20 Things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand Travel Guide

Today we’re taking you around a city thatwe’ve been to many times before: Chiang Mai (เชียงใหม่).

Located in the heart of Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is a growing city with laid back vibes, temples sprinkled around every corner, and a foodie scene that will make you drool.

This is a destination where you come to unwindand that’s exactly what we did during our month long visit.

Now let’s get started with this tour ofChiang Mai (เชียงใหม่) so you can see what this city is all about: So this morning we're going to visit Wat Srisuphanbetter known as the Silver Temple and I have to say this is probably my favorite templein all of Chiang Mai (清迈).

It is quite underrated and it is also locatedoutside of the walled city so very few people actually make it here.

And it is just so incredibly ornate.

Like I need to show you the details for youto see what this place is like but it is pretty cool.

It is amazing actually.

The temple is located in the city’s silversmithdistrict, so its walls are covered in silver, nickel and aluminium panels created by thelocal craftsmen.

One thing to keep in mind is that only mencan enter the ordination hall, so ladies, you’ll have to enjoy this one from the outside.

So Sam, what did you think of the Silver Temple? It was amazing.

I love that it is so close to where we arestaying and also it is probably one of the most underrated temples in Chiang Mai (เชียงใหม่).

Like we were literally the only people there.

Yeah.

Nobody else.

Haha.

So next up we're visiting Wat Chedi Luang(วัดเจดีย์หลวง) which is probably the best known temple inall of Chiang Mai (清迈).

It is located in the old city like right smackdab in the middle and what makes this temple pretty special is that it used to house theEmerald Buddha that is now in Bangkok.

And we actually visited that a few weeks agoso it was pretty cool.

Um, now they have a buddha made out of a blackstone here instead.

But it is really hard to see because it islocated kind of like in there.

In there.

Haha.

And you can't actually climb the stairs soit is really hard to make it out.

What did you think of Wat Chedi Luang (วัดเจดีย์หลวง)? It is a pretty impressive temple.

Uh, it is definitely worth the 40 Baht admission.

Yeah.

Our biggest tip is to come early in the morningand you get that nice soft light that is bouncing off of the old ruins.

So next up we're visiting Wat Phra Singh (วัดพระสิงห์วรมหาวิหาร)and there is so much gold happening here that it is almost a little bit blinding.

The sun is really hitting it at the rightangle from the other side.

So I'm going to show you this.

Seriously.

It is like glowing.

It is glowing.

So Sam? have you ever seen this much goldthis much bling bling in your life? No and we picked the perfect time to comehere because of the way the sun is reflecting off it.

Yeah.

You know what? I just picked up these gold sunglasses.

Woo hoo.

Finally.

Bye bye blue raybans.

I'm dressed for the occasion.

One of the best things you can do in ChiangMai is ditch the map and get lost inside the old city.

It’s along the quiet back lanes that you’llfind cozy cafes, terracotta gardens, unvisited temples, and a little flavour of the old ChiangMai (เชียงใหม่).

So Chiang Mai has really grown and expandedover the last few years and sometimes traffic can be a little bit crazy, a little bit overwhelmingbut one thing we really enjoy is wandering around inside the moat.

Inside the old city because sometimes whenyou turn down the right Soi it almost feels like Chiang Mai is still a little villageand it is so quiet and peaceful until a scooter comes zooming past and honks at you to moveout of the way.

Exactly.

Then the spell is broken.

RIght now we're visiting Chiang Mai Park andI have to say this is one of my favorite places in all of Chiang Mai (清迈).

I get up almost every morning and go for ajog here.

So this is kind of my happy place.

But it is just a great park for relaxing, recreation, you can also come here and just lie on straw mats or get a massage.

Yes, there is a great place to get a Thaimassage and in the morning it is not busy at all.

There is just a few joggers out like me butif you come in the late afternoon just before sunset that is when it is packed.

That is when it is full of people out enjoyingthe sun.

The last few hours of sun in Chiang Mai.

Also known as Nong Buak Haad, this park islocated in the southwest end of the walled city, and is a nice escape from the busy streets.

So right now we're in the Chiang Mai marketand this is a very lively area.

In the mornings you have kind of like a clothesflea market happening and they also have some stands for breakfast and then when you comeat night it is all street food so you can get noodles, soups, dumplings, shakes andalso right behind me you have the covered market area which is basically open all daylong but it is particularly busy in the mornings so we're going to show you that next.

