1. Doi Suthep
The most famous attraction and like the Eiffel tower is to Paris. Doi Suthep is a Theravada Buddhist temple or a wat in Chiang Mai. The temple is often referred to as "Doi Suthep" although this is actually the name of the mountain where it's located and it’s real name is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep . It is a sacred site to many Thai people. The temple is 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the city of Chiang Mai and situated at an elevation of 1,073 meters which means from the temple you can see downtown Chiang Mai. The original founding of the temple remains a legend and there are a few varied versions. The temple is said to have been founded in 1383 when the first stupa was built. Over time, the temple has expanded, and been made to look more extravagant with many more holy shrines added. A road to the temple was first built in 1935.
2. Nimmanhaemin Road
Just outside the Old City walls is a street of stalls for you to go shopping!
3. San Kamphaeng Road
Also known as the Handicraft Highway, another strip of stores to shop at!
4. Warorot Market (Kad Luang)
This is where many locals shop for clothes or home goods. It's cheaper than the tourist markets but is only open during the day.
5. Doi Inthanon
This is a National Park that is home to the highest mountain in Thailand. Near the mountain's base was a pond where many crows gathered. The name Doi Inthanon was given in honour of Inthawichayanon, last King of Chiang Mai, who was concerned about the forests in the north and tried to preserve them. He ordered that after his death his remains be interred at Doi Luang, which was then renamed in his honour. Today, the summit of Doi Inthanon is a popular tourist destination for both foreign and Thai tourists, with a peak of 12,000 visitors visiting the summit on New Year's Day.
It is also home to the King and Queen Pagoda which are cool! Just try to see it when the sky is clear.
6. Chiang Mai Grand Canyon
Chiang Mai has their very own Grand Canyon just like the United States. The one difference is this one has a water park in it!
7. Long Neck Karen Tribe
The Karen are a tribal group who have historically lived in the hills in Myanmar (formerly Burma) side of the Thai border. Best recognized for their elongated necks. I didn't do this but I would recommend you try to learn about their culture and not just look at them if you go!
8. Traditional Thai Massage from an ex prisioner (Chiang Mai Women’s Correctional Insititution)
The institution schedules two massage sessions a day, with pickup times typically at 8:00am and 11:30am for transit from the city centre to the correctional centre.
Pro Tip - Traditional Thai massages involve a lot of cracking and stretching, and can leave some people sore. If you don't think you'll like this "hands on" massage, try a "Neck, Back and Shoulder Massage" or a "Foot Massage" instead. They are quite a bit tamer.
9. Old City Temples
1 . Wat Phra Singh
700 monks currently live in there. Wat Phra Singh stands as one of the most visually impressive temples in Chiang Mai. The main temple building is the star of the show, featuring iconic slanted Lanna-style roofs and an intricately decorated façade that shines brightly in the sunlight. There’s also various stupas and pagodas around the grounds, which are free to enter.
2. Ruins of Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Chedi Luang is a Buddhist temple in the historic centre of Chiang Mai, Thailand. The current temple grounds were originally made up of three temples — Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Ho Tham and Wat Sukmin.
The construction of the temple started in the 14th century, when the King Saen Muang Ma planned to bury the ashes of his father there. In 1468, the Emerald Buddha was installed in the eastern niche. In 1545, the upper structure collapsed after an earthquake and i n the early 1990s the chedi was reconstructed, financed by UNESCO and the Japanese government.
3. Wat Phan Tao
Intricate teak Buddhist temple with gilded accents & colorful mosaics, founded in the 14th century.
4. Wat Pha Lat
To hike to Wat Pha Lat, you must reach the end of Suthep Road, just by Chiang Mai University. You can take a songthaew (the red shared “taxis”) to this point.
10. Wiang Kum Kam, Underground Ancient City
Wiang Kum Kam is an historic settlement and archaeological site along the Ping River, which was built by King Mangrai the Great as his capital before he moved it to Chiang Mai.
11. Monk Chat at Wat Suan Do
Wat Suan Dok, also known as Wat Buppharam is a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. It is a Royal Temple of the Third Class. The temple is on Suthep Road, approximately one kilometre west of Suan Dok gate at the west side of the moat.
And every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5-7 PM they have provide a chance to chat with a monk!
12 . Tourist Markets
13. Free Yoga
14. Muay Thai boxing
As with all competitive contact sports, there are definitely health risks involved but the keyword here being “competitive”. Muay Thai fights in the ring can be brutal -and bloody- with flying knees, sharp elbow strikes, hard kicks to the guts, and swinging punches. But this is Thailand's most popular sport.
15. Sticky Waterfalls (Bua Thong Waterfalls)
Visitors can climb up this waterfall that sees fast running waters passing over limestone rocks.
16. Huay Kaew Waterfall and swimming hole
Seasonal waterfall with a short walking trail in a picturesque, natural setting.
What to Bring
See what I bring on all my trips here!
If you are interested in getting travel insurance I recommend TravelInsurance.com. They are considered one of best in the industry, you can easily compare coverages and get the right one for you.
**This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you and allows me to keep the lights on around here. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
HELLO AND WELCOME!
I'm Jake, a dude interested in personal finance and travel creating the life I choose.
In 5 years I went from living in a basement with Craigslist roommates to paying off 90k of debt, backpacking 3 continents, getting a house for myself and 5 rental units.
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