which offers stunning views that include huge mountains in the distance and peaceful paddy fields in the foreground.
Wat Chedi Luang
There are a good many temples, and Chiang Mai is an easy walking city to see temples (and the rest of Thailand), but Wat Chedi Luang is truly unique. This Buddhist temple was originally constructed in 1401 A.D., and it had the distinction of being the largest building in Lanna at the time. Although Wat Chedi Luang was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1545, much of this remarkable temple remains in tact to this day. Portions of Wat Chedi Luang were reconstructed in the early 1990s. The temple is especially impressive to see at nighttime, when it is beautifully lit up. When visiting Wat Chedi Luang, you will have the opportunity to speak with Buddhist monks, who will gladly tell you anything you want to know about their religion or about Thailand in general.
Chiang Mai Night Safari
Chiang Mai Night Safari is a government agency-run safari located in Tambon Mae Hia, Suthep, Muang District, and Tambon Nong Khwai, Hang Dong District, Chiang Mai Province. Situated just about 10km from the city center, Chiang Mai Night Safari features a total area of over 323 acres. This safari was the first night zoo to open in Thailand. These days it also allows visitors to enjoy its sights throughout the daytime, as well. The Chiang Mai Night Safari is twice as large as the famous night safari in Singapore. Unlike a traditional zoo, the safari provides unmatched up close views of wild animals in their natural habitat. Visitors to Chiang Mai Night Safari routinely see giraffes, hippos, rhinos, bison, and other exotic animals while taking in the sights. You can even enjoy a ride in a beautifully-decorated open rickshaw, which seats 50 people. You can also choose from other activities available for visitors, including a spectacular light and sound musical fountain show and nightly safari dance performances, as well as opportunities to feed the animals up close. Whether you are young or old, Chiang Mai Night Safari provides a real treat for animal lovers of all ages.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
The Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple is commonly known as "Doi Suthep," which also happens to be the same as the name of the mountain on which it is located. Many local Thai people have come to view Doi Suthep as a sacred site. The Doi Suthep temple gives its many visitors impressive views of the city of Chiang Mai, which is located just 15km (9.3 mi) away. It is believed that the Doi Suthep temple was founded in 1383 A.D. with the building of the first stupa. The temple became more and more extravagant as it was gradually expanded over time. The first road to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep was built in 1935. Once visitors park at the base of the temple, they can reach the top either by taking a tram or climbing the 309 steps that lead to the pagodas. The surreal experience of visiting Doi Suthep is enhanced by the requirement that all visitors must dress appropriately for traversing inside the temple grounds, which includes the removal of all footwear. Many of the features found in the temple are drawn from both the Hindu and Buddhist religions, including bells, statues, pagodas, shrines, and a museum.
These are just six of the many experiences around Chiang Mai. It is little wonder that this is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Northern Thailand. As this short list demonstrates, Chiang Mai offers pretty much something for everyone. Whether you are looking for an adventurous trek through nature, a sumptuous taste of ethnic cuisine, an educational encounter with exotic wildlife, or a memorable walk through time, Chiang Mai and the surrounding areas have the attractions that can truly make your visit to Thailand the trip of a lifetime.
Boutique Hotel in Chiang Mai
akyra Manor Chiang Mai is a boutique hotel, each suite created around a courtyard-within-a-room concept. It's the hip downtown hotel Chiang Mai never had.
Check in to pure urban style and big city sophistication in the heart of this charming northern city's most buzz-worthy street Nimmanhaemin Soi 9, known locally as 'coffee street'. Take in the chic boutiques, galleries, bars and coffee shops, then return to your sanctuary and warm northern Thailand hospitality and the showstopping experiences of Rise rooftop bar and Chiang Mai's best new restaurant, italics.
akyra Manor Chiang Mai offers 30 sanctuaries for our guests, comprising 23 akyra Deluxe suites at a generous 60 sqm and seven expansive Manor suites of 100 sqm for guests who want to really have room to spread their wings.