Chiang Mai Travel Guide: Discover the Capital

 In Holidays, How To Guide, Thailand, Travel

Welcome to Chiang Mai travel guide! It is the capital of the north and is also known to be the second-largest city in Thailand! There are many places to visit in Thailand, but don’t miss out on this magical city – Chiang Mai. After spending your initial days in Bangkok, get a train to Chiang Mai City to discover the ultimate things here. 

Chiang Mai is the temple capital of Thailand because it is filled with the unique and beautiful temples of Thailand in every corner. The magical journey will begin as soon as you step here, as many cultures have passed through the city but the aura never fails to please anyone. The old city walls and the city center were built 1,000 years ago! 

Choosing your Thailand packages with this city included should be a must while planning your vacation. 

How to Reach – Chiang Mai Travel Guide

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Here are the three easy ways to reach the city, that are flights, trains, and buses. Let us help you to know better about it. 

  1. Flights: It is the easiest and most convenient way, but the most expensive as well. It only takes an hour from Bangkok if you take a flight, also you have the chance to fly with any domestic airline in Thailand. 
  2. Bus: The journey by bus is about 12 hours long from Bangkok and leaves at least once an hour. Take the advantage of air-conditioned VIP bus, whose prices range from 600-800 baht. 
  3. Trains: There are 6 trains that leave every day from Hua Lampong station to Chiang Mai, and it also takes 12-14 hours, and the cost would be around 900-1200 baht (depending on the class). 

Also, you should prefer the night trips so that you can easily enjoy in the day time. 

Best Time to Visit: Chiang Mai Travel Guide

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Confused about the best time to visit Chiang Mai? The weather in Thailand is about the dry season and rainy season, so you need to choose accordingly. 

The dry season is known to be the cold season, and it happens to be during the month from October to March in Chiang Mai. The city tends to be colder in the evening during the dry season. 

And between October to February, the months would be colder, but there will not be any rain. So, the best thing is the festivals in Thailand which you can attend at this time, such as the famous flower festival – a well known colorful exhibition that crosses the city. Thailand in January is great for the people who are searching for any destination during that time. 

And, when we talk about the rainy season, it ranges from July to October. These months attain rainfalls and temperatures may even be high. Also, there is humidity at the same time during this time. 

How Many Days to Spend in Chiang Mai?

The ideal time for spending in this city is about 3-4 days. You can get the whole impact of the place in this time. There are some of the best places to visit in Chiang Mai and multiple things to enjoy. So, let’s get started with some of them.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai?

Let’s get you introduced with some of the super-cool resorts which might be budget friendly and others would be a luxury experience to have! 

There are multiple styles of resorts in Thailand that might confuse you, but everyone has their own taste while traveling. So, some of the places where you can find the best accommodations would be in the old city, near the river and the night bazaar as well.

3 Day Itinerary – Chiang Mai Travel Guide

Let’s start with the perfect getaway in Chiang Mai for 3 days! Here are some of the things to do in Chiang Mai and places to visit in the surreal city!

DAY 1

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Visit the temples in Chiang Mai

There are hundreds of temples around the city and some of them are very unique as well as significant for the locals. The visitors are attracted to these temples because of their beauty and mesmerizing charm. Also, here are some of them which you should not miss while in the city. 

1. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

It is among the most significant temples in Chiang Mai and is on the top list for the visitors. It is located on top of the mountain, and you can rent a scooter for visiting the place for a day trip. It would help you to have a direct access to the entrance of the temple. 

You need to go through the 309 stairs to have a spectacular view of the northwet and the beauty surrounding it. So, make sure you visit the place to explore the beauty of the place. 

2. Wat Chedi Luang

It is one of the best places to visit in Chiang Mai, undoubtedly the most recommended one for the visitors in Thailand. Also, it is located in the center of the old city within walking distance of most of the markets and hotels in Thailand – Chiang Mai. 

The name “Luang” means very large and actually the interior and infrastructure of the temple is really large. It was built back in 1385 but has gone under many changes and renovations. 

It is opened every day from 6 AM – 5 PM. 

Suggested read: Best Islands in Thailand 

3. Wat Phra Singh

Let’s talk about the most beautiful and impressive temples in Chiang Mai, in terms of the visual and design aspects. You would be amazed with the impeccable beauty all over the place. 

The main building is the highlight of the temple, with the sloping roofs and facade which is really amazing. So, do not miss visiting this place for the most amazing views and a great time here.

Explore more about Thai Culture

The Thai culture is mostly represented by museums, markets and their festivals. So, if you are keen about knowing more about it, do not miss visiting the Lanna museum. 

It is an attractive place for the visitors which represent the life of the Lena people, which teaches a lot about the customs and traditions of the place. Also, it is opened for visitors from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:30 AM – 5 PM.

Take a Cooking Class

It might be fun for people who are interested in the foods and cuisines in Thailand. Join a cooking class and have the taste of the mouthwatering food in the city. 