If you’re looking for cheap yet deliciousstreet food, you can’t go wrong with the stalls at Chiang Mai Gate.

We’ve had everything from wonton soup togreen papaya salad, but we had a bit of a sweet tooth on this particular outing.

So this dish is a classic.

Yep.

We get it every time we're at a Thai streetfood market.

We sure do.

And it is the banana chocolate pancake.

The banana chocolate roti.

Thai roti.

But but there is a but.

We found one with raisins.

Raisins! I've never seen that as an option.

Yeah, that is a first.

And I'm like yeah! Yeah.

So of course.

Who wouldn't want raisins? Alright, so this is kind of like a pancake.

It was fried in oil and then butter and ithas chocolate sauce drizzled all over it.

This place is so good.

We actually ate at that same vendor probablylike three or four years ago in Chiang Mai (เชียงใหม่).

Yeah.

Still just as good and the addition of raisinsis really nice.

Oh lah lah.

And extra little bit of a chewy sweetness.

How much did you pay? Oh, it was 45 but I think you can get oneof the other ones for about 30 or 35 so it is roughly one US dollar or slightly a littlebit more.

They do mango sticky rice over there.

Ooh mango sticky rice.

Yeah.

So is that what we're going for.

I think we might.

Okay.

So no surprise here.

Does anybody want to venture a guess at whatwe're having for dessert? Mmmmm.

Mango sticky rice of course! We always go for the same thing but it isjust so good and I'm kind of addicted to this.

And it is basically our last night in Thailand(ราชอาณาจักรไทย) for a while.

Yeah.

So yep.

We will dig in.

Yeah, so we've got some sticky rice.

The lady put a whole mango in here.

We've got a lot of ripe mango.

That was awesome.

Yeah.

And lots of coconut milk doused over top.

Yeah.

Why am I struggling with this.

Normally you don't get a whole mango.

Usually you get like a half of one.

So they were pretty generous.

Mmmmm.

Is that good? That is really good.

You know what? I wish he had put like more coconut milk.

I can never get enough of that.

I know what you mean.

It is so sweet and so good.

That is so so good.

But this is nice.

And it was 60 Baht.

So less than 2 US bucks.

A dollar something.

Pretty good value I'd say.

So next up we have something called KanomKrock.

Apparently.

We just learned the name.

So as you can probably tell we're just basicallygoing for dessert tonight.

Yes.

Here in Chiang Mai (清邁).

Just sugar.

And these are kind of like coconut milk pancakes.

They are miniature pancakes.

Yeah.

And it is kind of dark so it is hard to showthe detail but they're just like mini-pancakes made with coconut milk and Sam got the pumpkinkind.

Really really crispy on the outside but thenlike really milky and coconut milky on the inside.

Ooh.

Really sweet, really tasty.

You want to hold one up? Yeah sure.

I just dropped my stick.

Dropping cutlery.

Oh my gosh this is way too hot to hold.

I can't do it.

Sorry.

I'm sorry.

Then you have the famed Saturday Night Marketalong Wualai Road.

We were kind of shocked by how crowded andbusy it has become – we were walking shoulder to shoulder and it wasn’t very pleasant- so if you want to pick up souvenirs or sample some street food here, it’s best to go inthe afternoon before things get crazy.

If there’s one dish that’s synonymouswith Northern Thailand, it’s khao soi (ข้าวซอย).

This dish is made with both soft egg noodlesand crispy egg noodles, and it has a rich curry and coconut soup that is delicious.

Squeeze a bit of lime on top and you’reset! And if Thai food is your thing, you’ll behappy to know that there are lots of cooking classes available in the city and out in thecountryside.

This is a great way to take some of your favouriteThai recipes back home with you.

Going back to a bit of temple hopping, youcan also visit Wat Umong, which is spread out across a series of tunnels; Wat Pha Lat, which is tucked in the jungle and feels like a bit of secret; and Wat Chedi Liam, whichsits in the ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam.

If you’re looking for a fun day trip outsideof Chiang Mai, we’d recommend going to the Elephant Nature Park.

This is a rescue centre and sanctuary whereformer working elephants roam free.

You’ll get to come face to face with elephants, feed them fresh fruit, and even bathe them in the river.

