Thailand has increasingly become a tourist hot spot, with more and more people choosing to go there for their next vacation. And what’s not to love? Thailand is cheap (though prices have been steadily increasing over the past few years), tourist friendly (ease of access, language, etc.), and offers something for everyone (beaches, city life, exclusive getaways, elephant encounters, etc.). The food in Chiang Mai, in my ever-so humble opinion, is Thailand’s best for both the quality of food and the price. You’ll find food stalls, local restaurants, and everything in between as you walk down the streets, so you’re sure to find some tasty treats along the way.
If you’ve already seen as many temples as you can handle in Chiang Mai and you’ve spent a day at an elephant center or sanctuary, or have gone ziplining through the jungle, you might be looking for a less busy activity to fill up your day. If that’s the case and you’re looking for a relaxing day while still learning something new about Thailand’s local culture, you should book a cooking class. There are tonnes of cooking schools in Chiang Mai that offer either morning or afternoon cooking classes, which are engaging, informative, and (most of all) fun!
I have seen my share of beautiful temples when travelling South East Asia, so when I was in Chiang Mai I figured renting bicycles for the day and exploring the many temples found around the Old City would be a good day spent. I have always been fascinated by the intricate detail and effort that went into the construction of these temples. Chiang Mai offers its visitors an impressive array of Buddhist temples; some looking quite different than the temples I saw when I traveled to Bangkok a few years back. Grab a map, a bike, your camera, and you’re good to go and check out the temples in Chiang Mai!
One of many common tourist activities to do in Thailand is to ride an elephant. Unfortunately, many of these elephant camps found throughout the country treat the elephants very poorly – I had a horrible experience two years ago when I was in Bangkok and I swore I would never go to an “elephant camp” again. Thankfully, however, there are also many Mahout elephant training centers, mainly found in Northern Thailand, that provide a much better experience. I had heard about how great these elephant encounters were in Chiang Mai, so on my trip to the north, I figured I would splurge (because these proper camps and sanctuaries sure aren’t cheap) and spend the day with some elephants in a safe, friendly, and comfortable environment. Our guesthouse recommended Chiang Mai Mahout Elephant Training Center and it turned out to be a great day!