There are very few cuisines that can compete with Thailand and flavored cuisine of the country. So, you must grab the chance and have the utmost fun enjoying the meals while sipping the margaritas on the tropical island. 

Also, Chiang Mai is one of the best places where you can discover the secrets of Thai food and even know how to cook with their classes. Get started with them to make the most out of your trip to Thailand! 

It is definitely one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai – travel and eat the most amazing food out there.

End your day with a night walk in the Bazaar

The Bazaar is known to be a lively and cheap market where you can shop a lot! It is one of the best shopping places in Thailand where you can have everything, such as shoes, watches, wooden products, bags, clothes, souvenirs, and much more. Why not explore the best nightlife in Thailand with the most amazing flea markets. 

It is a huge market with beautiful stalls around and is crowded as well! So, take a walk around and have tasty food while roaming around.

DAY 2

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Image Source : Tripadvisor

Buathong Falls

There are some of the best waterfalls in Thailand, but visiting this magical place – Buathoong Falls is a must! They are unusual and you won’t find anything like this. So, you should take out time to visit this amazing place like never before. 

It is located on the southern side of the Sri Lanna Reserve, which is about an hour and a half drive from the city of Chiang Mai. They were named “sticky waterfalls” because of the limestone rock with a mineral which causes them to become rough surfaces with an unusual grip. So, it allows the feet to stick to these surfaces. 

Also, the water here flows in the diagonal flow, which is really unique.

Visit the elephant sanctuary

Who are fond of wildlife and discovering more about them? Get starte with your journey of elephant sanctuaries or volunteering at this type of place. Here, you can know more about the elephants and see how beautifully these creatures have been protected here. Also, try the very popular elephant trekking in Thailand.

Eat Khao Soi – The Flagship dish

Eat Khao Soi is a delicious and popular dish that hails from Northern Thailand. It’s considered the flagship dish of the region, loved for its unique flavors and comforting warmth. Khao Soi is a flavorful noodle soup that typically features a rich coconut milk-based broth, seasoned with a blend of aromatic spices. The dish is often served with both soft and crispy noodles, providing a delightful contrast in texture.

Nimmanhaemin Street

Let’s talk fashion! It is known to be the most fashionable part of Thailand, which has high-class restaurants of Thailand, the famous bars and the side streets. 

Also, there is one mall at the end of the road with maultiple designer stores, cinema and several eating places. It is a lively place with amazing night bars, live music and concerts happening at the same time. 

DAY 3

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Doi Inthanon National Park

It is one of the main national parks in Sri Lanka and located on the highest mountain in Thailand, which remains cool all around the year. It is known as “the roof of Thailand” and has a variety of sites, waterfalls and hiking trails in Thailand. 

You should prefer wearing long clothes here due to the cold weather. Also, you can travel in an independent reserve with a car or even join any organized trip from Chiang Mai with lunch, drinks and much more. 

This would wholly take up a day for the tourists, so you can spend some of your best times here with your friends and family. 

Suggested read: Best time to visit Bangkok

Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)

What is the best time of year to visit Chiang Mai?

The best time to visit Chiang Mai is during the cool and dry season, which typically spans from November to February. 

During these months, the weather is pleasant with cooler temperatures and lower humidity, making it comfortable for exploring the city and its surroundings. This time is also when the famous Yi Peng Lantern Festival takes place, adding a magical touch to the experience. 

However, it’s essential to avoid the hot season from March to May, as temperatures can soar, and the rainy season from June to October, which may bring heavy rains and occasional flooding. So, plan your trip between November and February for the most enjoyable and comfortable visit to Chiang Mai.

Is Chiang Mai a family-friendly destination?

Yes, Chiang Mai is a great place for families! It’s a city in Thailand that has lots of fun things for everyone. 

You can explore ancient temples, ride elephants, and visit the bustling markets. The city is surrounded by beautiful nature, like mountains and waterfalls, perfect for family adventures. 

There are also activities like cooking classes and cultural shows that kids and parents can enjoy together. The people are friendly, and the food is delicious. Chiang Mai has a relaxed vibe, making it a safe and enjoyable destination for families to create wonderful memories together.

What are the top tourist attractions in Chiang Mai?

Chiang Mai, a beautiful city in Thailand, has many exciting places for tourists to explore. One of the top attractions is the Doi Suthep Temple, perched on a mountain, offering stunning views of the city. 

The Old City is another must-visit, with its ancient temples, charming markets, and historical walls. Don’t miss the bustling Night Bazaar, where you can shop for souvenirs and try delicious local food. 

Nature lovers will enjoy a visit to the Doi Inthanon National Park, home to Thailand’s highest peak and picturesque waterfalls. For a unique experience, the Elephant Nature Park allows you to interact with and learn about elephants in a humane way. Chiang Mai offers a mix of culture, nature, and adventure, making it a fantastic destination for all types of travelers.

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