Now going back to food, again, one of thethings we like about Chiang Mai (清邁) is the restaurant scene.

If we had to recommend a few of our favouriteswe’d say: Salad Concept for healthy-build-it-yourself wraps, Baan Bakery for when you’re cravingFrench baked goods, and Dada Kafe for shakes! You need to try the shakes, because this isthe stuff we dream of when we’re thousands of miles away.

Peanut butter lover! He's a peanut butter lover.

How good is that? Very.

Very good.

You can taste the crunchy peanut butter andthere is cinnamon.

And it is natural peanut butter.

The real deal.

Dada Kafe has some of the best shakes you'regoing to have in Chiang Mai (เชียงใหม่).

I'm having mango, coconut and banana.

It is a life changing experience.

It is called Energy Me.

Energy me.

We also really like Dash, which serves uptasty Thai food and is always packed, especially at night! Okay so for a fancy meal in Chiang Mai oneof our favorite places is Dash.

And the restaurant behind me is set in a Lannastyle teakhouse so it is pretty cool especially if you come here at night.

Yeah.

So at night it is all lit up and you can actuallygo up to the second floor and you can feel the breeze blowing in and it is just reallyrelaxed.

Really scenic.

So we really like it here.

We are purposely here in the middle of theafternoon at like three thirty so that is why no one is around but we wanted to geta table and not make a reservation.

So we've placed our order.

Now we're waiting for food.

Cooling down.

You know what? For late January in Chiang Mai this is thehottest I've ever experienced.

So these mango smoothies are essential thistime of year.

You know it doesn't help that you're lookingall furry like a bear.

That is probably holding in the temperature.

Wolverine in Chiang Mai.

So I'm trying a dish that I only discoveredrecently.

If you take a look here this is called SwimmingRamma and it is a peanut curry.

We got it with tofu so it is really tastyand it is served on a bed of morning glory.

Yeah, we tried this for the first time abouta week ago.

It looks really nice.

Yeah, like I don't know if this is actuallyan authentic Thai dish or if it is just an invention they have at this restaurant.

Any which way it is good.

Mmmm.

It is just so peanut-y.

I've been missing peanut butter.

So this is like as close as I'm going to get.

Ticking off a lot of boxes here.

Alright, so Chiang Mai is a city where itreally comes alive at night.

It is worth just wandering around and seeingwhat is going on.

There is always something happening at ThapaeGate though.

And that is where we are right now.

Music playing.

As you’ve probably figured out, we’renot really into nightlife, but Chiang Mai does have lots of bars where you can enjoya drink or two.

We kept things light with a Chang beer.

Alright, man on a mission.

Man on a mission.

So we're going to go check out the nightlifein Chiang Mai (เชียงใหม่) and there are a lot of different options youcan consider.

But we're just going to take you to a littlelocal neighborhood pub.

It is just around the corner from where we'restaying.

Let's go check it out.

Decompressing with a Changy Chang.

Yeah.

Changy Chang.

Oh, that really tastes good when you've beenwalking around the moat for quite a while like we have.

As for transportation, the most economic wayto get around is by songthaew (สองแถว).

These red trucks can be seen zigzagging allover the city.

You just have to hail one, and if they’regoing your way, they’ll let you to hop in.

So this is a really exciting moment for us.

We are along in a Songthaew (สองแถว).

And this is the most.

Haha.

Yeah, it is almost like our own private taxi.

This is the most local type of transportationyou can take in Chiang Mai.

It is just an amazing way to get around thecity.

We use it almost daily whenever we're goingsomewhere that we can't walk to.

And the cool thing is you just hail it down.

You hail it down, you tell the driver whereyou're going, you hop in the back of the truck and then when you're finishedyou go and pay the driver and it is usually 20 to 30 Baht.

So you're talking less than $1 US dollar.

And that’s a wrap for our visit to ChiangMai, Thailand (ราชอาณาจักรไทย).

We hope this video gave you a little tasteof what this city is all about.

We’ll be the first to tell you that we barelyscratched the surface in terms of everything Chiang Mai has to offer, but that being said, the goal of our time here was to relax, eat well, see friends, and catch up on work.

As always, if you have any other suggestionsof things to do, places to visit, and restaurants to eat at, feel free to share those with fellowtravellers in the comments below.

Until next time!.

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